During the cool fall months, millions of birds migrate across thousands of miles to warmer climates, where food is in abundance. But as they take to the skies in droves, they are in greater danger from predators along the way.

The same applies to the data that traverses networks from one computer to another. Whenever you send an email, for instance, that data goes from a state of rest in your inbox to a state of motion to the recipient.

When data is in motion, streaming across networks, it can be under increased security risk. But what is clear is that whether it is in motion or at rest, data needs to be properly secured from all directions, say experts at network visibility, security and analytics provider Gigamon.

Visibility into data in motion

It is an exciting time for governments around the region, as they transform digital services to become more citizen-centric, seamless, connected and responsive. Digital transformation globally is big business – spending is forecasted to reach $2 trillion by 2022, according to IDC research.

That means ever-greater floods of data going from agency to agency, or citizen to government. This data can range in order of sensitivity – but should all be treated with utmost security precautions, in this current atmosphere of high-profile hacks and cyber threats.

Often, the solution would be to encrypt data when it is in motion, when it is typically more vulnerable to threats. But encrypting data at rest – where it is stored in say, a hard drive – is crucial too.

In early 2019, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean announced that the government had reported 41 incidents involving the loss of personal data, 30 of which involved missing laptops, Channel News Asia reports. Nevertheless, no data was lost from these laptops, as government laptops are encrypted, DPM Teo went on to say.

So with every new application that agencies come up with, they also need to thoroughly consider the data security aspect. Modern applications are designed to be agile, iterative and scalable – but that makes it all the more complex to monitor and secure them, according to Gigamon CEO Paul Hooper.

He advises IT teams to make visibility a fundamental design principle of their network infrastructure, according to a report by Forbes. “You can’t optimise network performance and secure mission critical applications without complete visibility into the data in motion across your infrastructure,” Hooper was quoted as saying.

Any government agency would have mission critical applications across dozens of infrastructure tiers, he continued, and these can reside on a mix of on-premises and cloud environments. That opens up vulnerabilities across many fronts. “The ability to manage these complex digital applications across the enterprise network with unparalleled insight and visibility is vital to the success of any digital transformation initiative,” Hooper remarked to Forbes.

Gigamon Application Intelligence allows teams to monitor the data in motion across their networks, highlighting potential hidden threats. Security teams can then take immediate action around suspicious files; optimise app performance; and deliver a consistent citizen experience every time, Hooper concluded.

IT departments may need a helping hand to keep a watchful eye on the data in motion across multiple networks and online environments. Network visibility is one modern-day approach – enabling secure government innovation to take flight.