We reside in a world full of risk or uncertainty. Nowadays, there is a rise in cyberattacks on international, national, and corporate infrastructure. And one mistake can shut the enterprise.
We all have heard about the famous books, “The Black Swan” and “Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder,” written by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. The Black Swan is all about game-changing events that occur infrequently and randomly while describing theory on how developing enhanced systems will help to withstand shocks when an unpredicted situation comes. The concept was in accordance with the banking system, but the same goes for technology. For instance, Google’s invention of Gmail was arguably a positive black swan, whereas the Fukushima nuclear incident was a negative black swan.
Most of the time, several applications are brittle and do not react well to major technology shifts. We need to develop systems that not only survive stress but thrive under it.
So, what is antifragility?
According to Taleb, it is a technology that is adaptable, agile, and can survive stress. This example will help you to understand the term better. The human body is the best example of antifragility. When you stress the body with weightlifting or manual labor, the bones get denser, muscles get stronger, and tendons toughen. When you remove the stressors from the human body, what happens? The body becomes more fragile. So, the major concept of antifragility is stressing the system to advance the system.
In short, we can say that it is a term exclusively designed to define objects that truly benefit from experiencing some form of stress or failure. In the context of IT, one can say services or systems. You might be aware of the term self-healing IT systems. But in this context, I am addressing something different—an advanced antifragile system will not only rebuild itself but will reinforce itself against the upcoming stresses of a similar kind.
Always remember bad things will happen; instead of quantifying risk, be prepared with alternatives such as in-built redundancy into the system.
“Rethink risk via the crystal-clear lens of antifragility – an amazing option that fuses risk and value.”
Capgemini, in its report, states, “A key principle of antifragility is to distribute the system and enable emergent behavior with feedback mechanisms so that the system can sense and respond to change as against a top-down centralized system.” This is why antifragile architecture will get better each day with change and stress.
Attacking antifragile systems –
We all might have seen the movie Hercules. In this movie, Hercules attacks Hydra, and, using his sword, cuts off one of her heads. But the head grew back. Every time he tries to cut off her head, Hydra’s head doubled up. Hercules was able to defeat the monster only when he used Hydra’s poison against her. This means, by spinning the power of the beast upon itself, he was able to kill it.
Similarly, antifragile systems are defined by how they react to stressors from outside. Our immune system adapts new pathogens and becomes stronger, but as simple as pollen can turn it against itself. When attacking an antifragile system, consider these two things: internal forces might turn against the system, and where the barrier of the system is. Piracy is an antifragile system, gaining from a conventional centralized attack.
How does technology advance under stress?
To understand this question, think about the transformational multi-cloud approach to enterprise computing. Thus, multi-clouds will generate new stress viz., managing applications across various cloud platforms; this caused a response: Kubernetes. The technology developed by Google called orchestration technology will automate the management of complex distributed containerized apps. Its flexibility, usefulness, and agility to tackle this specific challenge cannot be conflicted.
Antifragile for cloud
Traditional centralized identity management is coming under stress due to the rising adoption of multi-cloud architectures worldwide. Therefore, an antifragile identity is needed to keep the next-generation approach.
Decentralization is necessary for using the antifragile concept in a multi-cloud universe. The reason why:
1. Minor errors can be absorbed with an agile mindset.
2. Decentralized identity is convex in response to stress.
3. It offers built-in redundancy across multiple clouds.
We all are aware of Netflix – one of the leading internet television networks. It has more than 100 million subscribers across 190 plus nations with about 125 million hours of movies and TV shows per day. The question arises, why will Netflix break parts of its delivery infrastructure regularly, that too on a larger scale?
Let’s be clear – just imagine if that infrastructure fails, its TV shows or movies won’t get displayed every day. Further, this will lead to a declining number of subscribers, declining revenue, and ultimately executives will lose their jobs.
Till now, this has not happened and will never happen in the future, too, because Netflix gets antifragility. Every time Netflix shocks its critical infrastructure intelligently, the firm learns, redesigns it, and makes it more advanced than ever before.
There are three business levels where antifragility can be applied: in components, business models, and processes and systems. Antifragile identity will help to protect businesses from uncertain attacks, thus enhancing the security of cloud solutions.
Sum it up…
The antifragile transformational approach to identity management plays an essential role in meeting the needs of a multi-cloud environment. The use of a decentralized model based on concepts such as virtualization and abstraction will help build a new multi-cloud world.
We can say, “antifragile identity is the best solution and security for enterprises.”
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