The Security Stakes Have Risen: What’s Next?


Duane Barnes, General Manager and Vice President, RapidScale

Duane Barnes joined RapidScale (now a Cox Business company) in 2016 as Director of Solutions Engineering and was charged with building out this team nationwide. By early 2017 Mr. Barnes was promoted to SVP of Technology, during which he was responsible for service delivery, support, solutions engineering, software engineering, project management, compliance, and architecture. In March 2021, he became RapidScale’s Vice President and General Manager managing the company’s leadership team that oversees operations, product, technology, and sales.

Mr. Barnes has over 20 years of experience working in IT focusing on enterprise data center and security services. Prior to his employment with RapidScale, Intelisys, Open-Xchange, and Windstream Hosted Solutions he held various leadership positions at MPInet, PowerOne Communications, and The Walt Disney Company. His expertise is in complex data center solutions and managed hosting projects; cloud computing, virtualization, storage, SaaS, networking, disaster recovery, security, and VoIP. He currently holds numerous industry certifications from Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, CompTIA, HP, and EMC. Mr. Barnes also holds a B.S. in Communications from the University of Phoenix.

The security landscape has changed dramatically as a result of accelerated digital transformation initiatives, a hybrid workforce, and multicloud environments. How can you best protect your business today? Duane Barnes, vice president and general manager at RapidScale, offers strategic advice.

What has changed in the past year to make IT security an even greater concern?

It has been a perfect storm. Even before COVID-19 hit, cybercrime was on track to cost the world a staggering $10.5 trillion annually by 2025. Now a distributed workforce and increased migration to the cloud in the wake of the pandemic have increased the number of vulnerable endpoints. Every employee’s laptop, every mobile device, is a potential vector. A severe security talent shortage compounds these already complex challenges. Truly, we’re not in Kansas anymore.

Some organizations are adopting a zero trust approach. Why?

Zero trust is the answer to today’s mind-boggling security headaches. It works on the premise that you can’t trust any device, user, or network, no matter where it is. Gone are the days of perimeter security applied to all assets within a moat. Organizations realize they can no longer count on passwords as a robust shield. They need identity and access management to verify every employee and every device that is making its way into networks. And that’s what zero trust provides.

Where should organizations start with zero trust?

Enterprises need to ensure that individuals can work from anywhere, using a secure connection through a secure device. That’s where identity access management (IAM) and multifactor authentication (MFA) play pivotal roles. They need to be part of every enterprise’s security vocabulary. IAM and MFA not only execute endpoint device management but they also do so while keeping employee needs front and center—and are instrumental in ensuring seamless experiences for the hybrid workforce.

In what ways can a managed cloud services provider help?

Businesses have many moving parts driven by SaaS programs and/or cloud infrastructure environments. Enterprises need skilled talent that understands how these components mesh together and that can implement the right strategy and solutions. Managed cloud services providers fill that crucial gap, not just with expertise but also with innovation to find the right approach that fits your business and existing resources.

Equally important, enterprises need not tie up precious capital maintaining critical infrastructure. Today’s post-COVID work landscape demands a security-first approach. The right partner understands how those security needs are changing and will help protect your business, no matter what comes down the pike.

Discover how to streamline your zero trust journey with RapidScale.


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