How Trust and Security in the Enterprise Have Evolved in 40 Years

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2016-07-26
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    How Trust and Security in the Enterprise Have Evolved in 40 Years
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    How Trust and Security in the Enterprise Have Evolved in 40 Years

    As new technologies and movements have been introduced, security in the enterprise has changed—and that will continue into the future.
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    The Dark Ages of Security
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    The Dark Ages of Security

    Even before computers, enterprises had assets to protect, some of them intangible such as intellectual property. Security and controls often evolved from the financial side of the business, and many of those controls are still relevant today. These include, for example, physical security measures, careful personnel vetting and dual control for highly valuable assets.
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    The Dawn of the Mainframe
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    The Dawn of the Mainframe

    Early business computer systems ran batch jobs, typically on mainframe computers. All the computing assets were usually together in a single place—generally a "computer room" before we started calling them "data centers." Largely, the same types of controls were still applicable: secure the people, the room and the physical objects going in and out (tapes, card decks, printouts).
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    The Introduction of the Perimeter
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    The Introduction of the Perimeter

    Time-sharing came along and, later, client/server computing. Users no longer had to be in the computer room; the systems could be accessed from anywhere. Perimeter security was introduced with protocols such as RADIUS combined with traditional data center controls; encryption was used to protect data for things such as payment card PINs and communication lines.
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    The Internet Creates New Vulnerabilities
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    The Internet Creates New Vulnerabilities

    The Internet arrived in 1994, and with it perimeter security came into its own. Firewalls provided the network equivalent of the guard at the data center door, virtual private networks (VPNs) allowed the data center to be virtually extended, and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) was created to provide a standard for secure communication and a universal trust model. Additionally, online access became increasingly important as a channel for securing and conducting business, not just internal employee access. But new attacks and weaknesses emerged as well. All those endpoints became new attack points.
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    Security Follows the Cloud
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    Security Follows the Cloud

    Cloud computing emerged, and with it assets moved out of physical control of enterprise IT and into data centers, where they were mixed with those of competitors. Security of those assets depended on the cloud vendors. Identity became key to security and an attack point, through identity theft. Weaknesses were aggravated by the rise of consumer Internet usage (especially social media), enabling sophisticated attacks such as spear-phishing. As a result, ID federation was developed as a way to help manage large numbers of identities for users and to establish identity trust models between systems.
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    BYOD Exposes Mobile Security Challenges for Business
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    BYOD Exposes Mobile Security Challenges for Business

    Mobile phones evolved into smartphones, used for more than calls and texts. This resulted in an explosive burst in the number and types of endpoints. "Bring your own device" (BYOD) complicated the problem of securing these devices for enterprise IT (by increasing complexity while reducing control), and WiFi and cellular networks introduced new attack vectors. Encryption and identity became more important than ever, as well as improvements in mobile device security.
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    Security Evolves Along With New Application Architectures
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    Security Evolves Along With New Application Architectures

    Application architectures evolved as virtualization developed. Virtual machines allowed for better utilization, isolation and management of server resources. Now containerization and microservices are a new approach for development, especially under continuous integration/continuous deployment. The application itself might be distributed, using smaller units of computing that can run anywhere and have a limited lifetime. As a result, security needs to evolve as well to focus on the workload, not just the infrastructure and people.
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    Introducing the Internet of Trusted Things
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    Introducing the Internet of Trusted Things

    What's next? The Internet of things (IoT) will cause another exponential leap in the number of networked devices, while adding new complications and threats. Application development will continue to move toward smaller, more ethereal units with event-driven computing. Massive scale in computing power and data storage will become routinely available, introducing both new threats as well as tools to help fight them. The race will continue, with the defenders continuously raising the bar as the attackers find new ways to jump higher.
 

Mainframe computers, personal computers, client/server systems, the Internet, mobile computing, cloud, multicloud, Internet of things (IoT): Information technology never stops evolving. Also evolving are our beliefs about trust and security and how we implement them to keep our connected world safe and secure. When PCs began selling worldwide in the early 1980s, security was not considered a fundamental component in any system that wasn't for military, government or scientific use. With the coming of the Internet in the early '90s, however, all of that changed very quickly; connected systems for businesses and consumers suddenly offered ample opportunities for bad actors to defraud others. We now know there are plenty of bad guys doing this. Now in 2016, we must constantly bolster and upgrade the security on our devices and systems to steer clear of those criminals. In this eWEEK slide show, Jim Reno, chief architect for security at Apcera, discusses how security in the enterprise has changed as new technologies and movements have been introduced, and what we can expect to see in the future.

 
 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 

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