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Tech Ascension Award Winner Q&A: Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass

Bitglass, the Total Cloud Security company, was recently named Best Cloud Security Solution by the 2020 Tech Ascension Awards. We sat down with Anurag Kahol, CTO of Bitglass to discuss the current state of cloud security during COVID-19, the challenges enterprises are facing today, and how SASE is emerging as a new, powerful platform to consider.

How have the security needs of organizations changed, especially with rapid shifts to remote work amid COVID-19?

The security needs of modern organizations are changing. Data, applications, and infrastructure have been moving off-premises at an ever-increasing rate, while remote and personal devices are being granted unprecedented access to corporate IT systems both in the cloud and on-premises.

As data moves off-premises and beyond the reach of conventional tools like firewalls, the enterprise needs to think differently to identify how best to secure it. With the proliferation of cloud computing, mobile devices, and remote work, security must be delivered for and from the cloud. A modern security platform must enable secure access to web, cloud, and on-premises resources, block rampant threats like malware, prohibit data leakage, and enable adherence to compliance frameworks.

What are the challenges in securing data in today’s cloud-first world?

Data is being stored in more cloud apps and accessed by more devices than ever before, increasing the size of the attack surface. Furthermore, there is a significant gap between the adoption of cloud-based tools and the adoption of cloud security technologies. In fact, 86% of organizations have deployed at least one cloud app, but only 34% have implemented single sign-on (SSO), a basic yet critically important cloud security tool.

Cloud applications typically provide native security functionality to enable some degree of visibility and control over data at rest. However, an application’s natively configured functionality provides security in a “one-off” fashion only for the app itself. As IT departments are faced with dozens of disjointed cloud apps, managing them each individually becomes a massive, time-consuming endeavor. Additionally, applications provide limited and disparate levels of protection. As a result, organizations that rely solely upon apps’ native security features are more susceptible to threats such as malware and data leakage. When cloud applications are combined with unsecured web traffic and remote access to on-premises resources, the picture becomes even more complicated from a security perspective.

What is SASE, and what problems does it solve?

Secure access services edge (SASE) is a comprehensive cloud security platform that integrates cloud access security broker (CASB), zero trust network access (ZTNA), and secure web gateway (SWG) technologies into a single, flexible offering designed to defend data wherever it goes.

While cloud, bring your own device (BYOD), and SASE were on the rise before COVID-19, the pandemic spurred organizations across the globe to quickly shift to remote work, creating a greater sense of urgency for security on any interaction, anywhere. SASE platforms allow enterprises to extend consistent security to all enterprise resources from a single control point. This enables the corporate security team to configure a single set of data and threat protection policies on a single dashboard to secure managed SaaS and IaaS, web destinations and shadow IT, and on-premises resources--without the need for virtual private networks (VPNs). In other words, SASE replaces multiple disjointed point products, and provides the comprehensive security needed for a remote workforce in a cloud-first world.

What features are unique to Bitglass’ SASE offering?

The Bitglass SASE is a security platform for digital transformation, delivering scalability, high availability, high performance, and cost savings. Legacy network security architectures built around on-premises, static appliances cannot support the evolving demands of cloud and mobile.

Bitglass’ SASE is built on a fabric deployed globally on the public cloud, at more than 200 points of presence. The Bitglass Polyscale Architecture automatically scales with load to maximize performance and uptime. With this architecture, each component is stateless, multi-tenant and can handle any application. Bitglass has delivered 99.99% uptime since 2014 as measured and published independently by SolarWinds/Pingdom. Additionally, users report faster access to critical business applications via the Bitglass proxy.

Where can readers find out more about Bitglass' SASE solution?

Bitglass’ SASE enables customers to achieve consistent, real-time data and threat protection across the dynamic enterprise cloud footprint. To learn more about Bitglass’ SASE, please visit the website here or here, or request a free product trial


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