By Ray Vazquez on February 26, 2022
Today, many organizations still look at security through an antiquated lens when determining solutions for protecting valuable assets. This perspective is a big reason we constantly see breaches in the headlines. A paradigm shift needs to occur in organizations from the top down to achieve maximum protection and security for assets like data. Let’s dig a little deeper into why viewing valuable items as something you can lock away is a flawed perspective. You may be surprised how a slight adjustment in thinking can make a big difference in your approach to security.
What does history tell us about the security of locking valuables away?
History tells us this approach has never worked. A prime example is the Egyptian pyramids. From the time they locked away their precious belongings inside, there have been those attempting to steal them and succeeding. Even though the Egyptians anticipated how others would try to break in and implemented every safeguard they could think of to keep raiders out. There’s a reason why this repeatedly happens when people lock something up for safekeeping. It boils down to comfort and complacency. If you have this mindset, it creates a set it and forget it mentality where you assume what you have locked away will be there all the time. However, much like with raiders of the pyramids, anything worth safeguarding will have others relentlessly testing your fence, cage, or lock at every point to find a weakness to exploit. It only takes one gap to create a pathway to all your treasures. It is hard enough to protect when the assets are stationary, and no one needs to access them. As we all know, this is not the case for data and other sensitive information.
Looking at security through a different lens.
So what is the paradigm shift that needs to occur for better security? Start viewing your data for what it is—a moving target. It must be followed and protected wherever it goes. Keeping this top-of-mind helps you realize that you need flexible controls around the data that can move around with it. So wherever the data goes, you know it is protected. Most solutions today approach data as if it were in one place, and as soon as it moves someplace else, it is then exposed.
People often get surprised when their security fails because, in their minds, they had a lock on it. But what happens is others are coming in and out of the room, and someone leaves the door open because taking the lock off is an inconvenience. The reality is fences, locks, and cages are static solutions that do not function in high-traffic areas, cannot adapt, and weaken over time. Plus, no one can operate in a cage, and neither can organizations. Implementing security that stays with the data is the best way to protect it. So when looking for solutions, don’t have the mindset of the Egyptians and their pyramids. Instead, think more like the old world shepherds sleeping alongside their herd to protect against the wolves.