Move the Battlefield

Like any good business school student of the 80s/90s, I read all the classic works to explain how to get ahead. I’m sure many of you remember the Gordon Gekko line from the movie Wall Street that in some ways encapsulated the ethos of the era: “Greed is Good.” Many of the book choices of that period reflected this. “The Prince” by Niccolo Machiavelli, and “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu stand out.

Sun Tzu’s collected writings are as popular as ever, and approachable to the average reader, where Machiavelli requires too much side-reading of the history and names of leaders in Renaissance Italian city-states. The Sun Tzu phrase that’s been rattling around my head for the past few months:

 “Thus the expert in battle moves the enemy, and is not moved by him.” 

In the ecosystem of Information Technology, there are many companies that seek to capitalize on the inherent weaknesses of the system we’ve made. For example, we have desktops and laptops as ENDPOINTS that are full systems with processors, RAM, hard disks, etc. that we thus have to protect with:

  • Anti-Virus
  • Anti-Spyware
  • Anti-Phishing
  • Group Policy controls to limit permissions
  • Local machine firewalls

…to name just a few. For large companies, whole sub-departments exist purely to manage the security of these devices, using expensive intrusion detection systems that seek to protect people from clicking on the wrong things and to detect bad actions as close to their occurrence as possible. That’s their battlefield.

But what if you move the battlefield? Remove the inherent insecure elements of the endpoint?

Cloud computing has moved many of these resources up and out from local security control, where they are (assumed to be) more protected, more available, etc. But the endpoint remains a cost sink that doesn’t increase productivity, and only seeks to control risk, like insurance.

One of my consulting offerings is just such a product — by removing the endpoint we move the battlefield. Increase the security by reducing the endpoint risk — particularly effective to the small- and medium-size business. Contact me if you’re interested.

To be sure, not all departments or functional areas will benefit. Marketing and Graphics, which regularly create and digest large files on the desktop, for example. But in our ever-increasing cloud-based shops, there’s a better way…

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