Clear Disruptors Podcast: Ajay Arora

Ajay Arora, CEO of Vera: “Protecting Data in a World of Smartphones and Cloud Servers.”

June 29, 2007…the day the iPhone was revealed. They said it would change the World, and change the World the iPhone did. For IT Departments, responsible for protecting enterprise data, however, that change has not been altogether for the better. With the mass popularization of smartphones came an explosion of personal computing devices, file sharing services and the Internet of Things. That, in turn, has led to a bona fide paradigm shift in the way that data is shared…and how it must be protected. Despite more than 60 billion spent in the US alone to protect data, there were more than 4000 recorded breaches representing more than 4 billion stolen data records worldwide in 2016. “The problem has fundamentally changed at its root and its base,” says next generation data security platform Vera CEO Ajay Arora, “security now is…broken.” Ajay joins us on this edition of Clear Disruptors to explain the problem, and how Vera aims to fix it. Highlights include:

Holes in the data dike: “Data loss vectors in an enterprise or in the government… were pretty locked down” in the past, says Ajay. For most of the past 30 years, the concept was to build a wall around data to protect it. Along with the multiplication of devices and cloud based technologies that have entered the fray, the wall paradigm has become “anachronistic,” explains Ajay. It is like putting “a finger in the dyke to stop the water from flowing through… so many holes pop up that you no longer can keep pace… It becomes a non-scalable, non tenderable option to … build a wall that is self-repairing fast enough to stop these breaches.”

From levees to leashes: The solution for this shift in the problem of data protection is to focus on “the data that you’re trying to protect in the first place,” offers Ajay, “Imagine creating a bubble, or putting a leash or lasso around every single bit of your data. No matter where it goes…you can control who gets access to that data and what they can do to that data.” Ajay explains what kinds of protection Vera attaches to individual pieces of data and how it prevents unauthorized individuals from copying or accessing the data.

IT…phone home: In cases where data is permitted to be copied, how does Vera protect it from unauthorized access? As Ajay explains, the security “travels with that data wherever it goes.” When someone tries to open a data file, “that data will…‘phone home’,” not only allowing the data owner to deny decryption of the data, but also alerting it to the unauthorized access attempt. Ajay runs through various scenarios where this would be useful, from the NSA hack to human error cases.

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