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IBM President Jim Whitehurst’s 10 Boldest Remarks From Best Of Breed Virtual 2020

“I come from the airline industry,” said Whitehurst. “They say planes don’t have rearview mirrors. If you’re moving forward, it doesn’t matter what’s behind you.”

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Black Hat Hackers Targeting Work-From-Home

IBM’s security portfolio has been an overall area of success, Whitehurst said, and also has provided Big Blue an advantage in coping with the sudden workforce disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s really nice when you have a very large security organization as part of your company because literally within ten days we had everybody at IBM up and working at home fully efficient … And a big part of being able to do that was our ability to feel confident in our security posture and a lot of that’s because obviously we’re in the security business so we had extraordinary expertise to leverage.”

Hackers are looking to exploit the shift to remote work, he said.

“It’s clear that the black hat hackers clearly must be sitting around at home because they have a lot of time to hack away. I mean we really are seeing a significant increase in the level of security activity.”

“Focusing on that is going to be critical as we go forward because, again, as people are distributed, you can just think of it as, you know what, as someone once said to me, hacking isn’t the Russians coming in through the skylights. It’s somebody checking every single window to see if one’s open. And if all of a sudden you start to say all my employees are remote, I have 1,000 times as many windows, how do I make sure not a single one of those is actually unlocked because with the automated tools of today, somebody’s going to find that. So really making sure that you have automated practices around that.”

That threat creates opportunities for the channel.

There’s “a clear need and generally the budgets are there, frankly, in enterprises because everybody understands the risk.”

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