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3/4/2010
07:43 PM
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Global CIO: In Age Of Google Hack, Verdasys Redefining Cybersecurity

After a huge victory protecting Ferrari's racing secrets, Verdasys is racking up big wins among large enterprises seeking new approaches.

The recent and stunning Aurora cyberattack on Google triggered two massive migraines for CIOs and CISOs because, first, if one of the world's leading tech companies is vulnerable, then what chances do mere mortals have? And second, the realization that the bad guys are seeking something more valuable than money: intellectual property, strategic plans, and highest-value information.

We've put multiple locks on the doors, we've coated the door in steel, we've put bars and alarms on the windows and stuck motion-sensors on everything including the pet cat. We've gated the community, mined the yard, filled the moats with hydrochloric acid, posted beefy security guards around the perimeter, pulled the curtains, and put on our bravest T-shirt—the one saying "I don't believe in ghosts!"

And nothing seems to work. The ghosts pour in like they own the place.

And the bad guys seem to get badder and more devious more quickly than we can get smarter and more effective.

Global CIO
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Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our new online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

In spite of many billions and billions spent on enterprise security—and for all of the threats many of those defenses have stifled—businesses today still face huge, escalating, and utterly confounding risks from increasingly devious advanced persistent threats.

In that context, there's a a relatively low-profile IT security company called Verdasys that probably won't remain relatively low-profile for long (just wait til you hear the Ferrari story!). It's developed a security strategy and approach that it calls Enterprise Information Protection that it believes can provide the solution to the devastating cybersecurity challenges every company in every industry is now facing.

Extending the data-centric model, EIP is designed to weave together technology and processes and scale globally outside the enterprise to partners, supply chains, outsourced environments and more. Here's a snapshot overview from the company's website:

EIP looks holistically at defining and mitigating the risk to sensitive information moving across complete business processes and multitudes of end-users worldwide as part of a strategic and unified information governance program. It moves beyond the walls of a conventional enterprise to include knowledge sharing across joint ventures, supply chains, and partnership and outsourced environments, enforcing the proper, secure, and compliant use of information. EIP solutions enable global companies to create and deploy effective strategic information governance programs that improve business agility while reducing overall costs and risks by:

• Enabling secure knowledge-based collaboration; Reducing IT infrastructure and operational costs; Reducing the frequency and amounts of data and transactional losses; and, Improving the risk posture and compliance level of an enterprise

Some very large enterprises are buying into the EIP approach, according to Verdasys cofounder and president Nick Stamos, because the fact that they're large means that they have the most to lose.

"We're going after Fortune 2000 customers—right now have 3 million seats overall," he said. "That's the world we've been in for a while and we're getting used to it." About a third of Verdasys's business comes from financial-services clients, and other significant markets include semiconductor companies, chemical companies, software firms, and car companies—including Ferrari.

And if it's possible for a data-security company to make its bones on one particular deal, then Ferrari was it for Verdasys:

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