Security Program Controls/Technologies

Ignition: How to start a data protection fusion team

Just before the turn of the year, scientists at the U.S. National Ignition Facility marked a technological milestone. They created a nuclear reaction that generated more energy than it consumes. The implications are mind blowing and the applications are potentially limitless.

Nuclear fusion is an interesting thing. It requires two atoms coming together in just the right conditions and combination to create a reaction that, in this most recent example, produces more than either tiny atom could  by itself. The only way this works is by bringing them together under intense conditions.

Sound familiar? It should and if it isn’t it will be very, very soon in the IT realm. Today’s data protection, recovery and security teams are generally siloed (like singular atoms). By letting those silos stand a CIO could inadvertently be introducing risk to the business through blind spots that slow operations and ultimately your response to a cyberattack.

What security-conscious CIOs need to be thinking right now – in this moment – are the benefits they can extract through the fusion of their IT and Security teams. These worlds  are already colliding and leveraging this point-in-time by being proactive is the only way to get more out of your (likely) dwindling IT resources. Cyberthreats are limitless, take little effort to deploy, and are highly effective in breaching organizations perimeter defenses. If you don’t know where to start, then consider examining the synergies between your departments.

Enter: The IT Fusion Team

Data protection technology has evolved as have the skills and knowledge of the people using the tools. However, backup administrators have been put in a box for years. One of narrow focus and scope. It’s a box they’ve been happy to sit in because there is still a very significant value Backup Admins deliver as highly specialized pros. But what they have in data protection smarts, they are not experts in security or  articulating security threats to the business. After all, that’s the security department’s gig, right?

Wrong. You need a team that reaches across the server aisle and dedicates itself to proactive protection and response. It is a coordinated effort in the face of today’s rapidly evolving threat landscape as critical data needs to be protected with safeguards as soon as possible to get ahead of threats, minimize exposure, and deliver business resiliency.

Bringing IT and Security together – a collision in its own right – is necessary as data protection has become an irreplaceable element of ransomware response and business continuity plans. It’s time to seed early warning and proactive threat protection to break down organizational silos, streamline processes, properly manage and articulate business risk, and have a greater impact on the future growth of any business.

Other Considerations

There are a few key elements to consider for any Fusion team to properly strategize for the growing threat horizon that awaits. One good place to start is joint planning, common approaches and aligned strategies for data protection, security, and recovery from the perspective of your entire organization.

Your organization’s IT team is focused more on its ability to recover operations and security pros often view the world through a lens of damage mitigation. By bringing them together they become more than the sum of their smarts. They can yield more well-rounded considerations for both how to place IT within your organization’s overall security approach while delivering and improving upon the ability to bounce back when needed.

Guide these teams to their natural points of intersection to better plan:

  • How to protect critical business data
  • How to respond to threats
  • How to properly articulate threat impact to the business
  • How to implement a proactive response posture to minimize risk and keep vital data intact

There’s still work to be done on nuclear fusion. It’s going to take scientists years to make it commercially viable and bring limitless potential to the masses. You don’t have the luxury of time and perfect lab conditions. Bad actors may already be worming their way through your backup data as you read this. Which of your teams is watching out for that?

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