Interview: How Unified Network Security Can Help Break The Cybersecurity Complexity Paradox
Amit Bareket, CEO and Co-Founder at Perimeter81, discusses the cybersecurity complexity paradox and how implementing a holistic ZTNA solution can help organizations combat the security challenges associated with hybrid working.
Amit Bareket is the CEO and Co-Founder at Perimeter81. Having been operating in the IT and cybersecurity space for almost two decades, Bareket has extensive experience in system architecture and secure software development, with a focus on secure remote access. In 2017, Bareket co-founded Perimeter 81 as an answer to the challenge of securing and modernizing cloud-first, work-from-anywhere organizations.
To help businesses secure their networks and cloud infrastructures against today’s most prevalent threats, Perimeter81 offers a variety of solutions, including Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), which enables secure access to corporate applications for remote and hybrid users, based on the principles of least privilege and zero trust security.
At RSAC 2022, we spoke to Bareket to discuss the cybersecurity complexity paradox and the benefits of unified, holistic security, as well as how implementing a ZTNA solution can help organizations combat the security challenges associated with hybrid working.
Could you give us an introduction to Perimeter 81? What lead you to co-found the company, and what are your key use cases today?
We are a network and cyber security company with two hundred and fifty employees and over 2,400 business customers today,
What we are doing is basically building the new firewall. Today the internet is the new corporate network. Remote working is the default. Organizations are moving to the cloud, and it doesn’t make sense to consume security from an on-premises appliance that is protecting an empty office.
We recognized this shift in 2017, and this led us to build Perimeter 81, in order to help organizations move from a hardware-based and infrastructure-based corporate network to a solution that allows any business of any size, from small companies to larger ones, to achieve a secure corporate network over the internet, as a service.
Think about it like, instead of having your email server on site, you have it in Microsoft 365, which gives you everything you need. We’re doing the same with firewall, networking and security services.
Who are Perimeter 81’s typical customers and what are the main challenges that they are facing?
Our customers are typically mid-market companies. We’ve spent a ridiculous amount of engineering time to make our solutions simple and easy to use. And that drives great adoption with the first movers to the cloud and secure networking over the internet.
Our customers are anywhere between fifty to five thousand employees, this is our sweet spot. We allow them to easily integrate their existing hardware appliances, and move them into a much more modern environment, where their employees—regardless of where they open their computer; at home, in the office, while travelling—have the same security experience.
Why is it important for these organizations to implement a Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) solution?
It’s very important because, eventually, there is a mismatch between the security today that is on-premises focused, and the reality that your people are everywhere. Sitting here now at the RSA conference, we need the same level of security as in the office.
So, ZTNA is important to create an environment that provides security that fits in with that modern workforce. Instead of “site-centric security,” think about “people-centric security.”
What are the major security threats that you are seeing organizations facing today and how does your solution stop them?
It’s ransomware, it’s malware, it’s phishing attacks—the basic stuff. That’s one angle. The second angle is the risks that come from resources that are left open to the internet. Attackers can exploit this unprotected connection in order to break into an organization, where they can then gain access and execute ransomware, for example.
When it comes to stopping these threats, there are a few things to consider. One is education, which is very important. The problem is that today there is increased demand for security tools. Because of this increased demand, there are many more tools out there now, creating a level of fatigue, and organizations don’t know where to stop. This creates a paradox that we call the “cybersecurity complexity gap.”
So, our idea is to try and consolidate your network security to a single platform to increase impact and focus on the most important items.
And this is where Perimeter 81 comes in with our SASE (Secure Access Service Edge) solution. It’s a reconverging of security, which is focusing on the three main security use cases which are important to organizations.
One is around access and how to enable employees to access resources while making them unavailable to the public internet, to reduce the attack surface. The second is to protect employees while they are browsing the internet, to stop phishing attacks. And the third is that we also have the use case of interconnectivity, inter-branch connectivity.
But the first two in particular are critical in covering the threats that I mentioned.
Perimeter 81 offers edge, network and endpoint security, as well as zero-trust network access, all via one platform. What are some of the benefits of utilizing one holistic solution, rather than many separate ones?
As I mentioned, there is a cybersecurity complexity gap. You want to create a super simple solution, you want to reduce fatigue, and you want to have one place from which you can understand what’s happening.
It’s a bit like driving in your car. Imagine that in your car, instead of having one single dashboard, you have all these different metrics on different dashboard in different places. How can you deal with that?
You want one place so you can really drive and navigate your business into safeguards.
Finally, what is your advice to organizations struggling with the complexity of implementing strong security?
Rethink and readjust to the current reality. Modern work, remote work, and the cloud are here to stay. Is your current security posture going to operate towards that, or not?
If yes—okay, you’re on the right track. If not—let’s re-evaluate. It doesn’t make sense to consume security from on-premises firewalls anymore. Move to SASE and utilize us, Perimeter 81. We allow you to start very rapidly building your security corporate network.
It’s not an evolution, it’s a revolution of the way that companies are consuming cybersecurity, and the way in which we recommend companies to do so. Of course, it is step by step. It’s not all going to change in a day, but I believe it’s definitely something that’s happening today.
Thank you to Amit Bareket for taking part in this interview. You can find out more about Perimeter 81’s network security solutions via their website.
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