At the heart of cybersecurity is data

Today’s distributed enterprises present amplified challenges for security teams who need to react to rapidly evolving hybrid workforces and ever-expanding SaaS applications. Data is the building block of today’s digitized economy, and the opportunities for innovation and malice around it are incalculable. The future of network security is Secure Access Service Edge – SASE, and to lead with data is paramount – says Marcin Dąbrowski, Territory Account Manager  – Sales, EMEA, Forcepoint.


Forcepoint identifies its approach to security as data-first. How should this be understood?

Marcin Dąbrowski [MD]:

Forcepoint is executing our vision for the industry’s most comprehensive Data-first SASE offering that delivers risk-based data security everywhere, over every channel, to give customers consistent enforcement anywhere their people work. Our data-first SASE strategy is the way forward for organizations today, and the organization is accelerating investment and development in the industry’s only Data-first SASE offering. We are cloud-first and hybrid-ready.

Forcepoint provides security for hybrid and rapidly evolving computing environments, with converged security offerings delivering secure network access, protection of precious information assets, and delivery of unified, secure access and data protection that spans on-premises, hybrid, and cloud.

Data-first SASE ensures customers can secure data access and usage by closing down attacks and opening up data use. Today’s reality is that people are working from everywhere, and progressive organizations must protect precious information assets in perimeter-less networking environments.


In this new reality, should the strategy of defense against cyber threats change? What technologies are key to ensuring security today?

MD: Our customers operate in a constantly evolving threat landscape, and cyber risks remain one of the top risks facing businesses. The threat landscape is exponentially vast, and attackers are becoming more sophisticated and aggressive. For perspective, today, we’re seeing ransomware attacks every 11 seconds, and more than 80% of organizations that pay ransom are attacked a second time.

This is magnified by a business integrity crisis.  We are seeing massive investments in cybersecurity spending – $60Bn global spend in 2020 according to Gartner – yet attacks continue apace. If it were measured as a country, then cybercrime — which is predicted to inflict damages totaling $6 trillion USD globally in 2021 — would be the world’s third-largest economy after the U.S. and China.

We do need to approach security in a new way. The expansive distributed environment of business combined with the people perimeter we’ve seen come to the forefront this past year has created a wholesale shift in how companies must approach cybersecurity. As employees generate, access, and share more data remotely through cloud apps, the number of security blind spots balloons. Digital transformation is remaking the IT landscape: even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the “Unbound Enterprise” had begun to emerge, with operations less limited by physical or network infrastructures. The pandemic has only accelerated this trend. In the future, the workforce will have even more autonomy within the decentralized cultures that develop as business leaders find new ways to drive collaboration and creativity.


How are Forcepoint data protection solutions evolving?

MD: The recent Forcepoint acquisitions of Cyberinc and Deep Secure are just the beginning of the many investments in the months and years ahead as Forcepoint executes our mission to strategically build, partner, and acquire technologies to innovate the industry’s best-in-class SASE architecture that helps secure and enable our customers’ business.

Cyberinc’s intelligent remote browser isolation (RBI) technology offers companies the ability to safely browse web content without any risk from browser-borne malware.

Deep Secure’s Threat Removal platform ensures the safe exchange of information with trusted and untrusted sources by disarming and reconstructing file payloads at wire speed.


Forcepoint also recently acquired Bitglass. Is this a significant acquisition in the context of our conversation?

MD: Absolutely, this is a significant acquisition. The acquisition of Bitglass will be the third technology acquisition for Forcepoint this year as the company executes its mission to strategically build, partner, and acquire technologies that deliver the industry’s best-in-class SASE architecture.

With this acquisition, Forcepoint will be delivering a best-in-class SSE platform featuring state-of-the-art Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB), Secure Web Gateway (SWG), and Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) combined with Data Loss Prevention (DLP) all managed seamlessly from a single console. Today Forcepoint is the only Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) company to incorporate advanced capabilities such as enterprise-class DLP, true Zero Trust Content, Disarm and Reconstruction (CDR), advanced Remote Browser Isolation (RBI), and pioneering SD-WAN technology.

We will continue to add new capabilities over time, from Forcepoint directly as well as our technology partner ecosystem, to deliver the most robust set of integrated security capabilities from a cloud-native platform with the elasticity to expand and contract as business needs change. Making security easier to deploy and operate is what customers are asking for, and we look forward to making this a reality in 2022.


Not only has technology changed, but also the role of CSOs? Are they “enablers” of innovation in organizations?

MD: In recent WSJ Intelligence research we commissioned, we found that 74% of CEOs and CISOs had reallocated funds to cybersecurity during 2020, and 45% have accelerated digital transformation. This presents opportunities but also challenges:  when 90% of leaders believe the biggest challenge is securing anywhere workers and cloud services, it’s clear that infrastructure or access-oriented security tools will no longer be able to keep up with the needs of the unbound enterprise.

Our research found that the business and security landscape has forever changed: and now cybersecurity is permanently in the boardroom. 74% of companies surveyed reallocated funds to cybersecurity programs during COVID-19, and 53% recognized the need to more tightly integrate cybersecurity capabilities across traditional product boundaries.

It took the pandemic to make CEOs sit up and take notice of cybersecurity. But, leaders now see cybersecurity as the key to business advantage, with 45% stating they have greatly accelerated digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, 48% reporting cybersecurity’s bigger role in enabling innovation, and 41% agreeing that it delivers a competitive edge.

Converged, cloud-driven approaches will offer huge advantages as remote workers will have even more autonomy to innovate and drive business, but it also means that leaders must find new ways to secure distributed workforces and cloud applications and drive collaboration and creativity