It’s time for a unified approach to securing data, applications, and the edge

Organizations usually manage the security of data, applications and edge computing from disparate technologies and across different teams. That traditional approach will not work going forward because your IT infrastructure is changing rapidly, the way you deliver services to your customers is evolving and security threats are becoming more complex.

data applications edge security

Increasingly, sophisticated attacks start at the edge or application layers and move laterally to the data layer without detection. In fact, an analysis by Imperva Research Labs of 100 data breaches over the past year, finds that almost 50% of those incidents began at the application layer. This demonstrates just how frequently malicious access requests to databases are coming from APIs and applications.

Legacy cybersecurity solutions lack effectiveness against these modern attacks because they don’t have visibility into activity across multiple technology layers. Only if organizations begin to take a unified approach and combine data-centric threat mitigation with protecting all the paths to their data, will they be able to stop complex attacks.

Choosing a solution that unifies insights from the edge to applications and data stores will now be the difference between identifying a problem before it becomes a breach and learning of it after it becomes headline news.

IT complexity breeds new risks

Over the past year, organizations were forced to accelerate their digital transformation projects and some monolithic IT environments evolved into an ecosystem of APIs and applications operating in dispersed hybrid or multi-cloud environments. Many organizations believe their cloud provider is responsible for the protection of their sensitive data in these environments. That is an unfortunate and dangerous oversight. Through 2025, it’s believed that at least 95% of cloud security failures will be the fault of the company using the cloud service.

Amid an unprecedented year of digital transformation, security budgets did not maintain the same pace, and many teams are under-resourced and unable to keep up. Compounding the problem, organizations lack the right tools to address this multiplying challenge. They also lack the necessary visibility and control needed to secure their data, and to respond quickly to various threats and security incidents.

As a result of these developments, organizations face blind spots across their APIs, development environments, cloud databases, and countless other areas of IT. It should come as no surprise that the volume of attacks is increasing. According to Imperva Research Labs, data breaches in open public cloud services are trending dramatically higher as more companies migrate their operations to the cloud. Meanwhile, data leakage – incidents in which data was transmitted from an organization’s corporate network to an external destination, whether accidentally or deliberately – increased 557% over the past 12 months and are up 74% since the beginning of 2021.

All of this comes at a time when organizations are focused on consolidating their tech stack and trying to extract more value with less resources. Today, it’s not uncommon to make security decisions based on security information and event management (SIEM) budget limitations rather than on the growing attack surface. This is not the right approach as analysts don’t understand the full scope of an attack without the appropriate context and orchestration capabilities.

A unified solution for a multiplying problem

Only when organizations have the ability to analyze activity from its initial entry through applications to its end at structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data stores, can they stop today’s sophisticated attacks.

To do this successfully, a platform approach is needed to unify edge, application and data security. This demonstrates the problem with siloed point products because they cannot provide integrated analytics – delivering visibility and context for organizations to understand the full scope of a threat.

As organizations use more cloud services, operate at the edge, and accelerate DevOps in container and serverless environments, securing the entire IT ecosystem has become more challenging. The potential for security gaps will grow exponentially if we don’t move beyond traditional security tools and point products.

By taking a unified approach to security that enables organizations to put more effort into application and database management, they can better defend against cyber threats while continuing to accelerate digital transformation initiatives.

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