Navigating the crisis: How my team balances collaboration and security

Sumo Logic's chief security officer explains how they're taking a human-first approach to balance collaboration and operational security during the pandemic
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Editor’s note: IT leaders have quickly shifted gears to enable remote working and overcome unplanned technology and business challenges in the weeks following the COVID-19 outbreakThe Enterprisers Project is documenting their stories and celebrating IT team wins in an ongoing series. George Gerchow, chief security officer for Sumo Logic, shares his IT team win below. 

The challenge:

The speed in which COVID-19 has evolved has prompted new ways of doing business and added additional responsibility to the everyday role of IT and security teams. As businesses continue to navigate these uncertain times, the balance of collaboration and operational security must remain paramount. 

What we did:

At Sumo Logic, we've been focused on a people-first approach that is empathetic to people’s needs and work styles - ensuring employees are engaged and not overworked. We've created an emergency response team that meets daily to discuss the next steps the organization will take to protect our employees and the business.

We moved quickly to ensure an effortless transition to remote work, including ensuring there were Zoom accounts in place, backing those up with Google Hangouts, VPN support, and even an old school “1-800” telephone number just in case.

We found this to be especially important for our regional leaders, whose countries had faster evolving situations compared to the United States. This helped ensure not only business operations but also the ability to quickly to disseminate information to employees.

What we learned: 

The following steps have helped us balance collaboration and operational security:

  • Acting in a timely manner and holding regional leadership accountable for local employees’ best interests.
  • Identifing bare bones technology needed to run securely and efficiently in order to prepare for rapid changes or the need for solution prioritization. 
  • Ensuring a cloud-native approach, not over relying on on-premises solutions. 
  • Understanding an expanding security perimeter and new threats that arise with employees working from home.

Lastly, taking a human-first approach and having an understanding that this time is a major adjustment for everyone has gone a long way for us. Our learnings from this pandemic will also help us prepare informed strategies for future crises to enable us to act faster and in the best interests of our employees. 

[ Read also: Digital transformation: What CIOs are accelerating during the pandemic. ]

As Sumo Logic's Chief Security Officer, George Gerchow brings over 20 years of information technology and systems management expertise to the application of IT processes and disciplines. His background includes the security, compliance, and cloud computing disciplines. Mr.