With increased remote work putting new demands on companies and the integrity of data more important than ever, many are wondering how best to move systems online whilst maintaining efficiency and network edge security.
Moderator Susannah Streeter welcomed Simon Pamplin, Chief Technologist WAN Edge, Aruba EMEA; Jacqui Lipinski, Chief Information Officer and Director of Digital and Technical Services, Royal College of Art; Nick Reeks, IT Director, Tata Steel and Kaveh Pourteymour, Chief Information Officer, Neptune Energy, to compare and contrast their thoughts on this service.
Kicking off the discussion, Simon Pamplin was asked his biggest challenge in securing cloud business data.
“People are starting to see the limits of cloud storage and cloud security,” he responded, “so, how does a business take advantage of [the] cloud without having to employ an army of people?”
The use of Cloud has rocketed, fulfilling many trend reports of its eventual adoption by the majority of business. Of course, as Simon intimated, the questions posed by technology and security leaders are not whether they use Cloud, but what are the best ways to work with your Cloud vendor, or vendors, to protect your enterprise and its coverage?
It also became clear that the shift to Cloud services has been easier for some sectors than others. Nick Reeks indicated that conversations are still being held about precisely how a move to the Cloud would be realized in the steelmaking industry.
“Still around 90 percent of our applications and data is on-premise, because that’s the nature of the legacy in manufacturing mainframe applications that we’re still running.
“So, the first challenge is: what data are we going to put in the Cloud and how are we going to use it? And then how do we keep it secure?”
Listing the benefits of a unified security profile, versus the potential freedom offered by “multi-cloud” systems, Reek also took time to highlight the real benefit network edge security offered by a diverse cloud.
“If we have an incident it’s contained in a certain area.”
Kaveh Pourteymour revealed that for the last three years Neptune Energy has moved “about 80 percent of our legacy into a hybrid-cloud” and “putting the right security controls around that” was paramount.
Core decisions roadmap
Jacqui Lipinski stated that one of the “biggest challenges” for the Royal College of Art is getting advice tailored to their legacy systems. Here, a standout term of the roundtable emerged: “roadmap”, clear strategies that companies must make in a particular order regarding their technological needs.
“You absolutely need to understand your business strategy first and how technology is then supporting that,” she said.
Pourteymour agreed with this assessment.
“The important thing is to have a strategy, a digital strategy that is owned by the organization, and also a clear architecture that the organization owns,” adding that it is “absolutely the right thing, having the right roadmaps in place.”
Changing patterns in network edge security
On other matters, the panel was split: the degree of change brought about by the pandemic was a particular point of disagreement.
Nick Reeks argued that work patterns were trending towards hybridization pre-pandemic.
“I think the pandemic has sharpened your focus perhaps, certainly from a volume, and a capacity and a capability perspective, but it didn’t change the underlying dynamics.”
Pourteymour acknowledged this trend, but countered that the pandemic has been instrumental in hastening focus on Cloud architecture.
“The pandemic itself brought the cultural shift within organizations.”
Lipinski similarly pointed to the pandemic as having majorly overhauled work patterns for the Royal College of Art, whilst highlighting that some sectors can only achieve limited digital presence.
“Basically everything changed with the pandemic, so there was a real focus on making sure that the organization could operate remotely. But we have to remember the RCA’s type of business: some of it is digital and some of it is analogue… you can’t have everything being digitized.”
A shared opinion at the roundtable was the importance of keeping up with the climate. Pamplin went so far as to state that he “wouldn’t sign a contract for five months these days because it is changing that quickly.”
More moderately, Pourteymour circled back to how essential planning is for long term network edge security.
“We need to be able to be agile and fast moving, but it’s important that the big picture is not lost.”
This roundtable on network edge security was created in partnership with Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.