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FCW : June 30, 2016
agency with its Cloud Infrastructure and upgrade its IT environment to make Oracle’s database and middle- ware run at optimized levels, which the agency won’t get on any other hard- ware platform, not to mention a signifi- cant decrease in deployment time. The services approach to converged infrastructure can be likened to how IT delivered services to users before the cloud, such as separate network services, connectivity and mobility services, storage services and the like. This was mostly a manual effort. The various services were configured and delivered directly from the organiza- tion’s datacenter. Converged infrastructure services are focused on what’s needed to effectively modernize an IT environment, such as compute capacity, storage, data processing and analytics. “You don’t rely on purpose- built aspects of an environment anymore,” says Rubal. “Now you have to build enterprise environments that are able to serve up a wide set of services and capabilities.” DEALING WITH DATA The data analytics component is increasingly important when dealing with cybersecurity. Oracle’s converged infrastructure approach provides the types of services needed to handle both structured and un- structured data. That is important for any Big Data examination of security events, along with stream- ing data, and other different types of data services needed for comprehen- sive and holistic cybersecurity. It’s more important now than ever before to catch something like a mal- ware event or security breach when the event actually happens. Oracle’s goals is to create an IT environment where event data is served up as close to real-time as possible. That’s something where converged infra- structure—which operates across the full width of that IT environment— has the advantage. “It’s where converged infra- structure provides a set of high performance, optimized capabilities that you can’t get elsewhere, and intersects with the cybersecurity operations,” says Rubal. “We see this as something that a converged infrastruc- ture solution can work together with cybersecurity operations in an agency to meet its security objectives.” Government agencies produce and collect massive amounts of data. Now the goal is to generate as much value and learn from that data as much as possible. Those data repositories represent significant value, which changes the requirements of databas- es themselves. Now they need to link into business intelligence and other analytical systems to help agencies solve problems more efficiently and enhance their mission outcomes. And all that data needs to be secured; otherwise they’ll continue to be at risk from cyberattacks reminiscent of the OPM breach. In that sense, cybersecurity and data protection represent another workload for converged infrastructure. However, given the increasing priority and requirements for data protection, they are also the most important. An Understanding of Infrastructure’s Impact on Cybersecurity How long will it take for government to effectively use converged infrastructure to help with their data security? The first part is an understanding of the importance of infrastructure overall to data security. “I don’t think agencies fully do,” says Oracle’s David Rubal. “At least not to the point where they understand the data management aspects of security, and how that relates to the kind of defense-in-depth that NIST advocates.” According to the recently released “The State of Cybersecurity from the Federal Cyber Executive Perspective” report by KPMG and the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, 59 percent of federal workers say their agencies struggle to understand how cyberattackers could potentially breach their systems, while 40 percent even revealed they were unaware where their key assets were located. Surprisingly, about 65 percent said the federal government as a whole can’t detect ongoing cyberattacks. Clearly, further education is required. “Deploying the NIST Cybersecurity Framework creates on a heavy dependency around data security within the IT infrastructure”, he says. That means there is also a much higher level of reliance on the services an infrastructure can provide to achieve cybersecurity operational objectives. That won’t necessarily be intuitive for most agency IT and security executives, he feels. “I don’t think they understand all of the dependencies involved,” he says. “A cyber event as it is happening is both a data-driven and an analytical services event.” There may be a lack of recognition on the need to keep building the infrastructure to attain better reach and visibility into what’s happening. The data-driven converged infrastructure will provide that information on a real-time basis. “Agencies may have a grasp that an approach like this is needed, but I don’t think they understand what the key components fully entail,” he says. For more information, please visit www.oracle.com Sponsored Content CYBERSECURITY THE ROLE OF THE CONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE
June 15, 2016
July 15, 2016