If data leaks, a company dies
From solutions that utilises AI and ML algorithms to deliver always-on proactive support, to global collaborations all in the name of helping customers modernise data protection, Veritas’ goal to continue creating hybrid cloud solutions where customers can protect and manage their data, has never really changed despite new challenges.
With 96% of the Fortune 500 listed as customers for Veritas, CTO of Veritas Cameron Bahar told Abigail Opiah that the company’s 2019 vision board has three clear points written in bold.
“My vision for Veritas is three things – to make data protection and data management simple, agile and observable,” said Bahar as he stresses the importance of doing all three in a seamless, cohesive and simple fashion.
“Right now we are investing in technology to achieve that goal short term.”
This all comes with an array of challenges with the most prominent being that of segregation of responsibility should be taken care of for the individual enterprises in terms of security.
“Being that we are a software company and we support heterogeneous environments; supporting many data sources, applications and workloads efficiently and securely is a very large challenge.”
With the proliferation of virtual machines and container technology, the data environment is getting larger and more complex as well as more dynamic. Bahar expresses that building systems that are flexible, agile and simple to manage is also a challenge.
“What’s important is reducing risk for a company which will enable them to reduce their exposure to failure, for example, if they lose some data, they are able to restore it quickly because they risk losing money if they are down.”
With that being said, Bahar communicates that it is imperative for enterprises to understand their risk profile.
“Companies should be questioning the data they possess with specific emphasis on whether it’s backed up, if it has GDPR related information or if there is some customer information that should be protected.”
“Data is the new oil, it’s like how blood runs through your veins, data runs through the veins of your company – if it has leaks and your company is bleeding, it eventually dies.”
As a Chief Technology Officer, Bahar see issues with companies bleeding data through various means without having a clear idea about the risk.
“This is a classic case of the end justifying the means in terms of leveraging data beyond just protection, for information and intelligence about customers, workload patterns and behaviour to have a full view of all the data a company possesses.”
Keeping in line with the list of new data breaches and hacks, many were the challenges that plagued 2018; from more than 87 million records breached by Cambridge Analytica to 5.2 million guests’ passport information hacked from Marriott International database.
“A lot of companies have built firewalls and intrusion detection systems, but we often see that ransomware and other security holes allow people to come into the organisation and steal data,” explains Bahar.
“My advice is to be aware of what you have and the risk profile associated with that data. If you don’t know, then if somebody comes in and steals that data, you’re exposed and your brand image gets tarnished.
“One of the things I usually reference is a large bank deleting 50 million files pragmatically which came through the systems that they were able to search and classify their data and then set policies that say if these files have an individual’s social security number or something along those lines, then it can go ahead and delete it or at least provide a report for somebody else to review and then they can take action.”
Bahar brags of Veritas’ suite of products around data visibility that allow its customers to search and classify an index of various data sources, providing visible user interfaces and ultimately a good user experience. It is a constant battle to stay ahead of the game.
“We find that our customers have to keep up to date on the latest security breaches and upgrade data systems. Most of the penetrations and leaks happen when people exploit weaknesses in older systems. A lot of fixes are available but you will always be a little bit behind.”
Bahar emphasised that there is always a solution to a challenge that arises.
“Veritas invests in secure clocks and a bunch of other technology to check and verify in order to make sure that once some data is written that is tamper proof, if it has been tampered with at any point, we can detect that it’s been tampered with and recover the quarantine data.”
With all this and more, Veritas has a full plate but is certainly enjoying the benefits of remaining as a private company; although plans of going public can never really ever be ruled out.
“One of the benefits of staying private is that we are able to invest and react very quickly without some of the overhead restrictions of being a public company.”