USA Today recently published research showing that 43% of companies have had a data breach.
My first response is really the question “Why”? We have two converging realities that help create a monster number like that. We are in an era of corporate rebuilding. Companies reduced IT staff over the last five years significantly, equipment was not replaced or not maintained (in part because the smartest people weren’t there to do it) and best practices have changed/shifted and companies have not kept up. It’s the “don’t fix something that’s not broken” mentality.
This is dumb when it comes to IT because best practices change more rapidly than the technology itself. The thought here is that there is exposure from simply the lack of attention to one’s own infrastructure and the methods and processes that are in place. Additionally, hackers worldwide have gotten more organized, smarter, and have built toolsets that now have a high level of maturity to help find breach points and specific targets.
In the spirit of the best offense is a great defense: A move to cloud-based services enables customers to get a “redo”. The entire environment is greenfield, no more patching or updating configurations that go back ten years, and the people that build the system are so long gone that the “rigs” that were put in place to make it work years ago just sit there. Companies don’t overhaul their existing network and IT infrastructure because they really can’t; time, money, downtime, expertise. It just won’t get done.
The way we leverage this data to our partners is to make it clear that a complete rebuild of the entire IT infrastructure can only be done in parallel. And a complete rebuild is the only way to be sure that you have best practices. Cloud based technology eliminates many of the above barriers. Arguably, it is possible to rebuild in-house but is cost prohibitive and just won’t be a priority with an in-house IT staff that is most interested in protecting their seat at the grown up table.
Guest blog contributor Neely Loring is President and COO of Matrix-IBS.