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What we can learn from our friends in the Government

Reports from the team who attended GovSec in Washington DC highlighted that there is a lot to be learned from the government sector.  Based on recent conversations, it seems to me, government IT organizations are among the most risk averse of all industry sectors.  Risk adverse organizations are:

  • Proactive; they don’t wait for a data breach to happen, they secure their communications
  • Most likely to have an organization-wide data risk assessment and profile
  • Understand that a true adversary only has to be right once, but your security measures have to be right in every possible way
  • And understand that the most destructive adversary can easily come, accidentally or intentionally, from within the organization

We’ve seen plenty of high profile, reputation-destroying data breaches this month, including the recent notable addition of Sony to the list.  We’re still waiting for specifics on how many of these data breaches occurred, and the true price Sony will ultimately pay, not just in lost revenue while the network was down, but also in lost future revenue as gamers switch to the competition.

Most organizations wait till a major problem happens, and then take action.  John Pironti, during a recent Accellion-sponsored Enterprise 2.0 webinar, entitled “5 Security Essentials for Collaboration” put it best.  After a data breach, companies,   “fire people, hire a new outside security team, and throw a lot of money at finding a solution.  For six months.  And then attention wanes.”

Maybe it’s because politics is fickle, maybe it’s driven by regulatory compliance, or maybe it’s because government – federal, state and local agencies have seen the repercussions of data breaches and have digested tough lessons from their peers.  Whatever the reason, we have seen robust growth in this segment, with new Accellion government wins across the globe, from The Bahamas to Western Australia, from governing bodies to law enforcement agencies.  Organizations have to react once a data breach or noncompliance occurs, but it’s great to able to point to some good news and a market segment that’s being proactive.

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