Trend Setting

By Michael Rowan, CTO - Cresting Wave

My whole career has been about innovating, prototyping, developing and launching new technologies. Earlier this year, I decided a new perspective was in order and now I spend my days with fellow technologists and their innovations. I’m the technologist for Cresting Wave, and every day I seek out new technologies for our executive customers: CIOs and CTOs who run data centers.

These executives look to me to not only understand their current environments, but also anticipate upcoming challenges.  This puts me into the cross hairs of innovation and challenge.   By investigating trends one can create a roadmap of challenges that will need a response.  And then apply various innovation techniques to create a solution.

Innovation, by its very nature, is risky for customers. Any customer that runs a data center supporting millions or billions of dollars is nervous enough. The benefits of a new widget must be targeted and compelling. Anything less will scare a customer away or move them to one of their other priorities.  I have seen it time and time again.

Does one follow trends or start them?

Which brings me (albeit in a roundabout way) to BlackRidge. I’m not here to explain their technology – you most likely already know all about it (and if you don’t, their site is full of collateral to do just that!).  What I want to talk about a minute is the importance of security.

Security is needed everywhere, on mobile devices, laptops, servers, applications and even the cloud.  Every network point and application require security policies be applied to them.  Security is a function that crosses I.T. and business boundaries.  Security encompasses the entire data center, which means a singular person rarely owns it; the desktop person is responsible for viruses; the database person is responsible for database security and so on.  How does security become top of mind?  Hopefully, before it hits the front page of the paper?

Here’s a thought.  As companies proudly adopt new virtualization trends, new cloud trends, new mobile trends, etc. are they also updating policies to solve the security risks and threats brought on by these improved solutions?

As an example if you use virtualization to turn one server into forty (or more) are you realizing you just increased your attack surface? 

I invited BlackRidge to one of our quarterly events with a bunch of CTOs. These CTOs saw the BlackRidge story in light speed (which I guess is slower now than it used to be; let’s call it “superluminal” speed).  My own experience has shown me these CTOs latch onto things faster than the average Joe. It was even better with BlackRidge however.  The CTOs understood the What in two sentences, and were racing off to the How?  It was great interaction and I’m certain as people left the event everyone felt a bit securely exposed.  Pun intended.

BlackRidge is going to continue educating us on the reasons security should remain top of mind.  I think we should listen. I know I’m looking forward to working closely with them.

A closing thought from the late Robert Havighurst.  "The modern world needs people with a complex identity who are intellectually autonomous and prepared to cope with uncertainty; who are able to tolerate ambiguity and not be driven by fear into a rigid, single-solution approach to problems, who are rational, foresightful and who look for facts; who can draw inferences and can control their behavior in the light of foreseen consequences, who are altruistic and enjoy doing for others, and who understand social forces and trends."