Data Security Strategies and the Chief Financial Officer

In the not-to-distant past, Chief Financial Officers only had to focus on their company’s finances. However, now the CFO is often distracted by data security concerns. In a recent survey by Duke University, “finance chiefs at nearly one in five companies that participated in the outlook survey admitted that hackers have breached their computer systems.” Fortunately, most of these companies are also taking steps to reduce those risks, including about half of those surveyed companies to increase employee training and hire data security experts. Most of the emphasis on data security is placed on protection from near-continuous denial-of-service attacks and critical data breaches,” according to Cam Harvey at Duke University. These are the kinds of attacks that can slow down business operations by impairing anything from a website to services hosted on a private server. In these cases, data security policies are reactive to meet the obvious needs of the business.

Companies like Facebook go above and beyond to protect their data, where Chief Global Security Officer Nick Lovrien explains, “[Facebook] had one data center and it was one building. Today we have about 20 data centers and each of those data centers is growing to about 20 buildings per data center.” These servers are where Facebook users store their photos, video, and lots of other types files. Facebook employs a variety of methods to keep these servers secure, from a buddy system in their facilities to focusing on “the lobby as the perimeter.”

Our expertise often comes in when companies are looking to maintain that security beyond deployment. While most strategies have a reactive stance, we’re finding that more and more, companies are paying attention to how data security is maintained throughout the hardware lifecycle. Companies have data centers with warehouses of hardware housing sensitive information, and we come in to help clear those warehouses of data as they come off-line.

It’s an exciting time for the data center products and services industry. The human race has launched a record number of data center environments over the past five years and many of those servers are coming to a life cycle end. More than that though, it’s encouraging to see an increased awareness for maintaining data security through the hardware lifecycle.

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