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Essays from 7 Experts on Moving to a Cloud-Based Endpoint Security Platform

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sean_blanton
February 6, 2018 / Sean Blanton

Carbon Black recently published a series of essays about the experiences of experts in the field on information security as they moved their endpoint security program to the cloud; this is one of those essays. To read the full series check out 7 Experts on Moving to a Cloud-Based Endpoint Security Platform.


A Good Endpoint Security Strategy Focuses on Data Usage

Elliott Breukelman, Senior Information Security Engineer, Land O’Lakes, Inc

Although Land O’Lakes, Inc. already had an endpoint-security strategy in place when Elliott Breukelman joined the company as a senior information security engineer, one of his roles has been to help mature that strategy. Land O’Lakes operates a farm-to-fork business model, which means it manages a complex supply chain that includes farmers, feed suppliers, processors and distributors, transport logistics, and retailers. Its IT infrastructure plays a key role in tying these pieces together, and securing that infrastructure is critical to sustaining business operations.

“We have a cloud-first strategy,” says Breukelman. “As more of our IT resources shift to the cloud, and more workers become mobile, the importance of endpoint security increases.” He points out that endpoint security is one of the hottest topics in today’s security discussions, largely because security challenges are rapidly evolving even if the basics of network technology, such as routers and switches and the way networks work, have not changed as much. With many business activities moving into the cloud and onto mobile devices, that’s where you find the new security challenges.

Deciding when it’s time to focus more resources on securing endpoints varies from one business to another, and it depends on what kind of data the business handles and where that data is located. “We are not a highly regulated industry like banking or healthcare, so we don’t have those kinds of compliance requirements,” Breukelman notes. With business operations in all 50 states and overseas too, Land O’Lakes employees are highly mobile. “Everybody has a laptop they can take home or use to work wherever they need to,” he adds.

 

  • As more of our IT resources shift to the cloud, and more workers become mobile, the importance of endpoint security increases.

 

According to Breukelman, designing an endpoint-security strategy involves assessing risk associated with the value of your business data and where it is located, and balancing that against the amount of mobile access to that data. You also need to look at past incident data. “We monitor how data flows, the number of attacks mitigated every month, and how many require manual intervention,” he says. These metrics not only provide insights into the need for stronger endpoint security, they also tell you if your endpoint strategy is working. “If we can see we got hit by a form of ransomware and our endpoint solution successfully mitigated that attack without us having to do anything, that’s a good sign,” he says.

From Breukelman’s perspective, building out an endpoint-security strategy does not require a wholesale change in an existing security practice. “The prevention piece is still very important, but now we’re adding a layer that allows you to correct an issue once it’s there,” he concludes. “I think most businesses see that as an increasingly important piece too. Being able to remotely execute commands and prevent lateral movement with a response tool, that’s going to be huge.”

KEY POINTS

  • Deciding on endpoint security involves assessing risk based on the value of your business data, where it is located, and the amount of mobile access to that data.
  • Endpoint security adds a new layer of protection that does not require a wholesale change in an existing security practice.

 

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

Elliott Breukelman

Senior Information Security Engineer
Land O’Lakes, Inc

Elliott Breukelman is an information security engineer with several years of experience in the field under various organizations. Currently, he is responsible for engineering endpoint security at Land O’Lakes, Inc. in Arden Hills, MN. With 10,000 employees across 50 states and more than 50 countries, the company has a unique security footprint in an ever-changing technology landscape. Breukelman holds a BA and MA in Information Systems with specializations in infrastructure analysis, change management, and networking.


Carbon Black recently published a series of essays about the experiences of experts in the field on information security as they moved their endpoint security program to the cloud; this is one of those essays. To read the full series check out 7 Experts on Moving to a Cloud-Based Endpoint Security Platform.

TAGS: 7 Experts / cloud / Cloud-Based Endpoint Security / Move to the Cloud