Enterprises Need Security That Travels With Them: Scott Robertson, VP-APJ At Zscaler

Today’s workforce works unconventionally. It is always out on the road, traveling, visiting clients, prospects, and customers. That results into the employee going out of the network with all of his applications moving out of his company's network as he accesses them on the Internet.

Now how do you secure a network you don't trust? 

The answer lies in pushing the security around the user so he is secure even before landing on the Internet. To understand that the end user is the weakest link, means to protect the end user when he is outside of his office.

A cloud security platform, Zscaler, transforms enterprises’ perimeter security which is traditionally built around the network and delivered through a stack of network security appliances. The security platform effectively takes that stack and builds it as a cloud service that sits around the internet. This solution is delivered through a network of over 100 data centers across the planet. Zscaler’s data centers deliver cloud security for all of its customers which means as a user with a particular company, you can travel around the world or move from one destination to another and all of your security will travel along with you so that whenever you connect to the Internet you are routed through one of the Zscaler nodes or data centers. 

Scott Robertson, Vice President for Asia pacific at Zscaler, in a conversation with Sarabjeet Kaur at BW CIOWORLD, talks about how the company's security policies are enforced so that a user can only go to the websites that are approved and the internet traffic is inspected for viruses or malware while nothing effectively good goes out and nothing bad comes into the system. 

Looking back a decade to 15 years ago, one would feel safe by using antivirus. Now, on the other hand, antivirus is not enough, it is in fact, ineffective with the types of malware attacking organizations at present. Organizations need to have real world immediate responses to zero day attacks since the traditionally called signature based security can often take weeks, if not months before the vulnerability is actually patched. That is why cloud platform security is not only a philosophical change in the way it approaches security by putting the perimeter around the user rather than the network, but it also allows to apply patches to cloud at an incredibly fast rate. 

According to Scott, “We update our cloud with 120,000 security updates every day whereas an enterprise could take weeks to apply a patch. We write a fix and we apply it to our cloud in real time. That means every single user going through our cloud is now protected against new threats, which means all of our customers get the same level of security and enhancements.” 

Recent Security Breaches

We have seen in the recent past that the scale of some of the data breaches reported is staggering which makes it even more important to look at how security breaches occur. Reports have revealed that organizations are being attacked at the end point and we will continue to see these types of data breaches as it is a fact that organizations often lag the market in terms of adopting best practices for security. It's a sad thing that sometimes these big events have to occur before organizations react and start to invest in security.

About dealing with the recent security breaches, Scott added, “Once a user is out of the network, roaming in a hotel or at a coffee shop, that is where the weakest link is because he is not protected by his network and is out in someone else's untrusted network. To understand that the end user is the weakest link means that we have to protect the end user when they are outside of their office. And that is exactly where the vision for Zscaler came from-to build a policy based security which travels with you.”

Zscaler’s Technology

Zscaler ensures that when a user wants to access internet, he is only connecting to the websites that are typically allowed by doing a full content scan to make sure that the website is secure and the user is not getting infected when they access the web. That is called the secure web gateway layer. “We then do next generation firewall where we ensure that all ports and protocols are protected when its users are going out to the Internet. We also provide advanced threat protection to ensure that we can push off into a sandbox and detonate to try and understand what this new threat is before it actually attacks the user. We provide data leakage prevention, which in this case would ensure that we can identify when certain bits of information are being pushed out of our network and stop that from happening.” he adds.

India Operations

Zscaler built two data centers in India to ensure all of its Indian customers have full redundancy and full failover in the country. Zscaler’s heritage is also Indian, “Our founders- our chief strategy officer, the head of our global networks have a long history with the Indian market, have studied at prestigious IITs. We have about 350-400 people in our Chandigarh and Bangalore offices. From a field point of view, we also have teams in North India, West India and South India. So we continue to make significant investments in the Indian market in a response to the demand that we see.” said Scott.

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