Secure cloud options drive demand for FairWarning

When it comes to security, it’s good to have your head in the cloud, Kurt Long believes.

Mr. Long is the founder and CEO of FairWarning, a could-based data security provider.

With the singular vision of protecting the health, wealth and banking information held in business databases around the world, Fair Warning safeguards more than 8,000 health care facilities and in excess of $550 billion in financial assets.

Its cloud-based solutions provide data protection and governance for hundreds of applications including Salesforce and Office 365. They audit and manage close to 400 billion data rows.

Kurt Long

Core security principles and legacy system deficiencies leave many companies vulnerable to security breaches, Mr. Long said.

The cloud offers a better way, and leaders across many verticals are confident the security measures there are better than other alternatives. That is the main reason FairWarning has seen demand from financial services companies for cloud-based security solutions increase almost five-fold in 2017.

Mr. Long said both healthcare and financial services can take conservative approaches to technology. In healthcare, Mr. Long said people he respects are calling for more collaboration within the system. Each speciality may have its own approach or even its own cloud and that makes it difficult to integrate all of them if there is no common standard across systems.

“When it’s in your own centre, you have control,” Mr. Long said. “You put in the data engines and control it so you get a full view.”

Financial services have grown more open to new concepts thanks in part to the fintech revolution, Mr. Long said. The shortage of traditional SME lending created an opportunity for startups to leverage new technologies in exciting ways to serve clear needs in the marketplace.

Unencumbered by legacy loyalties, these new players are amenable to new solutions in all areas of their business. For fear of falling behind, incumbents have warmed to them too.

Does the cloud provide a better security option? Implementation is key, Mr. Long said. If systems are properly installed off the bat and security is all in one place, then future patches can focus on that one speciality area. If your IT team keeps servers up to date across the company and everyone is on the same version of the operating system then you only have to install the one update instead of keeping track of each version separately.

The cloud should bring modern software architecture and a more consumer-friendly feel, Mr. Long said. For example, systems can be updated much faster.

“If you have a new version of a banking app, it should be done overnight,” Mr. Long said. “Legacy systems are not built like that. The update can be a four to six-month process, and the fees charged are software specific.”

Identity verification continues to be one of the most problematic areas of security because businesses have to strike a balance between speed and security.

“The reality is the business owners usually win and say err on the side of speed and convenience,” Mr. Long said.