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Ransomware is Rising! What's Next for Government?

2021-08-19
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hybrid cloud ransomware is rising article

Ransomware is Rising: What You Need to Know

Ransomware is on the rise again, and it’s already been a record year for attacks, shut-downs, theft and cyber-mischief. Forbes notes a few of the more interesting cybersecurity research of 2021 in their article Alarming Cybersecurity Stats: What You Need to Know for 2021.

  1. 78% lack confidence in their company’s cybersecurity posture
  2. On average, only 5% of companies’ folders are properly protected
  3. Cyber attacks more likely to bring down f-35 jets than missiles
  4. Nearly 80% of senior IT and IT security leaders believe their organizations lack sufficient protection against cyberattacks despite increased IT security investments made in 2020 to deal with distributed IT and work-from-home challenges

Government is traditionally slow to pivot, but the rise in ransomware and malware attacks inn 2020 was all it took to convince them that a move to hybrid cloud is the right move for their security. Let’s examine the Top 5 challenges government agencies are facing when moving to the hybrid cloud.


Tip #1 – Use Hybrid Cloud to Build Multi-Layered Security

Today’s networks are a complex meshwork of different solutions, protections and applications. The complexity of the network requires a deceptively simple system to manage. Using the cloud to build a multi-layered security approach is far easier than using legacy or traditional infrastructure, which is clunky, cumbersome and slow to change or shift. A multi-layered defense strategy is required to protect data, network and physical infrastructure. The cio.gov cloud smart strategy highlights the fact that the government is considering enabling a collaborative effort to support the creation of more flexible intrusion detection and prevention solutions.


Tip #2 – Continually Improve Skills

Government agencies are slow to shift, and therefore rely heavily on their staff and employees to manage day to day operations – but things are changing. As the Government adopts solutions like hybrid cloud, they need the staff to have the skills to manage it. Government agencies must identify any potential skill gaps before they adopt cloud, and fill those gaps with training on the latest techniques and solutions.


Tip # 3 –Procurement of Cloud Services

As cloud is still a relatively new service to most Government bodies, streamlining procurement approaches will become more vital. Government agencies have thus far needed to search many different sources to get all the info on all the cloud offerings out there. The wrong choice could be a disaster, so make sure your new services come with disaster recovery. Chief Acquisition Officers, Contracting Officers, CIOs and Project Managers, should work with a cloud provider with a great reputation in their specific region, and with long-standing local partnerships.


Tip #4 –Review and Streamline Legacy Systems

Government agencies typically have many overlapping systems in place, and are sometimes a bureaucratic nightmare, moving slowly and with too much oversight. Hybrid cloud is proven great at streamlining these types of legacy systems, and forcing them online into a digital, secure environment. It’s important to coincide your shift to cloud with a careful examination of the applications you are using, and if they are the most efficient with the new cloud network. Which brings us to our last tip – agility.


Tip #5 – Improve Technical Agility

Hybrid cloud and the systems associated with it change daily. Industry standards also change minute to minute, and Government must move quickly to keep up. As a typically slow element of life, Government bodies must improve their technical agility and continue to prioritize it in the long term. In order to improve agility and respond to customer expectations and emerging threats, Government agencies must continuously improve policies, offer technical training and business requirements.


A Strong Hybrid Cloud Security Strategy

Consider these 7 tips for hybrid cloud security in your hyper converged infrastructure and hybrid cloud journey.


1. Approach hybrid cloud security as a shared responsibility

It’s important to work closely with your hybrid cloud provider for regular management of the system. There should be regular communication, proven to reduce the number of oversights and errors. Security should always be the first priority, and trust in your cloud provider is a must-err on the side of over-communicating. Without proper security efforts, one misstep can jeopardize everything.


2. Standardize processes

Standardizing hybrid cloud processes means reducing the risk of disparities that lead to errors and security loopholes.  Standardizing processes is also the best way to make the most of your network security solutions. Modern network security solutions look for recognizable patterns to identify security risks, and normal user or network behaviour. If your processes are the same every time, it won’t attract the attention of the network security processes, meaning less slow-down and more focus on actual security threats.


3. Configure secure tools and processes for the cloud

Automating everything possible, through a secure hybrid cloud platform, takes the pressure off administrators, and reduces human error risk, day-to-day. DevOps teams should be aware of how to test the security of the hybrid cloud environment, and should keep a constant watch on any new developments.


4. Verify everything, everywhere

Perimeter-based protections ceased to work when networks started sprawling in all directions. You must adopt a zero-trust environment, inspecting and suspecting everything and everyone. Ensure your hyperconverged infrastructure has disaster recovery functions, for easy isolation, back-up and restoration if necessary.


5. Manage access across hybrid environments

SWG technology like Sangfor IAG is really useful in hybrid cloud environments. Security teams can use this security solution to control access in all areas of the network, automating the security process. It’s smart to operate on a structure of least-privilege access possible, unless otherwise determined, for this strategy to be successful.


6. Ensure visibility and ownership

You need one management system for your entire hyperconverged infrastructure and hybrid cloud, with aggregation and monitoring features, and asset management for all your environments. Administrators should have single-pane-of-glass management, and security teams should have access to all security and cloud data with the click of a button. Giving a small team ownership of this project is a great way to ensure total buy-in.


7. Protect data

Hybrid IT environments require encryption at a minimum for data protection. Think carefully about how secure you want your data to be, and how hybrid cloud can enable that, or expose data to theft. Integrate your security solutions with your hybrid cloud and hyperconverged solutions. The best way to do this is to work with a single vendor for the entire process.


Sangfor HyperConverged Infrastructure (HCI)

Hybrid cloud is certainly the future of cloud computing, and with all the ransomware security risks to Government, it’s unsurprising to see record adoption. Sangfor HCI is the hyperconverged solution of choice to build a true hybrid cloud, by:
  • Eliminating silos
  • Lowering costs (OPEX & CAPEX)
  • Excellent Security
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Components implemented separately or together
  • Increased Scalability
  • Simplification

For more information about Sangfor HCI, or how to build a true hybrid cloud with hyperconverged infrastructure, visit us online at www.sangfor.com, or email us directly, to see how Sangfor makes IT simpler, more secure and valuable.