Institute for Business Value

Secure your future with mainframe

When your company’s major investors ask you how safe their assets are, how do you respond? Do you have the right technology to keep them safe? Mainframe could help you answer those questions more confidently.

While mainframe technology is nothing new, the latest generation is even safer and more cost-efficient. In fact, modern mainframes are designed to encrypt anything. Clear text information is an open opportunity for digital criminals. Using mainframe pervasive encryption to protect core systems data can reduce the risk of data leaks — if the right people identify, assess, mitigate, monitor and report risk properly. And centralizing the data in a single mainframe repository saves having to manage updates to more than one copy of business data, which increases the likelihood that the data is current, and above all, safe.

We are all too aware of how quickly cyber crime is growing. The average cost of a data breach is USD 4 million — up nearly 30 percent over the past three years, according to research from IBM and Ponemon Institute. The number of records compromised grew 566 percent in 2016 to more than four billion (from 600 million in 2015). Fifty-three percent of organizations surveyed suffered at least one data breach in past two years, and 66 percent aren’t confident in their organization’s ability to effectively recover from an attack, according to IBM X-Force.

Apart from the obvious potential financial damage, cyber attacks can dramatically and sometimes irreparably impact a company’s reputation. A data breach can negatively impact a company’s stock price and damage the trust and loyalty of its customers, business partners, investors, and many other stakeholders. Perception matters. The stakes can be very high.

Until recently, organizations only needed to worry about employees accessing a few highly controlled and contained applications on the mainframe. Now, you have potentially millions of users logging into your systems to access their records, users who are not just employees, but customers, partners, contractors and other external users.

The sheer volume and velocity of data as well as diversity of users requires a much more robust yet flexible approach to security — a risk-based approach to handling users, processes and technologies. You need automated and role-based access controls that are intelligent enough to know the location of the user, what they want to do and what normal behavior is required before allowing them to gain access. And you need systems that process data securely, efficiently and ensure integrity of data and resiliency in key business processes. In short, you need business-as-usual — 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week — to be safe. Mainframe can help ensure that happens.

Managing information risk is one of the new sources of business value and differentiation. A clear strategy around managing data on mainframe is more than just defensive and traditional risk management. It is about securing your future to make smarter business decisions and improve customer experiences leading to new revenue streams.

To learn more about mainframes, please read our new report. We also hope you’ll meet with us in Toronto at Sibos 2017. To schedule a meeting, please go to Visit IBM’s Stand #E08 at Sibos in the Metro Toronto Convention Center.

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Global Banking and Financial Markets Leader, IBM Institute for Business Value

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