The pandemic has normalized remote working conditions and presented new opportunities for cybercriminals to attack companies and individuals alike. Now, effective cybersecurity solutions are more important than ever.
It’s widely known that professional security systems can detect cyber threats before they manage to compromise a device or an entire network. Even though it’s a great way to stop certain cyberattacks, effective cybersecurity solutions go beyond software and tools.
We’ve reached out to Martin Laster, the President of LABUSA, to talk about current cybersecurity trends and best practices to protect businesses of all sizes.
How did LABUSA originate? What has your journey been like?
LABUSA was founded in 1999 by me and a college friend at the start of the Internet boom. The company’s first business was website development, and the outlook for that industry looked bright. We structured the company to focus on web design and hosting services. We increased staff, picked up a third Co-founder, and were preparing the company for growth.
In 2005, we experienced a sharp decline in business and were faced with the prospects of closing operations. I took over sole ownership of the company and transitioned operations to include integrated security solutions. More importantly, the company shifted the focus beyond a technology discipline to ensuring cost-effective and secure computing solutions to improve business.
Today, the company supports corporations and government agencies internationally. The focus on the customers enabled us to weather the industry's turbulence of the past decades.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you do? What are the main challenges you help navigate?
LABUSA is a provider of information technology and security solutions that follow a customer-focused and outcome-driven business model. The customer engagement process is simple – we tailor products and services to the specific needs and then price our work based on performance. Clients benefit because they do not have to pay for unused features or change their business workflows to use our technology. Overall, the clients see a greater return on their investment using our model.
What are some of the main changes you have witnessed in the IT field throughout the decades?
Over the years, we have witnessed many unique IT challenges that affected industries and businesses. Yet, there are three main ones that I consider the most problematic:
- Incompatibility or integration
- Staff to support the technology
- The cost to implement and manage
These issues have been a problem for businesses for decades and are becoming increasingly complex with cloud computing technology. The demand for interconnected domains of critical infrastructure, networks, software, and hardware combined with the investments that are needed to support the growth, is the bottom-line issue faced by the clients.
LABUSA provides cloud-managed services through an open hybrid cloud strategy that integrates public, private, and on-premise computing systems. The solution is a mix of open-source technology, on-premise devices, and cloud computing infrastructure deployed to align with clients’ business operations.
The unique approach spreads IT resources across different infrastructures for security and redundancy while enabling a community of support to prevent lock-in to proprietary technology. Our solution extends the efficiency, security, reliability, and cost-effectiveness of the information technology environment.
How did the recent global events affect your field of work?
The impact of COVID-19 has accelerated the growth of cloud computing and has presented more cloud-to-edge computing opportunities. The need for cloud-based systems, mobile applications, and the Internet of Things (IoT) was highlighted in 2019-2020. As consumers demand a faster and more impressive experience, companies look to improve efficiency and innovate new solutions. Meanwhile, managing the workloads and ensuring reliability, security, and cost-effectiveness is challenging. Helping enterprises develop a hybrid of public and private cloud solutions with on-premise systems is the key to building a better IT infrastructure to support the global transformation.
When it comes to customized cybersecurity systems, is this something businesses of all sizes should invest in, or is it only relevant for large enterprises?
I think companies should look at cybersecurity systems as strategies and tactics rather than products and services. Given the number of risk factors impacting the internet-connected computing infrastructure, it is difficult to prevent cyberattacks. When companies view it as a product or service issue, they tend to overspend with very little impact on their threat profile. Whereas, when the focus is on preventing business disruption, the emphasis is on reducing vulnerabilities and responding to consequences. The investment for small and large enterprises is to first understand the potential threats that may impact their business operations and devise strategies to counteract them.
Although there are more security solutions and providers available than ever before, certain companies and individuals still hesitate to upgrade their security. Why do you think that is the case?
I think that companies hesitate to upgrade their security because they don’t understand the risk and potential consequences of cyberattacks on their business operations. This is partly because they don’t fully understand the vulnerabilities of hardware, software, and interconnected systems they employ. Instead, they have third-party companies and consultants that they rely on that do not properly track potential threats. Lastly, there is no one organizing threats and vulnerabilities in a way to make business decisions on.
What are some of the worst cybersecurity practices that can make companies extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks?
Some companies use or maintain unpatched or outdated software to preserve some functionality. However, unpatched software means there are potential vulnerabilities in a program. Not upgrading or not patching software regularly is probably the most extreme source of attacks.
Since work from home is becoming the new normal, what cybersecurity solutions do you consider essential for remote teams?
Since the COVID-19 lockdowns have increased remote working, enterprises must monitor their computing endpoints more. This includes from a security and performance perspective: organizations need to gather and analyze security threat-related information at the endpoints as if it is an extension of their enterprise computing infrastructure.
What does the future hold for LABUSA?
LABUSA is the cloud service provider enabling organizations to build a robust digital business model with cloud and edge computing. It is the enterprises that face challenges in maintaining secure, reliable, and cost-effective business systems in the cloud, on-premise, or at the edge that will best benefit from the company.
We believe that data security, privacy, and availability will be the primary priority and challenge to business growth and sustainability in the future. LABUSA will continue to position itself to help clients deploy an IT architecture that incorporates workload portability across public and private clouds.
The future holds a more globally interconnected technology environment for enterprises. LABUSA is positioning itself to meet the demand by expanding its network of partners around the world. The company will lead cross-functional teams to support data-centric solutions for the privacy, security, and operational performance interests within organizations.