Navigating the Evolving Landscape of Data Security: Insights from DartPoints’ Cyber Security Manager

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In this insightful interview with Michael Fazely, DartPoints’ Cyber Security Manager, we delve into the critical importance of data protection in today’s digital world. According to Veeam, over 85% of organizations suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months. Discover how DartPoints is helping customers safeguard their businesses now and for the future. In this interview, Fazely provides expert insights on the impact of Artificial Intelligence on creating a culture of security and managing complex threats. Learn how DartPoints is revolutionizing cybersecurity with a comprehensive approach in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

Q: What do you see as the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on cyber security?

Fazely: The AI and cybersecurity combo is a hot topic! You see, AI isn’t like a superhero swooping in to save the day when it comes to cyber threats. It won’t single-handedly solve all our security problems, but it’s a powerful ally.

AI is fantastic at helping us spot and respond to cyber threats way faster and more efficiently. It’s like having an extra set of eyes and brains that can process tons of data in the blink of an eye.

Now, there’s this buzz about AI stealing jobs, right? But in the world of cybersecurity, it’s a different story. AI is here to supercharge security departments, making them stronger and more effective. But that doesn’t mean we’ll be saying goodbye to human cybersecurity experts. In fact, we’re going to need them more than ever because as technology evolves, so do the threats. The demand for skilled cybersecurity pros is going to keep on growing. Think of it as a partnership between humans and AI, working together to keep our digital world safe.

 Q: What are the first steps you usually take when getting started with a new customer?

Fazely: When we engage a new customer, our first order of business is to take a closer look at what they already have in terms of security products. You’d be surprised how often companies think having more security tools means better protection. But sometimes, they’ve already got what they need; they’re just not using it to the fullest.

So, we roll up our sleeves and dig into each product they’ve got, making sure they’re getting the most out of them. Businesses often buy these products and then struggle to keep up with updates and new features. It’s not easy, especially for smaller departments that don’t have the same kind of vendor connections we do. They might not even know when there are new features or updates available.

On the other hand, we also play detective and look for any security gaps in their current setup. Sometimes, we can plug those gaps using what’s already in place, and other times, we might recommend a new product or an upgrade. It’s all about finding the right fit for their unique security needs.

Q: What’s the most important advice I’d share with companies when it comes to their security?

Fazely: It’s all about creating a cohesive, open, and collegial culture amongst your IT teams. All too often, IT teams in an organization can become siloed from one another and view one another as an impediment to getting their job done. Teams can become antagonistic towards one another, often running duplicative applications for their own usage. This drives up cost and complexity, making the organization less secure if the applications aren’t correctly administered. Shadow IT is an issue that comes to mind in these scenarios.

If a security team takes an iron-fist approach to securing the organization, it can upset other teams. If, on the other hand, the security team takes the time to work alongside other teams to understand their processes and technology and allow these teams’ voices to be heard when it comes to decisions – the teams will begin to work with one another rather than against. 

If you outsource certain parts of your IT, you’ll need to look for partners willing to collaborate with your IT teams and have a track record of supporting companies in their security initiatives.

Fazely: It’s all about creating a security-conscious culture that involves everyone in the organization. The first piece of advice that I give is to establish security policies that cover the whole company, not just the IT department. Everyone needs to be on board with the idea that they play a part in keeping data and assets safe.

Next, break down those barriers between IT and the rest of the organization. Security isn’t just IT’s job; it’s a shared responsibility. Think of it as a team effort. Communication is key, too. Make sure employees feel comfortable reporting anything suspicious to IT. When people are encouraged to speak up, it helps catch security issues early.

And finally, trust your IT team and give them the power to act swiftly when problems arise. Delaying action because of red tape can cost a company big time. By following these steps, companies can build a security culture that’s proactive and collaborative, ensuring their data and assets stay protected.

Q: What do you see as the most difficult threat to manage when it comes to cyber security?

Fazely: The most challenging threat to manage in the realm of cybersecurity is unquestionably the issue of third-party vendors. Unlike traditional security threats, which often have established defenses like firewalls and antivirus tools, managing third-party relationships poses a unique and complex challenge. This complexity arises from the fact that when organizations engage with third-party vendors, they essentially entrust another organization with varying degrees of their data and security, often having limited control over the vendor’s systems and practices.

One of the primary difficulties in managing this threat is the potential for a malicious actor to infiltrate the systems of third-party vendors. This infiltration can lead to the exposure of sensitive data, unauthorized access, and data breaches. To effectively mitigate this risk, organizations must implement robust vendor risk management programs that involve thorough due diligence, well-structured contractual agreements, and continuous monitoring. These measures are essential for maintaining the security and integrity of data when collaborating with external partners.

Q: What do you see as the future of DartPoints Cyber Security offerings?

Fazely: It’s not just about selling one-off solutions anymore. Cyber threats are getting sneakier and more complex, and businesses need comprehensive protection. So, we’re looking at providing a full stack of solutions to cover a broad spectrum of security concerns.

Think of it as going beyond just fixing one problem at a time. It’s about giving our customers the peace of mind that comes with a comprehensive approach. It’s not just about plugging holes; it’s about building a sturdy, all-encompassing security system that keeps our customers’ data safe in this ever-evolving digital landscape.

At DartPoints, we understand that security is not just about responding to threats; it’s also about preventing them in the first place. Our security solutions are meticulously crafted not only to deter potential attacks but also to equip you with the tools and expertise needed to detect and recover from any breaches that may occur. Our comprehensive services and wealth of experience empower you to navigate your security challenges with unwavering confidence.

Learn more about Data Protection here.