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Got a cybersecurity problem? Sit down with experts and exchange thoughts

No matter what we do, data breaches and leaks will always happen, so the essential second line of defense – encryption – is crucial to any security plan.

Image: © AFP
Image: © AFP

Cybersecurity Awareness Month is proceeding along its data trails in earnest. The event puts a spotlight on businesses and encourages them to improve their practices. But what types of things should be considered? Digital Journal  canvassed the thoughts of three experts in the technology field.

The first leading expert to comment is George Axberg, VP of Data Protection at VAST Data. Axberg considers the most insidious form of cyberattack, which comes in the form of ransomware. Axberg states: “Ransomware is top of mind not just for IT professionals but also in the boardroom. Budgets are being allocated to implement Vanguards to keep bad actors out, and Zero Trust is being implemented for those within. That said, the numbers still show that the threats are increasing at an alarming rate.”

To safeguard businesses, time and investment are required. Says Axberg: “How we as stewards of our most critical assets, our data, react to an event such as a Cyber Strike is tantamount to how we react to a Natural Disaster. Processes need to be put in place to react swiftly in the event of an attack”

In turn, this requires careful planning. As Axberg sees it: “Part of that plan of resilience needs to be a repository worthy of storing those digital assets and RESTORING said assets to a workable form. For example, at VAST Data we provide a secure, resilient, high performance at exabyte scale platform.”

The second expert is Tilo Weigandt, Co-Founder & COO, Vaultree. Weigandt’s interests are with building knowledge: “Education and communication are key in the cybersecurity industry. Cybersecurity doesn’t have to be complex and boring; it can be educational and fun if approached from the right angle, which can take away the fear of entering this space or diving deeper into a specific topic.”

To deliver this effectively requires a back-to-basics approach. Says Weigandt: “What’s important is to start with the basics and learn the mechanics and dynamics of security measures and their counterparts. But you don’t even have to be an expert in, say, cryptography to make a sound decision; there is no shame in taking advice. However, the abundance of vendors in the space makes it difficult to cut through the noise and it can sometimes seem overwhelming. So, sit down with experts and exchange thoughts and doubts, be part of communities and talk about your pain points, and talk to selected vendors to understand different approaches.”

Weigandt expands the planning concept to what happens when something goes wrong: “Always keep in mind: No matter what we do, data breaches and leaks will always happen, so the essential second line of defense – encryption – is crucial to any security plan. There are already vendors out there offering solutions with which you can process, search and compute always-encrypted data at scale, so that you can concentrate on your daily business and fight other fires.”

The third expert is George Waller, Co-Founder and EVP of Zerify, who looks at the vulnerabilities of some business communication systems: “Cybersecurity is something we are constantly vigilant about and have been highly dedicated to ensuring – and continually improving – for over two decades. While it’s more than a month-long focus in our eyes, we are glad cybersecurity is getting the world’s attention in a time when hybrid and remote work environments support critical communications, and video conferencing takes place from multiple locations and even multiple unknown devices. We hope that as the usage of collaborative communications increases – and the world continues to rely on video conferencing platforms- Cybersecurity Awareness Month will be a time to hone in on greater capabilities to secure organizations, ensuring Zero Trust across platforms, greatly reducing breaches and hacks and thwarting the efforts of bad actors across the globe.”

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Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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