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QSC18 Takeaway: Complex Environments Demand Visibility and Real-Time Security

If there were two important takeaways from this year’s Qualys Security Conference year they would be how today’s complex hybrid environments are demanding security teams find ways to increase visibility into the state of their security posture and be able to quickly mitigate new risks as they arise.

With their respective keynotes, both CEO Philippe Courtot and Qualys chief product officer Sumedh Thakar showed just how sophisticated today’s environments have become. Today, all but the most straightforward environments consist of multiple cloud services, virtualized workloads, and traditional on-premises systems; and hundreds of application containers, microservices, and serverless functions.

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QSC18: API Security, Enabling Innovation Without Enabling Attacks and Data Breaches

Without APIs, it would be near impossible to see enterprises being able to digitally transform themselves. After all, APIs are the connective-tissue between applications and systems and they make the management, automation and consumption of technology possible at scale. APIs are what enable organizations to liberate data from their applications, improve integration, and standardize how claims and information is governed.

However, what about the associated API security risks? That’s the subject Gartner analyst Mark O’Neill tackled in his presentation, API Security: Enabling Innovation Without Enabling Attacks and Data Breaches at Qualys Security Conference 2018. O’Neill sees API vulnerabilities as a serious enterprise risk in the years ahead. In fact, by 2020, he predicts API abuses will be the most frequent attack vector that results in data breaches for enterprise web applications. “We see more and more APIs as a threat vector,” O’Neill said.

Attackers go after APIs, O’Neill said, because they’re a direct way to valuable data and enterprise resources. In addition to stealing data, APIs are also susceptible to other forms of attack, such a denial-of-service attacks, O’Neill said.

So what can organizations do to better secure their APIs and the resources and information they expose?

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QSC18 Day 1 Takeaway: Continuous Transformation Demands Continuous Security

The first day of Qualys Security Conference 2018 was a big one. Both CEO Philippe Courtot and Qualys chief product officer Sumedh Thakar detailed the challenges faced by many of today’s enterprises when it comes to the growth of cloud and the complexity of their hybrid environments. And they shared their visions of the road ahead on how enterprises can find ways to effectively manage their cloud environments and digital transformation efforts ahead.

A big theme of the day was how cloud security brings complexity and lack of visibility into modern environments.

Additionally, Qualys VP of engineering Dilip Bachwani provided a look at how the Qualys Cloud Platform is built to scale and perform; Jimmy Graham spoke on obtaining real-time vulnerability management, and attendees learned how to better secure their cloud deployments, containers, and web applications.

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QSC18: The Need for Security Visibility in the Age of Digital Transformation

Enterprises are moving full steam ahead when it comes to their digital transformation efforts. They’ve aggressively adopted cloud infrastructure and other cloud services, IoT, application containers, serverless functionality, and other technologies that are helping their organization to drive forward.

Those organizations that are way down the road in their digital transformation efforts say that they’ve witnessed improved business decision-making – both when it comes to making better decisions and when it comes to making those decisions more rapidly. They also say that they’ve improved their customer relationships by delivering an improved customer digital experience.

So it’s time to celebrate and declare digital victory, right?

Hold off before we book the band and order the champagne for the big party. In fact, those who want to move forward securely and confidently in their risk and regulatory compliance postures have some challenges ahead.

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Welcome to Qualys Security Conference 2018

The rise of cloud computing coupled with DevOps is forcing enterprises to rewrite their cybersecurity playbook, and part of that book will be written this week at Qualys Security Conference 2018 in Las Vegas.

Today, the dual cloud and DevOps mega-trends are helping companies to digitally transform how they build, deploy, and manage all aspects of their business. They’re delivering software and digital services more rapidly, able to respond with more agility to changing business and technological demands through the effective use of automation, machine learning, IoT, and the continuous delivery of new software services and features. This all comes at a price, however.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Vulnerability Risk Management

When vulnerability risk management is proactive, organizations don’t have to hurriedly react to attacks that exploit bugs for which patches are available, as happened with WannaCry. 

“The vast majority of WannaCry remediation took place as an emergency type process,” Jimmy Graham, a Qualys Director of Product Management, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

It’s key to have an integrated breach prevention program with asset inventory, vulnerability management, threat prioritization and patch management, he said

Graham also outlined how Qualys can help customers comprehensively and proactively manage their vulnerability risk.

Read on to learn more.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Global IT Asset Discovery, Inventory, and Management

Maintaining an IT asset inventory is essential for a strong security posture, but digital transformation has further complicated this already challenging task.

“The volume and variety of assets, including cloud, virtualization, mobility and IoT, is disrupting IT, and security takes center stage,” Pablo Quiroga, a Qualys Director of Product Management, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

Consequently, many security teams can’t definitively answer questions like: What are your IT assets? Where are they located? Who are their owners and users? How are assets related?

Having asset-inventory blind spots heightens security risks, which is why most regulations and standards highlight this practice. For instance, the Center for Internet Security’s Top 20 controls begin with inventory and control of hardware and software, because attackers constantly look to exploit vulnerable assets.

In his presentation, titled “Global IT Asset Discovery, Inventory, and Management,” Quiroga explained the importance of a complete and accurate inventory, and how Qualys can help. Read on to learn more.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition: Securing Hybrid IT Environments from Endpoints to Clouds

As organizations embrace digital transformation to boost business processes, traditional IT environments get altered, becoming distributed, elastic and hybrid.  “That’s creating a new challenge for security,” Chris Carlson, Qualys’ Product Management VP, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

As elements like cloud services, mobility, IoT, and DevOps are incorporated into IT environments, security teams often struggle with asset visibility, credential issues, authentication failures, remote-user scanning, and scheduled scan ineffectiveness.

But these challenges also offer “an opportunity to redefine how security programs and controls are done,” he said during his presentation titled “Securing Hybrid IT Environments from Endpoints to Clouds.” 

Carlson went on to explain how organizations can secure digital transformation efforts with Qualys’ platform, and emphasized the benefits of Cloud Agent sensors. Read on to learn more.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition – Building Security In: The Qualys Cloud Platform and Architecture

Digital transformation, driven primarily by the DevOps movement, represents a new opportunity “to redo IT from scratch, but more importantly, to redo security from scratch,” Sumedh Thakar, Qualys’ Chief Product Officer, said during QSC18 Virtual Edition.

Specifically, organizations can organically build security into this new, hybrid IT infrastructure, instead of abruptly bolting it on as has been done traditionally — and ineffectively.  Meshing security in natively requires a unified security and compliance platform for detection, prevention and response.

Today, many organizations have a fragmented, siloed strategy that doesn’t provide the needed visibility because it’s based on accumulating point products that don’t scale, are costly to deploy and maintain, and complex to integrate.

“This is why security is so far behind,” Thakar said during his keynote.

“The effort and resistance that goes into putting together the information that’s required to make decisions is very costly, very time-consuming, and not accurate,” he added.

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QSC18 Virtual Edition – Securing our Networks and Enabling the Digital Transformation: One App at a Time

Qualys Chairman and CEO Philippe Courtot set the tone for the company’s first virtual conference, the QSC18 Virtual Edition, with a call to the industry to re-invent security to protect digital transformation efforts.

CIOs and CISOs can’t continue accumulating disparate, point solutions that are costly to manage, difficult to integrate, and ultimately ineffective at protecting hybrid IT environments. “The mission is for us together to stop bolting on security and compliance solutions, and start building them in,” he said during the opening keynote.

Digital transformation projects, built by DevOps teams and delivered via cloud services, web apps, and mobile computing, demand a recasting of security’s role. The traditional approach, in which security is an isolated element jammed in at the end of the software pipeline, erases the benefits of digital transformation by slowing it down. 

Qualys is uniquely able to help enterprises address these challenges, he said.

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