The Year of the Black Swan

I know it sounds like a name the Chinese would give a year.  But I wasn’t sure what else to call it.  The title about sums up 2020.  There is quite a bit of debate still about whether the COVID-19 pandemic fits the definition of a Black Swan event, but undeniably, there has been no single event in recent memory that has had as massive an impact on as massive a scale in as short a time.  The only event that could top this, IMHO is if a massive asteroid (of the scale that might have wiped out the dinosaurs) hit Earth.

While several industries like Food & Beverage, Hospitality, Brick & Mortal retail etc. were severely hit, in the world of tech, the impact was mixed and perhaps when we look back, mostly positive.  The pandemic forced a ton of digital transformation to happen in a super short time.  Microsoft’s Satya Nadella reckons about 2 years-worth of digital transformation compressed inside 2 months.   People figured out how to use the cloud in a hurry – that’s for sure.

At Parablu, it’s been an interesting and exciting year.  After the lull in activity during April-June of this year, we’ve been busy working with customers to help them work within the new set of rules that now govern us.  Some of our customers who have been using our hosted services for backup hardly missed a beat.  Their users continued to work from home (some even without their primary devices) by simply downloading or restoring what they needed onto their home computers, right from our backup repository.  We essentially became their de-facto file services provider for a period of time.   It’s delightful how customers figure out how to make your software work for them in  ways that you never dreamed of!  And even more so when their CIO calls out of the blue to say Thank You!

Many other customers who had on-premise or hybrid set-ups quickly moved to our hosted model and we’ve helped them through that process.  Others, who have still not embraced hosted offerings completely, have also been working with us to deploy our software inside their cloud, effectively creating their own Backup As A Service.

One thing is clear in all this.  The old, perimeter based security model is history.  Say Hello to “Zero Trust”.   Explicit verification, Assumption of Breach, and the Principle of Least Privilege – are what rule.   Fortunately for us, our solutions were always designed for Zero Trust.  Integration with Identity Providers like Azure Active Directory & Okta, Multi-factor authentication integrated with Google & Microsoft,  Role based privileges – were already standard features with our offerings.

Cyberattack incidents happened in the year –

2016 every

2019 every

2021 every

There are however inauspicious forebodings about what the new year will bring.  Security experts predict that in 2021, there will be a cyberattack incident every 11 seconds.   This is nearly twice what it was in 2019 (every 19 seconds), and four times the rate five years ago (every 40 seconds in 2016). [1] It is expected that cybercrime will cost the global economy $6.1 trillion annually, making it the third-largest economy in the world, right behind those of the United States and China.*  Ransomware has become an organized industry where attackers are building on previous successes to launch even more targeted and vicious attacks – taking advantage of the vulnerable nature of businesses and knowledge workers.  There has never been a better time to re-examine your security stance and the well being of your employee data.

With the new Work-From-Home (WFH) scenario, there has been an increased focus on end user data – i.e. data that end users in an organization, create and manipulate on a daily basis.  The safety of company data sitting on employee devices while they work from home – is causing CISO’s sleepless nights.  Here’s an interesting survey result that Microsoft published recently about how the CISO world view has changed.

Source: Microsoft

An interesting development we’ve seen at Parablu is increased interest in secure file sharing.  Sharing of confidential data has traditionally been based on SecureFTP mechanisms which involved users accessing an on-premise server.  With WFH taking over, users are unable to connect to these on-premise servers and businesses now require a secure and reliable way for their users to share files from home.  As a result, we saw a dramatic uptick in demand for Parablu’s BluDrive and BluSync products as a result.

In 2021, we expect to see an increased focus on privacy as Digital Privacy regulations and laws (modelled after the EU GDPR) start to take root.  India’s personal data privacy law – scheduled to become a law soon – is just one such instance.

What else have we been up to this year?

Parablu just this month, inked a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro, the largest technology distributor in the world.    We’ve also appointed AppDistri to distribute our products in Australia and New Zealand.  Parablu’s products also achieved Microsoft IP CoSell Ready status this year placing us among an elite group of Microsoft ISVs.

We’re excited about 2021.  I am calling it the Year of Zero.  Zero Trust Security.  Zero Knowledge Privacy.  And something only Parablu can give you – Zero Cost on Storage!  Want to know how?  Write to us at info@parablu.com.  We’d love to speak to you.

Happy Festive Season and New Year wishes!  Stay safe!


*[In 2021, there will be a cyberattack every 11 seconds. Here’s how to protect yourself, Source: The Print]