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Protecting your valuable data becomes even more important as business innovation increases your competitive advantage. Ever-eager cybercriminals are ready to exploit any new opportunities, including those resulting from your gains. To help defend your successes, AT&T recommends a strategic mix of innovative technologies and proven basic processes.

Identity & access management: With identity and access management systems, people and devices accessing your networks can be verified and authorization levels set for each.

  • Security teams can manage the people and devices that can access data based on a number of variables.
  • A new generation of software-defined perimeters holds promise to strengthen identity access and management by restricting remote access to authorized users of IoT or other devices.

Threat analytics: Advanced threat analytics systems flag behavioral changes in devices, services, and users accessing systems or applications on the network.

  • Abnormal changes in data traffic patterns act as early indicators that a botnet, for example, has hijacked devices to launch a DDoS attack. Armed with this information, threat analytics programs can alert security teams or automatically respond to the threat.
  • By relying on automated responses to evaluate and react to threats, your security analysts are freed to concentrate on other security demands.

Virtualized security: An offshoot of network virtualization, software-defined security allows you to follow and protect your data — onsite as well as in private and public clouds.

  • Not only does virtualization save physical space, it also helps keep your cyberdefense technology current through regular software updates.
  • Virtualized security provides the added flexibility to scale, depending on how much security functionality it needs.

Incident response: An incident response plan includes a detailed and comprehensive playbook that spells out the participants, processes, and lines of reporting that come into play should a serious cyberbreach occur. (For more on this topic, read The CEO’s Guide to Incident Response.)

  • Regular testing of an incident response plan helps ensure that your team knows their responsibilities and confirms that the plan is up to date.
  • Standardized procedures enable quick reaction times when a breach is detected and mitigate damages from the attack.

The ongoing digitization of your organization creates many opportunities for innovation — and new openings for cyberattack. To sustain the competitive advantage resulting from your innovations, you must be able to protect your valuable data. Cybersecurity’s evolution will help you in working to protect the data that is critical to the success and growth of your business.

Innovation is essential to success. At AT&T, we believe cybersecurity innovation is essential to sustained success.

Endnotes and sources

  1. Morgan, S., Hackerpocalypse: A Cybercrime Revelation, (2016).
  2. Skycure. Mobile Threat Intelligence Report, Q1 2016.
  3. CIO/Computerworld. C-Suite 360 Special Report, IT Security’s Looming Tipping Point. (2016, Fall).
  4. IDG Enterprise. 2016 IDG Enterprise Cloud Computing Survey. (2016, Nov. 1).
  5. The Zettabyte Era—Trends and Analysis. (2016, June 2).
  6. Zetter, K., The Ukrainian Power Grid was Hacked Again. (2017, Jan. 10).
  7. Kan, M., Android Malware Steals Access to More Than 1 Million Google Accounts. (2016, Nov. 30).
  8. Skycure Mobile Threat Intelligence, Q1 2016.
  9. Coles, C., Only 9.4% of Cloud Providers Are Encrypting Data at Rest. (2015, July 16).
  10. Skyhigh Networks. Cloud Adoption & Risk Report. (2016, Q4).
  11. Gartner Says 6.4 Billion Connected “Things” Will Be in Use in 2016, Up 30 Percent From 2015. (2015, Nov. 10).
  12. The Zettabyte Era—Trends and Analysis. (2016, June 2).
  13. IDC. IDC Forecasts Worldwide Shipments of Wearables to Surpass 200 Million in 2019, Driven by Strong Smartwatch Growth (Press release). (2015, Dec. 15).
  14. Gartner’s Top 10 Security Predictions 2016. (2016, June 15).
  15. Palmer, D., The First Big Internet of Things Security Breach is Just Around the Corner. (2016, July 1).
  16. Linthicum, D., The 2016 State of IoT Standards. (2016, Sept. 14).
  17. Varun, K., Telephone interview with Dwight Davis, Nov. 4, 2016.
  18. Skycure Mobile Threat Intelligence Group. Unpublished threat data (2016, Nov.)
  19. Skycure. Mobile Threat Intelligence Report, Q2 2016.
  20. Britton, J., Mobile Threats and Where We Are Today. (paper presented at the 18th Annual AT&T Cybersecurity Conference, October 24-25, 2016).
  21. Skyhigh Networks. New Skyhigh Networks Cloud Security Report Finds Growing Risk to Critical Business Data in the Cloud. (Press release). (2016, Nov. 17).