Every Company is a Security Company

Ben Ravani of Nutanix explains why data security is the first priority for any enterprise cloud service.

By Brian Carlson

By Brian Carlson October 24 2019

Every company is a technology company. Every company is a software company. Every company is a media company. We’ve all heard these maxims from tech leaders ranging from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to tech journalist Tom Foremski that describe how modern businesses need to adapt to remain relevant. But there is a new truism on the horizon that is quickly moving to the top of the list:every company is a security company.

“If you look at enterprises, the majority of them haven't moved their entire workloads to the cloud because it’s hard to trust putting your data and your customers' data in somebody else's hands, even though they want to reduce their IT expenditure and to gain more agility,” said Ben Ravani, Senior Vice President of Reliability Engineering at Nutanix.

[Listen to the audio Podcast: Ben Ravani: Data Security is Everyone’s Responsibility]

According to a 2019 Cloud Usage Report by Nutanix, businesses are increasingly adopting cloud services, ranging from 10 for a standard cloud business customer to 30 services for an enterprise cloud customer. While this shows more companies rely more heavily on public cloud services, Ravani said security remains mission-critical regardless of whether IT departments use public, private or hybrid cloud systems.

With the average cost of a data breach for a company now at $3.8 million and the emergence of regulations like GDPR and the CCPA, businesses have more than customer distrust to contend with if their data is not properly safeguarded.

“Without security, you have nothing,” Ravani said.

Security is the Top Priority

Ravani has spent more than 20 years engineering data systems. At Microsoft, he led efforts behind Windows Live and helped build computing systems that powered Messenger and Hotmail, which grew at breakneck speed and required rapid scaling to meet unprecedented data demands. Now with Nutanix, he’s building Xi Cloud Service, which allows businesses to run IT applications seamlessly across different platforms. Through it all, Ravani has learned that trust is the foundation for customer success.

“This is a lifetime opportunity to bring what I’ve learned from years of building B2C and B2B services at places like Microsoft and Salesforce to build a trusted cloud at Nutanix,” Ravani said.

Top Five Digital Technologies Already Implemented

He said when considering a cloud service provider, customers want to know their data is safe andwill never get lost or compromised. They also want to have flexibility to move their workloads between on-premise and private or public cloud seamlessly to meet their business needs.

As his team grows Nutanix’s enterprise hybrid cloud services, he keeps an eye on simplicity, consistency, strong security and reliability across on-premises and cloud services.

“Design is everything,” Ravani said. “In building and delivering quality cloud services, you need to think about security, reliability and performance. Security is the first priority.”

He said after ensuring data is secure, it’s critical to ensure customers can access this data and that it’s delivered reliably with good performance. Cloud service providers need to have strong operations discipline and practices that ensure a security-first mindset is maintained across the entire company. Comprehensive monitoring, change control and governance must be in place to sustain a quality service delivery in the cloud.

Security is Everyone’s Responsibility

With the number of security breaches on the rise, Ravani said companies need to be more rigorous about safeguard systems, monitoring and training both internally and for your customers to protect both customer data and your assets at all times.

“We have to simplify security with full transparency for customers,” said Ravani.

Ravani believes that even if public cloud services continue to make computing more accessible and scalable, companies that don’t prioritize data protection will likely lose customer trust.

And losing customer trust is fatal.

Brian Carlson is a contributing writer. He is Founder of RoC Consulting and was Editor-in-Chief of CIO.com and EE Times. Follow him on Twitter @bcarlsonDM

Jason Lopez of Connected Social Media contributed to this story.

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