IT Security: Travel With the Herd
Updated: Jul 24
Question: Why were Target, Macy’s, Equifax, Yahoo, Home Depot and many others hacked? (answer below)
What do a herd of wildebeest have in common with IT security? Everything! Would you traverse a dangerous neighborhood, alone and in the dark? Of course not! But that is what many companies do today, blithely assuming that their internal IT security or contractor will keep their data safe. The wildebeest travel in herds – large herds numbering 100,000 – for their mutual safety. They face dangers together. Now, would you traverse that same neighborhood with a group of 100, 1000 or 10,000? Probably. You would certainly feel safer about it. This is the same in cloud technology. When thinking about IT security, remember these facts:
There is safety in numbers
Layered security is stronger than a single big wall
Your job is to sell: clothes (Target); hammers (Home Depot); data (Equifax), etc.
Your IT department is not the second coming of IBM
Hackers have all the time in the world – you don’t
Cloud providers have excellent security: multiple layers of defense, the top engineers in the business, safety in numbers, and enough resources to mount a continual defense with constant monitoring and improvement.
There is no such thing as an army of one. A corporate IT department, by its very nature, is an army of one, and that "one" is (or should be) dedicated to the company's core mission - providing sales or service for the company's products.
Building your own IT security is like buying a fancy mansion – and then building your own lock – and then being surprised that a 12-year-old can pick the lock with a bobby pin. Why? Because you don’t build locks. It’s not what you do. Don’t build your own locks. Leave security to the experts, those companies that specialize in building world-class platforms and protecting them – and your data. This is what Salesforce, Oracle, and others do for a living. It is not what you do for a living. It's not to say that cloud platforms are invulnerable, but the odds are much more in your favor if you travel with the herd than alone.
Answer: Because they were ALONE.