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Cybersecurity through enterprise risk management

MWC19: Where Telecommunications and Cloud Meet

By G C Network | March 23, 2019

As a cloud solution architect, my passion is learning the details about how cloud computing uniquely supports specific business cases. This curiosity is what drove my excitement when Ericsson invited me to work with them during Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. As the largest mobile event in the world, MWC Barcelona brings together the latest…

Tulane University SoPA Selects “Architechting Cloud Computing Solutions”

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Last week, Packt Publishing announced that “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” by Kevin L. Jackson and Scott Goessling was selected for use by the Tulane University School of Professional Advancement, Applied Computing Systems & Technology Program as the textbook for their mandatory Enterprise Architecture – Hardware course starting Spring Semester 2019. I am proud and honored to be trusted by such a prestigious institution. Being an “Amazon…

5G Wireless Technology Connecting Healthcare

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

Healthcare is in the middle of massive change. Called digital transformation by many, this term describes the industry’s pursuit of the many promises offered by connected patients, connected caregivers, and connected hospitals. While the goals of this transformation are many and varied, a recent HIMAA Media survey revealed the top four as: Seeking improved quality of care…

Maria Lensing: The Network Platform for Healthcare’s Future

By G C Network | February 16, 2019

As a girl, Maria and her family traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to get cancer treatment for her sick brother. The miracle she observed, as the healthcare providers saved her brother’s life, ignited a passion for healthcare. Unfortunately, that passion didn’t apply to blood, so she went into electrical engineering and biomedical engineering, eventually falling in…

How “Big Iron” Does “Big Regulation”

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

According to Verizon, there were over there were over 53,000 security incidents in 2017, with over 2,200 of those identified as confirm data breaches. A Ponemon Institute study also showed that companies experiencing a data breach took an average of 147 days to detect that breach. These statistics serve a key motivator of Stuart McIrvine, Director…

Mainframe Synergies for Digital Transformation

By G C Network | January 10, 2019

In July  of 2018, Broadcom announced its intentions to acquire CA Technologies. In the press release, Hock Tan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Broadcom, said: “This transaction represents an important building block as we create one of the world’s leading infrastructure technology companies. With its sizeable installed base of customers, CA is uniquely positioned…

2018 AT&T Business Summit: Security “in” and “of” the Cloud

By G C Network | November 10, 2018

While public cloud is undoubtedly an outsized piece of the conversation, news headlines of the latest data breach can make this move a very frightening proposition. The question of how to balance the downside of cloud computing risks with the upside of promising cost savings is, therefore, top of mind.  The dilemma becomes even more…

My Brush with Royalty: Queen Latifah

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Queen Latifah! Hip Hop Icon. Movie Star. Television Star. Fashion Model. Songwriter. Producer. Entrepreneurial Genius!? YES! Dana Elaine Owens, her given name, is co-owner of Flavor Unit Entertainment, a firm that includes television and film production units, a record label and an artist management company. She has been managing herself since age 21 and within 2 years…

What’s New in Puppet 5?

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Puppet 5 is released and comes with several exciting enhancements and features that promise to make configuration management much more streamlined. This article will take a comprehensive look at these new features and enhancements. Puppet 5 was released in 2017, and according to Eric Sorensen, director of product management at Puppet, the goal was to…

5 Reasons Why Ansible is the Best CM Tool Out There?

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Amidst volatile markets, dynamic technology shifts, and ever-increasing customer demands, it is imperative for IT organizations to develop flexible, scalable and high-quality applications that exceed expectations and enhance productivity. A software application has numerous moving parts, which, if not effectively maintained, will definitely affect the final quality and end user experience. This is where configuration…

Cybersecurity is top of mind for corporations around the world. The quantity of recent data breaches and the dollar loss associated with some of them indicates either an underinvestment in cybersecurity or a failure to properly invest in people, security training or technology. While breaches are very costly to the companies concerned, they also represent major consequences for individual privacy and a business’s short-term and long-term viability.

With this as a backdrop, I spoke with Curtis Hutcheson, VP and GM, Dell Security, at Dell Peak Performance. During the conversation, he shared his views and insight about enterprise risk management and how an integrated cybersecurity fabric could be used to better protect a company’s information and reputation.

Kevin: Hello Curtis. Thank you for agreeing to be interviewed today. To start off, could you please tell me your role at Dell?

Curtis: Sure, Kevin. Happy to speak with you today. I manage the Dell Security business unit, which encompasses everything from engineering to sales.

Kevin: With all the things that are changing in cybersecurity, you certainly need pretty broad shoulders to carry all that responsibility. From your viewpoint, what are the most important trends?

Curtis: The impact of data breaches is only getting larger. People have more information stored about themselves and about their organization outside of the organization itself. People are pushing more and more information online and the risk of having a breach is just going up. This is actually very logical because security was an afterthought for most organizations five years ago. Now, however, it’s the forefront of conversations at the board of directors level. One of the toughest conversations board members now have revolves around the adequacy of data protection. Data about customers, employees and the business itself.

Kevin: The whole idea of security encompasses so many facets. Technology cannot prevent an authorized person from stealing classified data. Physical security is also an important element and at this event, cybersecurity is the central topic. Among all these security areas, what is the number one challenge faced by your customers today?

Curtis: I’ve always viewed technology as an enabler for what the business needs to do. I would also argue that simple technologies available to businesses today can help prevent many security breach activities. Things like corporate key encryption can make data unusable if it leaves the corporate network or storage facilities. This remains true even if the data leaves the company through the use of a thumb drive or a network gateway. The only way to defeat this relatively simple control mechanism would be through the theft of the corporate keys themselves. Controls like this are mainstream now but were unheard of just a few years ago. Other protections like Dell privileged account management removes the need to give employees permanent access to key systems. There is no longer a need to give super admin access. Administrative privileges can now be reserved, limited, recorded and temporary.

Kevin: Since all of these things are already part of Dell’s data security protection portfolio, what are you focused on for the next 12 months? What is the number one goal for your business unit moving forward?

Curtis: We will continue evolving our products in a way that meets the threats our customers see every day. We will also continue to raise our investment in the application of world-class engineering talents to these challenges. In addition, Dell will partner with leading cybersecurity pure plays in order to deliver unique solutions that address the ever changing security threats. This constantly changing landscape also creates a lot of excitement. The more we can leverage that entire landscape to bring customers a security platform, the more we can change their world and enhance their ability to protect the business and leverage technology to grow and enable that business.

Kevin: During the Dell Peak Performance keynote, you said that enterprises have suffered more than $600B in cybersecurity losses this year against just a $200B investment to protect against these losses. What should senior decision makers and IT professionals learn from this statistic?

Curtis Hutcheson, VP & GM Dell Security Solutions at Dell


Curtis: This shows a massive value gap between protecting against cybersecurity risks and the value lost in a cybersecurity breach. This also indicates that decision makers either don’t believe that the risk actually exists or they just don’t know how to control the risk. I believe that most decision makers would spend the money for protection if they believed it would control the risk. While this is a very immature space, some incredible technologies are now coming together that are capable of delivering a protection fabric instead of a bunch of security point products. In a majority of the key breaches that have happened, the affected organizations had substantial investments in security technology. Buying the right tools doesn’t necessarily protect you from a catastrophic security event. Our goal is to make sure your investments not only deliver the capability that you are looking for but also delivers an integrated cybersecurity fabric.

Kevin: This seems to argue for a focused end-to-end approach to security. Are industries taking that to heart? What insight can you provide that counters the notion of just buying security products?

Curtis: Great question Kevin. First, we use the NIST Risk Management Framework internally and when we work with customers during deployments. Ensuring that you are properly protected starts with a security assessment and identifying key risks. This methodology is used to understand what needs protection, the right ways to provide protection, the most effective means for monitoring the protection process and the most appropriate remedies should protection fail.

Figure 1- NIST risk management framework

Second, key applications and data need to be evaluated, not only from the viewpoint of the corporate core, but also from the viewpoint of an edge user. In properly employing a security framework, companies need to address user management and user security. Ultimately, it also requires an awareness and enforcement layer coupled with a set of perimeter controls. This forms the security platform I mentioned earlier. Customers can choose to deploy this by using different security vendors or they can go with a platform vendor like Dell. We believe platform vendors will pull away from the pack due to the assurances we will be able to deliver.

Kevin: This sounds like a hybrid IT approach. How should security professionals implement end-to-end security across a hybrid environment?

Curtis: Customers are trying to do this anyway by self-integrating separate pieces on their own. Banks and other high-security organizations have been dealing with specific and known risks for a long time. Other industries like retail are just now looking at security from a holistic aspect. The big takeaway for customers is that you no longer need to do this alone. You can now implement a security framework with an engineered security platform. You should also evaluate each layer of the platform and make sure that they each stand independently as world-class. This is where Dell provides real value. We deliver an excellent firewall solution and world-class endpoint encryption capabilities. Our application management solutions are also very good. The goal is to work with customers on a comprehensive security platform view while simultaneously providing specific solutions for their most important security pain points.

Figure 2- Best-in-class security solutions

Kevin: Thank you very much for spending time with me today.

Curtis: I appreciated it, Kevin. Thanks for being here.

Kevin: My pleasure.

This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2015)

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