Pioneers of Possible: The importance of business continuity with Pat Corcoran

By | 2 minute read | February 23, 2019

In this episode of the Pioneers of Possible podcast series, Pat Corcoran, global strategy executive with IBM Business Resiliency Services, explains how coupling business continuity with security can help lower the impact of a disaster on IT infrastructure.

Q: You were deeply involved with the Ponemon Institute’s Cost of a Data Breach study. What was the process of developing that research like?

A: We’ve worked with Dr. Larry Ponemon for the last seven years around the cost of a data breach, and in the last few years we incorporated the importance of business continuity. In the past year or two, there’s been a tremendous increase in cyber attacks. Most people are not ready for that. We tried to prove that incorporating business continuity with security can actually help lower the impact. You have better plans in place, you’re more focused, you have communication throughout your organization—when something happens, people can respond quicker and better, and reduce the number of days it takes to identify a virus and contain it.

Q: How did you find yourself in this line of work?

A: I used to run and audit data centers for years at IBM. Then I got into market intelligence, working to create new services. Back in 1989, I helped do the research that created IBM Business Resiliency Services. You need technology skills, but this is really a people job. It’s the greatest feeling in the world when you have a client who needs to recover, and you help them recover—you’re helping that person keep their job and support their company. It’s a win-win for everybody, and the looks on their faces when you help them is second to none.

Q: The ‘90s were about getting people to invest in protection with antivirus software, the 2000s were about detection, and the decade we’re in right now is about developing better capabilities for response. Would you say that this new response capability is more critical than ever?

A: We have a lifecycle approach, and there are five key elements of that life cycle: identify, protect, detect, respond and recover. I think “respond and recover” have been missing for years. When you look at the total life cycle now, with security and resiliency working together, we’re able to offer a truly integrated solution. That’s what people need. They may have bits and pieces already, and we can help fill in the blanks.

Q: What’s the value of integrating security and resiliency?

A: People have looked at cybersecurity for years, and that’s more piece parts, looking at vulnerabilities or a virus here and there. But the marketplace has changed, and hackers have changed. We have to be right thousands of times a day; a hacker only has to be right once to get in. When you look at security and resiliency, I think the beauty of working together is that we cover the whole life cycle. Skills are critical. Our security team has tremendous skills around security, we have tremendous skills around resiliency, backup, recovery and orchestration. Combined, those skills are hard to find in the industry.

Listen to Pat’s full story here.


Pioneers of Possible is an IBM original podcast series dedicated to learning more about technologists, innovators and business leaders. Each episode highlights how leaders pioneer new technology solutions in their respective fields.



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