Security "Bits"

What "The Walking Dead" and IT Security Have In Common

By Annie Wang | November 14, 2014 at 8:00 AM


For those of you who are fans of the show "The Walking Dead," hear me out. The term “Walking Dead” refers to the fact that the world is now in the middle of a crazy zombie apocalypse. Zombies (once neighbors) are now roaming the earth in search of live human beings to feed on. But I think this title has another meaning. I think there’s a twist and that it actually applies to the survivors who will eventually meet their fate. This concept has striking similarities to the situations that several companies find themselves in. A lack of adequate protection for their data and no real plan for making improvements.  In the IT world, companies who do not prioritize security should be referred to as IT’s “Walking Dead.”  As it’s only a matter of time until they experience a potential life ending security breach.  But like the hit TV series, it’s a good thing that security seems to be going mainstream. 

Research shows that security is the top priority for IT professionals over the next three years.  43% of IT execs have said that their budgets are expected to grow over the next year.  46% will be investing in improved cloud security in areas like access control, intrusion prevention, identity management and malware protection.


With this increased spend must come a change in the mindset towards to the sources of security breaches. To most enterprises, the logical data breach culprits are outside attackers. Chinese or Russian syndicates sending malware in their direction, and then stealing their company’s most sensitive data. Enterprises must begin placing more focus on internal threats, like careless employees, one of the weakest links in the security chain. 

In the case of healthcare breaches, for example, malware only accounts for 23% of the total number of breaches in the industry. Lost and stolen employee mobile devices accounts for a whopping 68%. To most, these stats are completely unexpected.

For the companies who are not prioritizing security, it’s time to get your business and IT decision makers in a room and hash out a plan to begin making improvements in the way your company secures data. Hackers are getting more and more advanced, and are constantly one step ahead of security teams (who are slowed by bureaucracy and slow processes). The further the gap between advanced threats and security defenses get, the more likely your company will fall into a perpetual game of catch up.

Don’t find yourself in the precarious position of Rick Grimes and his companions struggling to fight off an endless amount of zombies attempting to devour  them. Avoid becoming a part of IT’s “Walking Dead” by keeping security top of mind.


Chris Hines

Product Marketing Manager @Bitglass



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