zero trust xdr

Zero Trust, XDR, and digital transformation: Interview with Fleming Shi

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For anyone involved in tech and security, it’s hard to avoid a blizzard of messaging and advertising around Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR). But it can be remarkably difficult to understand exactly what a given vendor is offering under those rubrics — and even harder to get a solid grasp on what your specific organization should be doing to implement them effectively.

At last June’s RSA Conference 2022, Barracuda CTO Fleming Shi sat down with Matt Alderman, VP of Product and Living Security to discuss these and other topics for SC Media’s Security Weekly, and it’s an eye-opening conversation, packing a lot of info into just over 15 minutes. You can watch it here.

What a difference a pandemic makes

The discussion opens with Fleming remarking on how great it is to be attending a live, in-person industry event after two-plus years of pandemic restrictions and virtual conferences — which leads into comments about how the pandemic both accelerated certain aspects of digital transformation and altered its trajectory, due to the sudden shift to universal remote work.

Where the focus had previously been on the rapid development of SaaS and cloud-native services, the pandemic-altered work environment drove a shift of focus to concentrate on Zero Trust technologies, as companies needed new and better ways to strictly control remote access to online data and resources by edge devices. Barracuda CloudGen Access was already a priority, but the sudden jump in demand meant that Barracuda — and the rest of the industry — really “put our foot on the accelerator.”

The XDR challenge

Matt also asks Fleming about the plethora of XDR offerings on the market, how Barracuda approaches that technology, and how buyers can figure out what’s right for them. As Fleming explains, modern cyberthreats have become so sophisticated and amorphous that XDR is critical to effectively securing against them. But it’s a complex set of processes and technologies — one that requires resources and expertise that only very large companies can afford to host in-house.

Because of this, as Fleming explains, Barracuda has focused on developing and offering managed XDR as an outsourced Security Operations Center (SOC) that delivers enterprise-worthy levels of security and response to organizations for whom the cost of doing so in-house would be prohibitive. And he goes on to explain that it’s critical to adopt an Open XDR model that can ingest data from, and interact with, a wide variety of security products from multiple vendors — because, much as we might wish for customers to use Barracuda products exclusively, the reality is that most companies source from a mix of vendors, limiting the value of vendor-specific XDR solutions.

Lots to learn

There’s a lot more information and insight to gain from this timely interview — such as the importance of analyzing all your data to determine security priorities (a process that can be automated using Barracuda Data Inspector). So go ahead and watch the whole exchange to get all the details straight from the CTO’s mouth.

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