What’s Changed (and What Hasn’t) in Cybersecurity

 Quick quiz: In what year was the following news bulletin published?

“Security experts are dealing with a virus that is spreading quickly through Windows operating systems… In a twist by virus writers, an email in wide circulation that offers a ‘fix’ actually infects the user’s computer with a different virus.”

Sounds like it could have been in the news yesterday, but it’s actually from 2004 — which illustrates what hasn’t changed in cybersecurity. Such security threats continue to abound.

What has changed is the landscape in which those threats are launched. In 2004, few companies had adopted cloud computing. Today most organizations are striving to operate — and to secure —multiple public and private clouds, not to mention colocation environments, legacy on-premise systems, and hundreds of databases and other applications.

As one of the leading providers of modern IT as a service, Rackspace is investing more than ever in technology and expertise to serve the rising need for multi-cloud security, which we address through a robust portfolio which includes managed security services, including Proactive Detection and Response, Compliance Assistance and Privacy and Data Protection, plus our recently launched Quickstart Solutions.

As part of that commitment, we also strongly support National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, held each October since that news bulletin at the top of this post was published in 2004.

Even after 14 years of raising awareness, the need for cybersecurity education is more urgent than ever. For example, spearfishing attempts have become increasingly sophisticated. One recent attempt appeared to be sent from a known contact, containing a link to a page with what looked like an Outlook login page, pre-populated with the recipient’s email address and a space to enter a password. Fortunately, our internal security team blocked the attempt, as it does on a regular basis.

Launched by the National Cyber Security Alliance and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity Awareness Month emphasizes “our shared responsibility”:

“Everyone has a role in securing their part of cyberspace, including the devices and networks they use… If each of us does our part — implementing stronger security practices, raising community awareness, educating young people or training employees — together we will be a digital society safer and more resistant from attacks and more resilient if an attack occurs.”

At Rackspace, that’s a sentiment we strongly support. We build the latest cybersecurity tools and compliance measures into our entire managed IT portfolio, including our services for customers who use the world’s leading private clouds (VMware, OpenStack, Microsoft), public clouds (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud), managed hosting and colocation.

Even more important than tools, however, is the value of human expertise, and Rackspace has made that a central differentiator of our services. Rackspace security experts — including many recruited from U.S. and British military and government cybersecurity teams — are actively hunting for threats inside our customers’ environments in our 24x7x365 Customer Security Operations Center, while additional teams do similar work in our internal systems. “Pre-approved actions” agreed upon by the customer, allow analysts to move quickly, without the delay of additional notifications, when certain urgent threats or suspicious activities are detected.

[Learn more: Taking a Page from the Hackers’ Handbook: The Power of Human Expertise]

We serve more than 140,000 customers in more than 150 countries, including a majority of the global enterprises in the Fortune 100.  We learn from, and share what we’ve learned with, their security teams. And, as members of the Cloud Security Alliance, we take part in regular threat intelligence exchanges with the biggest technology companies in our industry.

As Rackspace CEO Joe Eazor frequently notes, “the multi-cloud trend offers users great power and agility, but also confronts them with great complexity.” Nowhere is that more evident than in the challenge of securing multiple infrastructure environments and applications. Learn more about how Rackspace can help you meet that challenge, or reach out to one of our cybersecurity experts.

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David Meredith served as Rackspace Chief Operations and Product Officer until 2019. His responsibilities included P&L oversight of the vision, operational and administrative direction of Rackspace’s product lines, operations, technology and service delivery functions. Prior to joining Rackspace in the summer of 2017, David was President of Global Data Centers at CenturyLink where he helped lead the successful roll-up of four managed security and big data companies into the Savvis global data center platform as part of a $2.8B transaction to sell those assets to a private equity consortium. His responsibilities also included P&L oversight across the global footprint of nearly 60 data centers. David has led international business units in a variety of leadership roles that have ranged from senior manager to president, CEO and board director. His experience spans a range of industry verticals from venture-backed firms such as NeuPals in China to business units of large public companies such as Capital One, CGI and VeriSign. As an industry thought leader, Meredith has provided insights for leading media outlets such as BusinessWeek, USA Today and The Washington Post. CIO Magazine, Wireless Week and The Huffington Post have published his articles. David has spoken on industry topics for NBC’s Carson Daly Show, NPR’s Morning Edition, Seoul Broadcasting System, PBS’ Nightly Business Report and at analyst forums such as Gartner, Bloomberg, Yankee and Cantor Fitzgerald. In December 2016, the respected Uptime Institute recognized Meredith’s contributions to the Industry by selecting him for their Change Leader Award. David was named “Top 40 under 40 - Best and Brightest Leaders” by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2008. David graduated with honors from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in finance. He earned a master’s degree in IT management from the University of Virginia, where he serves on the advisory board as past-Chair.


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