IBM Z and Cybersecurity: The New Normal

Anil Prabha

July 5, 2020

When it comes to cybersecurity, this aspect of the IT ecosystem is now under even more scrutiny in a post-Covid 19 world. Physical distancing, remote working and the new normal is putting enormous stress on IT networks as a whole. IBM Malaysia is of course on the case and doing the best it can.

The usual suspects in the hacking circles are still doing their thing, and wreaking havoc on public and private enterprises too. So, we thought we’ll explore the cybersecurity element with Freddy Lee, CTO at IBM Malaysia.

Asia Blockchain Review (ABR): It is said that the movement of data between partners and third parties is often the root cause of data breaches. In fact, 60 percent of businesses reported they suffered a data breach caused by a vendor or third party. Please explain how IBM Z enterprise platforms can tackle this?

Freddy Lee (FL) : With IBM z15, we unveiled Data Privacy Passports. With Data Privacy Passports, pervasive encryption is extended across the enterprise enforcing data privacy by policy even when it leaves the IBM Z platform, without impact to system performance.

With this industry-leading capability, clients can offer new services and features that give their consumers stronger control over how their personal data is used.

z15 also can encrypt data everywhere – across hybrid multicloud environments – to help enterprises secure their data wherever it travels. Let’s say for example client is working on a joint project with a business partner. Then, one day their partner’s company gets bought out by client’s biggest competitor.

Ordinarily, that would be a cause for immediate concern. After all, client is working on a joint project with much of their intellectual property embedded in the workflow. Now, their biggest competitor has all their treasured intellectual property!

The IBM z15’s Data Privacy Passport enables client to instantly revoke access to their data, so that their former partner is not able to share their company secrets with the competition. That’s a very powerful capability.

ABR: Looking at the ‘Cost of insider threats: global report 2020’, it is evident that insider breaches are a real problem with the average costs of thefts being a very costly bane. Could you provide us with an overview of this report?

In the 2020 study, 964 IT and security practitioners across 204 organizations located in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region were interviewed to understand the costs associated with insider threats – which is could be a careless or negligent employee or contractor, or a criminal/malicious insider, or a credential thief.

We found, on average, that the global average cost of an insider threat is $11.45 million. The frequency of insider incidents has tripled since 2016 from one to 3.2 per organization, and these 204 organizations experienced a total of 4,716 insider incidents over the past 12 months. Here are some of the interesting highlights from the report:

  • The cost of insider incidents varies according to organizational size. Large organizations with a headcount of more than 75,000 spent an average of $17.92 million over the past year to resolve insider-related incidents viz-a-viz smaller-sized organizations with a headcount below 500 spent an average of USD $7.68 million.
  • The three largest industries affected were financial services, services, and technology and software. They incurred average costs of $14.05 million, $12.31 million and $12.30 million, respectively.
  • (Read the complete report: IBM The Cost of Insider Threats Report 2020)

This concludes the second part of our interview with Freddy Lee, CTO at IBM Malaysia. Be sure to check out the next installment soon!

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About the author
Anil Prabha

Editor In Chief

Anil started his career in journalism all the way back in 2003. After traversing the sphere of editorial, corporate communications and advertising, he has now come full circle and is back in the world of journalism. He believes in the power of the written word, and its ability to enthrall, delight and inform the reader.

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