Unauthorized Changes Still Undermine Modern Environments (Part 1)
This article is part of a 5 part series covering how unauthorized changes still remain the bane of today's IT operations, regardless of advances in technology, and how automated change detection is critical for addressing this.
- Unauthorized Changes Still Undermine Modern Environments
- Apply Change- Centric Causal Analysis to Quickly Fix Problems
- Detect Unauthorized Changes Automatically
- Empower the Service Desk to Prevent Incidents
- Know What Changed to Stop Outages
Part 1 of a 5 part series
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Today there is a lot of discussion around cloud environments and how processes there can eliminate unauthorized changes. This could mean locking down environments and only allowing certain personnel to deploy manually or automatically. However, this also limits agility and flexibility. Over time those same processes will likely be relaxed, so that things can actually get put into place for work to get done.
Moreover, many times even designated personnel cannot verify what they're actually doing. So unfortunately unauthorized changes still get deployed into environments. While there are tools available, like CyberArk, that allow IT Operations to control privileges, the problem is that it's impossible to know what users actually did.
Many organizations have been forced to tighten down their cloud operations. Now when an outage occurs, IT Operations spend a lot of time going screen by screen or keystroke by keystroke just to figure out what was actually done, and whether someone did something such as a misconfiguration.
Though cloud environments can be standardized, many cloud environments rely on Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). While this helps eliminate one source of unauthorized changes, the primary focus still needs to be on the application layer. The cloud is not supposed to be a place where unauthorized changes occur, but this is where more changes in fact occur due to customization that causes more business requirements to be directed to the application layer.
Organizations using cloud implement policies and processes around environment operations, but they lack the ability to enforce due to a lack of detailed data. In many cases, it is not apparent whether or not those processes and practices are even working. The bottom line is that despite IT Operations applying processes and practices to new, modern environments (like cloud), automatic change detection remains a critical component.