Imagine someone breaking into your home. If you catch them in the act, they’re most likely leaving right away, and you’re upping your security system. Now imagine someone breaking into your home, and staying for nine months – now what? They’ve prolonged their stay completely unnoticed and destroyed the security system you once trusted and relied upon. Your next move? Trying to reinstate the faith you once had in security and completely reconfigure your security blueprint.  

Let’s break down why data center security has taken center stage as of late with the increasing challenges of securing east-west traffic and the journey from zero visibility to Zero Trust thanks to Forrester and VMware’s collaborative webinar session. (Or, feel free to get straight to all the juicy details, and watch the webinar now.) 

The Catapult for Enhanced Data Center Security 

We’re on the heels of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and wow, have things changed. As a global community, we were trying to juggle the unknown and potential threats that COVID-19 had posed. From an industry perspective, we had to engage in an overhaul that changed the way we worked – forever. For organizations everywhere, remote work is now a part of the new normal routine. So, with these massive changes, what happens to our network security?  

Data Breaches: Not If, But When 

We must assume there will be breaches, rather than if there will be. Misconfiguration happens and virtual patching is difficult, especially as we move into the container world. Organizations build trust with their employees, and employees are just people. We’re all regular people making amazing, innovative strides together to make business happen. Although it may appear that we’re superheroes, those same superheroes may or may not make mistakes from time to time. Internal incidents rarely occur from mischievous intent, but as we all know, there are a plethora of external threats that we face every day. We can’t underestimate the number of threats – both internally and externally – when it comes to visibility and trust. 

According to a recent Forrester survey, 59% of firms were breached in 2020, and of those, approximately 48% of those breaches were the result of internal incidents. The most frequent sectors of data that are compromised are personally identified information (PII), authentication credentials, and corporate financial information. None of these are good – they’re all huge losses resulting in an impact to the organization beyond the data loss itself. So, when it comes to strategizing a defense, we must identify what we need to protect and take the initiative to do so. 

East-West Protection and Its Challenges  

We’ve established how major of a threat these breaches can be. But we need to pinpoint the origin of advanced security protection and wrap those efforts all around and within the network. East-west protection should include the following critical security components: segmentation, data classification, network traffic analysis, visibility, security automation, and orchestration. 

Within the data center, critical applications are oftentimes lying wide open. Isolating virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with traditional firewalls isn’t enough to keep the network safe. A few of the top threats are changing/evolving environment of IT (both internal and external), the complexities of IT environments, and the lack of visibility and influence within the organization. Operating in a world of a technological revolving door means practicing mindfulness in every stage to achieve more complete network security. 

We know east-west protection requires high-level attention and application, but it would be beneficial to know the exact steps to take toward advanced protection.   

3 Steps to Advanced East-West Protection  

Learn the three steps to better secure east-west traffic in a recent webinar with Forrester Security Analyst, David Holmes, recently sat down alongside VMware Director of Solutions Engineering and Design (Core IT Infrastructure), Swapnil Hendre and Tom Gillis, SVP/GM Network Security, to discuss the state of data center firewalls today and VMware’s real-life customer viewpoint on a phased approach to Zero Trust in the data center.  

In this webinar, you’ll learn the three steps to better secure east-west traffic, plus how to:  

  • Progress beyond traditional firewalls to distributed Zero Trust security models, delivering adaptive visibility and control to wherever applications and workloads live.  
  • Achieve compliance, solve for complexities and improve operational agility in three steps—leading to a more advanced east-west security strategy.  
  • Save capex and opex—and perhaps your sanity.  
  • Understand the game-changing capability to secure east-west traffic at scale.  
  • Simplify security operations through automation. 

Watch this exclusive webinar now