Is Security a More Important Consideration in 2015 than Downtime?

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Adam Burnham

By Paul Diamond

Even as we close out the first month of 2015, industry pundits are still talking about their expectations for 2015. One of the trends that has been inescapable has been that of security and the need to be prepared and protected.

Ever since the details surrounding 2013’s Target breach came to light, companies have been increasingly concerned about how their data is stored and protected. As we saw this past year with the Sony hack, however, that initial concern didn’t immediately transfer into action.

A couple of articles this past week say that now is the time when security takes over as one of the top concerns people will have when working with a data center partner.

In CRN’s “10 Data Center Predictions For 2015,” Joseph Kovar writes that “after all the security breaches in 2014, data centers will bring security concerns to the forefront. But it still will remain a difficult task…data center builders and operators in 2015 will be increasingly called upon to prove their operations can protect against viruses, malware and other malicious software, especially as governments increasingly adopt the cloud and managed services.”

This should come as no surprise – security is important and is one of the main things you do need to concern yourself with when evaluating partners.

An article on FirstPost this week continues the theme, saying that “Security has become the new availability.” Whereas downtime and availability have often been the most important concerns of IT managers, security is quickly taking over.

The article states that: “…when it comes to risk mitigation, data center managers have long had a singular focus: prevent downtime. Downtime hasn’t become any less of a risk, but a new threat has emerged in the form of cyber security. When one of the highest profile security breaches in the last 18 months was traced back to the HVAC system, data centre managers and IT security specialists took notice. Increasingly, data centre and facility managers will have to work with their IT security teams to audit the technology and software of data centre equipment to ensure security and evaluate the security practices of the contractors and service providers that have access to that equipment.”

Everyone from customers to their co-workers to the Board want to know how their organization’s data and information are being protected. The message is clear – security matters.

So, what does that mean for you in 2015? Here’s a few thoughts on how the renewed emphasis will affect you this year:

  • Expect questions – as the above article states, security is in the public eye right now, making it on the tip of everyone’s tongue. If you haven’t been asked yet, you will be. Be prepared with the answers that will say to your co-workers, boss or Board that you’re ahead of the curve and have everything locked down.
  • Evaluate tougher – if you’re in the market for a partner or are looking to store elements of your data with a partner and/or the cloud, make sure you ask the right questions. What are your partners’ and vendors’ security capabilities? Who do they work with and how strong is their security? What can you offer me in terms of reassurances that my company’s data and information is safe?
  • Be vigilant – stay up to date on the latest security issues and technologies – how have cybercriminals hacked companies recently, and what are being used as preventative measures? What can I be doing to make sure my organization – and my partners – are on top of every possibility and new approach?

At the Markley Group, we’ve always taken the security and protection of your information very seriously. In addition, we’re one of the most physically secure data centers around. To learn more, call us at 617-451-6464 or email us at info@markleygroup.com.