The Future of Cloud-Native Data Security: A Look at Laminar’s New Capabilities

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Recently, we sat down with Andy Smith, Chief Marketing Officer at Laminar, a leading agile data security platform provider, for an in-depth discussion on the current landscape of data security in the cloud and how Laminar is forging new paths in this increasingly complex domain.

Smith’s valuable insights, combined with Laminar’s recent announcement of new capabilities to its Data Security Platform, provide a comprehensive perspective on how companies can effectively navigate their cloud data security journey.

The Evolving Cybersecurity Challenge

Smith outlined the pressing challenges that companies face today: “Cyber threats are continuously evolving. The static data security methods that were previously considered effective are no longer sufficient in this dynamic environment.” In his view, the growing divergence between the innovation in cloud operations and lagging data security measures have become increasingly concerning. This “security execution gap”, as he called it, results in a risk environment where traditional security measures often fall short, as the volume of cloud data grows so does the risk to the business. What’s needed is to decouple data growth from data risk, Smith explained.

The rapid growth of cloud operations has introduced a variety of complex threats to data security. Here are some specific examples that illustrate the pressing need for robust and agile data security measures:

  • Shadow Data: As developers and data scientists innovate with data it proliferates in the cloud like never before. Data stores are created, copied and shared in just a few clicks and all without the knowledge or oversight of security or IT. The result is “shadow data” that is often under-protected and not monitored.
  • Unauthorized Access: As more data is stored in the cloud, the risk of unauthorized access increases. This can occur through weak credentials, phishing attacks, or a lack of multi-factor authentication. Without proper security measures, unauthorized individuals could gain access to sensitive information.
  • Misconfigured Cloud Storage: Improper configuration of cloud storage buckets can lead to unintended public access to sensitive data. This commonly happens due to the complexity of cloud settings and a lack of understanding about default configurations.
  • Compromised API Keys: APIs are commonly used in cloud services to integrate with other applications. However, if API keys are not properly secured, they can become a potential point of entry for cybercriminals.
  • Shadow IT: This refers to cloud services or SaaS applications used by employees without the knowledge or approval of IT departments. Shadow IT can lead to significant data leaks since these applications may not adhere to the company’s security policies.
  • Insider Threats: Whether unintentional or malicious, insiders pose a significant threat to cloud data. This could be a disgruntled employee, or simply someone who accidentally shares sensitive information.
  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): These are sophisticated, stealthy threats where an unauthorized user gains access to a network and stays undetected for a long period. These attackers typically have a specific target, exfiltrate data slowly to remain under the radar, and can cause significant damage.

These examples show that cloud operations and security tools must evolve hand-in-hand to effectively protect against the dynamic nature of cloud data threats.

Introducing Laminar’s Comprehensive Data Security Solution

Laminar made a strategic move to bridge this gap by introducing two new features to its comprehensive Data Security Platform: Data Access Governance (DAG) and Data Detection and Response (DDR). With these additions, the Laminar Data Security Platform can now deliver complete identify, protect, detect, and respond capabilities for multi-cloud and SaaS data security.

Smith elaborated, “The new features help to reduce exposure and damage from data leaks by controlling user and machine access to sensitive data, ensuring the principle of least privilege is upheld. In addition, we’ve introduced a refined alert system that notifies security teams when data breaches and other anomalies occur. This allows data security professionals to quickly contain any active threats, thereby minimizing the potential damage to businesses.”

The platform integrates five critical data security functions: data discovery and classification, data security posture management (DSPM), data access governance (DAG), data detection and response (DDR), and privacy & compliance. This combination of capabilities sets Laminar apart as the only data security provider to offer such a comprehensive approach.

Advantages of the Laminar Solution

The advantages of Laminar’s solution are manifold. With DAG, companies can minimize the blast radius from data leaks by controlling access to sensitive data. DDR alerts on data breaches, and other anomalies in real-time, help to quickly contain threats and minimize potential damage.

Existing capabilities such as data landscape intelligence (derived from discovery and classification), DSPM, and privacy & compliance also contribute to a robust and comprehensive security system. By providing a holistic view of asset and data inventory and enforcing policies, the platform allows organizations to focus on the most critical aspects of their security posture.

As Smith pointedly noted, “The agile data security provided by Laminar starts with cloud-native data discovery and classification. We detect all known, and more importantly, unknown or ‘shadow’ data, helping organizations understand what data resides where, how sensitive the data is, and who or what has access to it.”

Key Best Practices for Achieving Agile Data Security in the Cloud

Smith’s advice to companies centers around being proactive and adopting a security-in-depth approach. He emphasized, “Security is not a one-off task. It’s an ongoing process that requires organizations to stay ahead of threats. This requires agility, and solutions like ours that provide a holistic approach to data security.”

Given the evolving and complex nature of the data landscape, companies need to adopt proactive, scalable, and comprehensive strategies. Let’s dive into some of the crucial best practices for ensuring data security in the cloud:

  • Embrace a Holistic View of Data Security: The key to data security lies in understanding the full extent of your data landscape. This involves maintaining an inventory of all your data assets, including known and unknown (or “shadow”) data, and understanding where they reside, who or what has access to them, and their sensitivity level.
  • Implement Agile Data Security Measures: Companies need to adopt agile data security solutions that automatically scale with business needs, thus ensuring that innovation is not hampered while maintaining robust security protocols.
  • Enforce Least Privilege Access: Control user and machine access to sensitive data by ensuring least privilege. This reduces exposure and minimizes the damage from potential data leaks.
  • Utilize Data Security Posture Management (DSPM): DSPM allows companies to enforce policies and safeguard sensitive data with risk-based prioritization, enabling a focus on what matters most.
  • Deploy Data Access Governance (DAG) and Data Detection & Response (DDR): These features help control access to sensitive data and enable quick detection and response to breaches and anomalies.
  • Ensure Privacy & Compliance: Align your data security practices with relevant regulations and standards. This helps streamline audits, avoid fines, and reduce audit costs.
  • Leverage Machine Learning and AI: Use advanced technologies to identify, protect, detect, and respond to threats. AI and machine learning can streamline and sharpen data classification and anomaly detection, making your data security more efficient and proactive.
  • Promote Continuous Learning and Improvement: Data security is not a one-time project, but an ongoing process. Invest in automation and regularly review and update your data security protocols to adapt to changing threats and business needs.

By adhering to these best practices, organizations can position themselves to better manage the growing complexity of cloud data security and to proactively address potential risks.

As for Laminar’s future plans, Smith indicated that the company intends to continue pushing the boundaries of data security. “Our focus is on creating the most agile and adaptive data security platform that not only meets, but anticipates, the needs of our clients. With our new DAG and DDR features, we believe we’ve set a new standard in the industry. However, we’re not stopping there.”

In closing, the complex landscape of digital threats requires robust, versatile, and agile responses. The principles we’ve discussed, along with the capabilities of comprehensive platforms like those of Laminar, provide a solid foundation for safeguarding cloud data. The challenge is to stay vigilant, keep learning, and adopt the right tools and strategies.

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