The upcoming Gartner IT Security and Risk Management Summit promises many thought-provoking exchanges about the security challenges facing the enterprise today. As a Silver Sponsor, we’re looking forward to it.

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State of the art infrastructure security, ca. 1164 AD

At the Summit, CenturyLink will be discussing ways you can “spend smarter on IT security.”  And yes, you can. It’s likethose V-8 commercials where a guy gets whacked in the head and told, “Could’ve had a V-8!”  Yet, spending smarter on IT security today doesn’t mean you were being reckless about it until now. Nothing could be further from the truth.

IT security exists at the intersection of knowledge, practices and money. At any given moment in time, there will be an optimal way to spend money to achieve IT security using the knowledge and best practices available to you. The parameters never stand still. Consider the castle shown in the figure. That moat represents the state of the art in infrastructure security 900 years ago. You don’t see too many moats today, except at miniature golf courses. Your IT protection needs aren’t the same as they were a few years ago, either. You were spending smart at that time, but there is definitely an opportunity to spend smarter in confronting today’s security challenges.

One of the reasons you were smart last year but can still be smarter now is that risk management challenges are constantly shifting. Securing your organization’s systems, data and business-critical processes has grown harder, mostly due to hyper-connectivity – the cloud, BYOD and of course the IoT.  There are likely more people and entities connected to your IT assets than ever before. As a result of the “digital enterprise” people and devices are connecting with devices and APIs that didn’t even exist a few years ago.

Meanwhile, the threat environment grows more ominous as the cost of security incidents climbs in parallel. A data loss is projected to increase by 4X by 2019. It’s become a career issue at this point. People are starting to lose their jobs when security controls fail. At the very least, a lot of smart people spend their days in “firefighter” mode, which is not much fun. When you’re fighting security fires, you aren’t being your most productive or offering the business the kind of IT leadership it needs.

If you’re like most enterprises, you are probably spending more than ever on security-related hardware and software, but you may be finding that the security investments – and priorities – of previous years no longer apply. Yet, budget pressures continue. You only have so much staff and resources.

So, what does it mean to spend smarter today?  The interesting reality is that many of the most effective preventative measures are not very costly. Given that the top 10 security vulnerabilities account for about 85% of successful exploit traffic,[1] tackling fundamental risk exposure leads to the best security impact per dollar invested.

CenturyLink lives in this world. We contribute to the NIST cybersecurity framework. We have honed our approach to smart IT security spending by supporting over 1500 clients. CenturyLink is an advisor to the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense (DOD), Department of Justice (DOJ), the Cybersecurity Council and multiple federal agencies. CenturyLink deploys more than 51% of the Managed Trusted Internet Protocol (MTIPS) ports for the Federal Government.

This experience has shown us that a unified system of security services from a single partner can make a big difference in risk mitigation cost overall. Too many point solutions diffuse the focus and economics you need to spend smart on IT security. The CenturyLink approach to security and IT resiliency covers all layers of the IT stack. Our services were built using our own approach to securing our 550,000 fiber route mile global network, products and services. We provide practical, economical solutions to the real threats of today while preparing you for the future with advanced capabilities:

  • Modular services that integrate easily into your current security framework, allowing you to leverage existing technology investment and get more value out of your tools.
  • Synergy with the CenturyLink® MPLS Network offerings, colocation, managed hosting and cloud services.
  • Unique IP that automates the integration of the security ecosystem, creating a seamless user experience and reducing staff labor.
  • An advanced dashboard that provides actionable trending, analytics and visualization so you can assess how secure and compliant your company is at any given time, in real-time.
  • Robust reporting to support transparency for auditors and the Board of Directors.
  • Deep threat intelligence derived from proprietary and commercial sources – creating a holistic threat picture. Sources include traffic analysis of 20% of the world’s Internet traffic that is carried on the CenturyLink network, critical infrastructure protection services offered to thousands of CenturyLink enterprise clients and analysis of our own corporate network traffic.
  • Consulting experts that can first assess your risk to determine priorities and strategy.

There is so much to discuss, so we hope you’ll come see us at the Gartner IT Security and Risk Management Summit in National Harbor, Maryland from June 13th to the 16th. We’ll be at Booth #1101. If you like, you can schedule a one on one meeting at your convenience? with our IT security executive team. Do so in advance by registering here. If you haven’t registered to attend the event yet, use this exclusive promo code SECSP182 to get $200 off of your full event pass.

[1] Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Investigations Report.

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