Objects in Mirror are Closer Than They Appear
I remember as a child being fascinated by that phrase etched into the car mirror. It is a phrase that still fascinates me today. Do people really need help understanding things like that?
Well, people get busy, some don’t reflect (no pun intended). If you are in IT, there is never a shortage of firedrills, panics and distractions. Oops, cloud marketing automation provider forgot to renew DNS. Oops, backups seem to be working fine, restores however are not. Oops, just got an alert, server room is at 92 degrees and rising.
There are a couple fairly large objects in that mirror right now that are worth a couple cycles of consideration, especially if they are not yet on your radar. GDPR and TLS 1.3.
GDPR first. Long and short of it is that if you are in the European Union, either located there or doing business there, by May 2018 your data at rest and your data in motion will have to comply with various EU GDPR rules. Rules around handling PII (personally identifiable information) and the need to mask not only things like financial information or Social Security numbers will certainly make an impact. More on GDPR is available here in our GDPR At a Glance as well as in our GDPR FAQ.
TLS 1.3. The fundamental challenge is that SSL, the same encryption that makes online banking and e-commerce relatively safe, can also be used for darker purposes, like hiding malware and other bad guy activity from security tools. Indeed, Gartner estimates 50% of all attacks will use some form of SSL this year. Ephemeral key, aka ECDHE, will be increasingly favored for encryption by newer versions of SSL including the upcoming TLS 1.3.
One thing to keep in mind is that as TLS 1.3 starts to roll out, unless you take active steps to cope with it, you are going to start developing blind spots in your security fabric. You can think of it as something like macular degeneration, but for your network. That said, there are ways of dealing with this including Ixia Active SSL which can help with SSL visibility challenge in general and TLS 1.3 in specific.
For those in the world of IT (many others as well, I suppose) it is easy to get sucked into a reactive mode where you spend much of the week lurching and staggering from one fire to another. Sure, a lot of this is unavoidable, but you probably want to take a few cycles to look at the road ahead and at least make sure your teams do spend some time on forward looking considerations such as GDPR and TLS 1.3. Don’t want any blindspots looking in that mirror ;-)