Do you “brush off” Cyber Security?

I don’t know about you, but I really hate going to the dentist.

If you were wondering why I put “brush off” in quotations, it’s because it was a dental pun. Yeah, it’s gonna get a bit cheeky.

I’ve never really been a fan of doctors’ offices, but something about the dentist is especially unnerving. No disrespect to all of you “x-dontists” out there, I can’t imagine it’s an easy profession. (More than likely, you can blame Little Shop of Horrors, that Dentist song still gives me the creeps to this day.)

Like any good twenty-something, to avoid having to go too terribly frequently I use multiple products daily, weekly, monthly, etc. which allows me the absolute minimum amount of visits while still maintaining oral health. Mechanized toothbrush, two-step whitening toothpaste, anti-cavity mouthwash, floss sticks… my thrice daily routine borderlines on the obsessive side.

I’ve got to be honest here, this is a relatively new development. I had a toothache a while back, and after avoiding it for as long as possible I broke down, went to the dentist, and got a filling. As if the aforementioned dentist aversion wasn’t enough, they drilled into my face! (Before you ask, no I don’t have photographic evidence because I banned any sort of camera taking device around me while I couldn’t speak.) Fortunately the numbing medicine worked during the procedure, but as you all well know, it doesn’t feel good when it wears off.

I felt like my jaw was 3 times the size of a normal human’s, I couldn’t really talk, and then of course, pain. All because 1. I avoided the dentist, and 2. I wasn’t doing everything I could to take care of myself. OH RIGHT, and I had to pay for the torture. I’m in sales, communication is a critical part of my job.. and I couldn’t do it effectively for about a day and a half. Fortunately we have online tools that allow us to communicate with written word, but still. That could have translated to lost revenue. Definitely lost productivity – and pain on top of that. It was an oral catastrophe.

So as I’m staring back at my glazed expression in the mirror this morning, gathering the multitude of items for my monotonous “root-ine” (Heh.) I had a bit of a cyber security Jimmy Neutron Brain Blast.

We need to treat our security practices like our dental hygiene. 

Oral B toothbrush, Colgate Toothpaste, Listerine mouthwash… all different brands, all different purposes. This is what our security landscape needs to look like. Multiple vendors, specific threat monitors, all working together to create a cohesive and effective secure result.

When a company is breached, there is so much more than just the hard dollar amounts that are required to relieve your data from an attack such as Ransomware. Just like you can’t put a dollar amount to pain, you can’t put a dollar amount to loss of brand credibility.

Yes, toothbrush and toothpaste will do a decent job on their own – think of them as your firewall. (If you have a battery-operated brush then it’s Next-Gen.) It used to be completely acceptable just to use these, but as we’ve done more research it’s come to light that it’s not enough. Even brushing three times a day can still open you up to cavities and yellowness.

It’s not about the product, it’s about the solution.

I could go down the whole gambit and make correlations throughout the entire drugstore aisle, but I think the point has been made.

Now, obviously, adding in multiple different products will add complexity to your already elaborate environment. With the (just about) daily new vulnerabilities, network sprawl has become almost uncontrollable. I realize that it probably seems that I’m promoting security sprawl, which I am not.

I bolded the “solution” statement for a reason. Just as we all have different dental needs, each company has their own security needs as well. That’s why we have all different flavors and functions – you have to find what’s best for you.

Gap analyses aren’t just for those annoying front teeth that grew in wrong. There are plenty of braces out there to get that smile straightened out.


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