How to seed and grow your data-aware ecosystem

Scare tactics are old news in the security industry. Traditionally, security vendors relied on “fear and loathing,” as ESG analysts Tony Prigmore, Scott Sinclair and Steve Duplessie recently described in a conversation with our team, to shock their prospective customers into increasing protection for their IT environments. Today, our “breach of the week” news culture is making the need for enhanced data security loud and clear.

Recently I wrote, “in order to stay ahead of threats, the security paradigm must change: each component of the stack must become data-aware.” Traditionally, every layer of the IT stack – which includes firewalls, applications, servers, networks and data at rest – was blind to the data it used. This lack of insight about types of data, usage patterns and the risks that data might contain resulted in missed opportunities concerning productivity and collaboration, but it also set the stage to invite malicious security events into the IT environment. After all, when you don’t know what you’re storing, you don’t stand a chance of protecting it.

Seeding pervasive security

As evidenced by events like this year’s RSA Conference and Gartner Security and Risk Management Summit, industry changes need to be made – although many IT pros continue struggling to determine exactly what those changes should be. In order to improve security, you need to commit to increasing data-awareness throughout your IT stack – and your professional networks.

For security pros and IT end users, this involves seeking out vendor organizations that can offer data-aware technology. While DataGravity has introduced this quality to the storage layer, organizations like Palo Alto Networks and Informatica are bringing data-awareness to networking and data migration, respectively. However, driving the full data-aware ecosystem shift will also involve input from investors, researches and channel partners. We’ve heard the horror stories; security risks are a major problem, and we can’t solve them alone. Instead, we need to work together to secure our networks and our industry as a whole.

For more tips on driving the data-aware ecosystem in your organization, read my recent post on LinkedIn.


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David Siles

David is Chief Technology Officer for DataGravity. Prior to becoming CTO, David served as vice president of worldwide field operations at DataGravity. Previously, he was a member of the senior leadership team at Veeam Software. He also served as CTO and VP of professional services for systems integrator Hipskind TSG. A graduate of DeVry University, he is a frequent speaker at top tier technology shows and a recognized expert in virtualization.