Wow, That’s Really Embarrassing…..


The big security news today is like something out of an old 1950’s spy novel: the Russians are digging up dirt on American politicians.

I said it sounds like a novel, but it appears to be real. The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The Washington Post and more are all reporting that hackers (that’s this millennium’s word for what was a ‘spy’ in the 1900’s) tied to the Russian government breached the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) computers. And they stole the DNC’s research files….including their collected info on rival Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Not surprisingly, the Russian government is saying they had nothing to do with it. The bottom line, though, is that the system was breached by someone—that’s not disputed—and the storage systems for a political committee or campaign are LOADED with information that governments would want so that they can predict foreign policy changes or, dare I say, potentially put some donations behind a candidate. And, these systems are also ripe targets because of just that: donations. Donor information, including credit card numbers, addresses and other information that facilitates financial crime likely sit in those storage arrays. 

This isn’t a first, so shouldn’t have come as a surprise to the DNC. There were breaches during the presidential elections of 2008 and 2012. Political campaigns aren’t in the business of building IT empires: they’re just extended pop-up ‘stores.’ Well, guess what, it’s time to wake up. There are simple ways to secure data, and if taking care of your donors credit card numbers isn’t enough motivation, how about national security—how about national face-saving? I shudder to think of what dirt was/is in those files, which would include competitive information that the party intended to use to fight the election fight, but also likely includes information that won’t use because it’s too undignified or poorly vetted to be put out there. 

They probably didn’t want to spend money on data security that they think will be better spent ‘fighting the fight.’  Now they’ve spent it on detection and remediation. It’s a lose-lose now: the data has been taken and the money will be spent on security after the fact.

Security matters. The 2016 Russian spy novel is happening. Hope and hand-wringing don’t secure data. The DNC and organizations like it are distributed organizations: there’s lots of data, lots of people collecting data, lots of people who need to access the data, and they’re spread out all over. Criminals keep getting smarter. Where there’s information that’s of value to someone, data security can’t be taken lightly. Competitive candidate information is a big part of the IP in a political campaign. 

Really, SteelFusion

SteelFusion is, honestly, perfect for organizations like the DNC (and Republican National Committee and Liberterian National Committee, and any other ‘NC’s’ out there).  It brings so many data protection advantages: it facilitates centralized storage of data from an organization’s various locations and branches (so you know where ‘it’ is), which enables controlled physical protection and IT pros’ attention to keeping data intact. It enables end-to-end encryption—encryption in transit and at rest—so that even if a breach occurs, unauthorized access nets nothing usable. This is real government agencies (and businesses, and healthcare organizations, and other security sensitive organizations) are choosing SteelFusion as the solution that will help them to centralize all of that mission critical data and infrastructure previously sitting out there vulnerable to theft and tampering. It’s a no-brainer.

Performance matters, too, on a day-to-day basis, and the good news is that there’s no need to sacrifice performance for security. SteelFusion helps you deliver the applications and data needed by remote workers without the risk of leaving data vulnerable uncontrolled environments. When you control and secure data centrally with SteelFusion, you reduce risk to your business operations, slash branch IT costs and drive greater utilization of datacenter investments.

Check it out—do something. Don’t let your data be an easy target. Learn more about SteelFusion or move even faster to secure your data by contacting a Riverbed Partner. Whatever you do, don’t just wait and hope, putting yourself in the position to have to do damage control. Be a hero by keeping it from happening to your company and, by extension, your friends and colleagues.

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