Oct 30, 2020

Accenture: Emerge stronger with adaptive security

Accenture
Cybersecurity
Technology
Adaptive security
Janet Brice
3 min
Cybersecurity
Adaptive security offers organisations a secure and smooth experience to achieve business continuity, reports Accenture...

Security leaders are in pole position to make the practical changes to keep their organisations safe and secure and help employees adopt new ways of working that apply adaptive security, claims a report from Accenture. 

According to the report, Emerge stronger with adaptive security, working from home has opened new attack vectors and workforce issues for organisations - including those from insider threats. 

“Adaptive security offers organisations a secure and smooth experience to achieve business continuity,” commented Accenture.

“Security leaders can reinvent access by using cloud-based solutions to meet the increased demand for fast, frictionless and secure remote access to enterprise data and applications,” highlights the report.

Three challenges organisations face today are how to:

  • Outmanoeuvre future uncertainty: Rethink culture, collaborative practices and the technology to enable distributed working environments
  • Outwit cybercriminals: Malicious threat actors are taking advantage of vulnerable supply chains, offer more digital experiences and meet the demands of a remote workforce
  • Outstep previous performance: Security leaders must evolve how they detect, defend and recover from threats in the face of unprecedented demands.

“As organisations stabilise their current operations, security leaders can put the right controls in place to create a safe and secure working environment to achieve business continuity for their enterprise,” commented Accenture.

Highlighted in the report are the four elements of adaptive security which organisations should apply. They include:

  1. Secure mindset – Prioritise the human factor. Security leaders should focus on the health and well-being of the workforce
  2. Secure network access – protect the company infrastructure
  3. Secure work environments – with remote workforces shift the security focus from an enterprise infrastructure to a virtual and cloud environment
  4. Secure collaboration – provide the tools and teams to tackle risk

“The use of a zero-trust framework for authentication helps to protect remote access using strong authentication,” comments Accenture.

Five-point plan for secure practices:

Think "anytime, anywhere"
Secure all users, devices, and network traffic consistently with the same degree of effectiveness, regardless of where they are based. 

Be transparent
Give users access to what they need when they need it. 

Bring calm and confidence
Security leaders can be the catalyst for change, using empathy and compassion to deliver a more agile response. 

Where possible, simplify
Consider managed services and automate where it makes sense. Security event response, tool deployment, and rule management can benefit from limited human intervention.

Build for resilience
As organisations look to emerge stronger, business continuity and crisis management plans must be fit for purpose. Engage with business leaders to plan for cybersecurity resilience, backed by the right resources and investments.

Accenture believes a multi-dimensional crisis management strategy, with many work streams and teams that collaborate closely is the answer to security resilience.

For more information on business topics in Europe, Middle East and Africa please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief EMEA.

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Jun 18, 2021

GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud

GfK
VMware
3 min
VMware has been walking GfK along its path through digital transformation to the cloud for over a decade.

GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.  

In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade. 

“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.

Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.

By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.

One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.

“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.

Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs. 

“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.

The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment. 

The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.

One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.

“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.

“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client. 

“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”

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