Falling Off a Cliff: A Lesson in Data Security

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure in Data Security

Many years ago, I heard a story about a dangerous cliff that people were falling from. Supposedly, the crisis became so severe that ambulances were ultimately stationed at the bottom of this cliff. The thinking was that if someone tragically fell off the cliff and hit bottom, emergency care was in place and ready to respond. Then, one day, all the ambulances were gone. They were dismissed when someone decided to place a guardrail system around the cliff to prevent anyone from falling off. Was this an “aha” moment?  Or, when you think about it, does it seem more like a “duh” moment? And, herein is a lesson for data security.

Truth be told, many companies take a similar approach to their data security. They wait until security is breached and then immediately launch into full response mode. Let’s face it, today’s security threat model has evolved significantly as a result of the cloud and mobility. New mobile devices, increasing mobile applications and the movement of data among physical and virtual machines have made data breaches more frequent—and significantly more devastating. Yet, data security practices have yet to fully evolve to the point where they prevent the fall versus clean up after it occurs.

Collaboration Supports Prevention

A recent study by Intel® Security surveyed 565 security decision-makers worldwide. It revealed that enterprises believe they could be 38 to 100 percent more effective at preparing for attacks if their threat management and incident response personnel and systems could simply collaborate better. By harnessing the often-untapped power of collaboration, organizations can improve their security operations’ effectiveness and combat the growing shortage of skilled cyber security professionals.  The benefits of security collaboration are powerful. According to the survey, they include:

  • Faster detection times: More contributors mean insights are provided earlier and with greater context
  • Higher confidence: With multiple sources, decisions can be validated as needed
  • Fewer errors: Automated data-sharing can be far more accurate than manual processes
  • Faster time-to-correct: With better communication, the right guidance gets sent to the right people at the right time.

Cutting-edge tools and technologies that accelerate prevention and detection are more critical now than ever before. And, establishing an ongoing cadence of collaboration and communication between security stakeholders, both inside and outside the organization is key.

An “Aha!” Moment for Intel® Technology Providers

In your role as a trusted services provider, implementing a guardrail system—tools and best practices that proactively secure data and systems—will be instrumental in helping prevent the next big attack on your client’s business. And, as more and more companies, SMBs in particular, look to outside security experts for help, your opportunities multiply. The persistence of data security threats, alongside the security skills shortage, presents real possibilities for channel professionals to build lucrative, long-lasting managed security services businesses.