Securing Data in an Increasingly Digital World: Equinix’s Montoya Previews CAPRE’s Great Northwest Cloud Summit

SEATTLE, WA — Michael Montoya is the Chief Information Security Officer for Equinix. Montoya is responsible for leading Equinix’s global cybersecurity risk program. His responsibilities will include evolving the company’s information security program and defining the company’s future cybersecurity roadmap, enterprise risk management and compliance programs. Montoya has extensive experience overseeing global cybersecurity programs and advising large enterprises, governments and regulators across global markets.

Michael will offer a keynote at CAPRE’s Great Northwest Cloud Summit this week: “Securing Data in an Increasingly Digital World.” Below, we caught up with Montoya to learn about the latest in security at EQuinix as well as his persective on the industry.

Michael Montoya, Chief Information Security Officer, Equinix

With the amount of data being generated and the value it holds, cybersecurity has been top of mind for the C-suite and budgets allocated to security are only increasing. With the increasing importance of network security, enterprise and colocation customer network architectures are changing with the adoption of hybrid clouds accelerating. The network and how it is secured is a complex problem becoming more complex overtime as a combination of public internet and private network connections form the new world connectivity networks. With 90% of the world’s data created in the last two years alone, how can data center and cloud providers ensure security is not being compromised as the workloads continue to grow and become increasingly valuable?

CAPRE: Where does Equinix’s focus lie as we head into 2020?

Montoya: As we look to the next year, at Equinix we will continue to listen closely to our customers’ digital challenges to solve and enable them. Our position in the industry gives us a unique perspective and view into what’s coming next. Some of the key areas we will be focusing on are the digital edge, the future of the cloud (specifically around hybrid/multicloud), bringing artificial intelligence (AI) to the edge, cybersecurity, sustainability, and data regulation.

CAPRE: What is Equinix’s IT and security strategy? Can you share any success stories?

Eqinix: At Equinix, 10,000 customers and partners rely on us to connect, protect and power their digital worlds. This includes over 345,000 interconnects in over 220 global locations. “Protect” is a mission we take seriously and know that 10,000 CISO’s across the globe depend on us to be part of their cloud partnership model. We have a proactive, company-wide security strategy that addresses threats at all levels of our own enterprise and extends to ensure our customers’ have the offensive and defensive capabilities they need to handle whatever comes their way.

I recently joined Equinix as the new CISO and, under my role to lead Equinix’s global cybersecurity risk program, my strategy will focus on fortifying our current information security program, as well as defining the company’s future cybersecurity roadmap, enterprise risk management and compliance programs. As an interconnection and colocation provider, our IT and security strategy at Equinix will ultimately continue to focus on empowering enterprises to deploy business critical applications in multiple hybrid cloud infrastructures, while delivering the industry-leading security, availability, and performance that today’s businesses demand.

CAPRE: What have you encountered during your short tenure so far?

We have seen that our digitally-fueled enterprise customers have experienced heightened-productivity with lower costs by pushing applications, data and processing closer to the edge. Enterprises such as these recognize value benefits, including consistent user experience across all cloud and on-prem applications globally, the ability to orchestrate command and control of network traffic and security for cloud infrastructure operations, and secure access for all users across public and private cloud-based applications, as well as a highly resilient and responsive IT infrastructure.

CAPRE: What are you looking forward to about CAPRE’s Great Northwest Cloud Summit?

Montoya: Not only am I excited to share my insights on cybersecurity and data privacy during my keynote, but I’m also looking forward to join such a strong caliber of seasoned industry experts and senior leaders to discuss leading trends and share best practices. I’m also looking forward to the networking opportunities that will allow me to continue building relationships that will collectively enable us to open a forum to share ideas to stay at the forefront of today’s ever-changing IT security landscape.

CAPRE: What technological advances are setting the tempo in the IT Security arena?

Montoya: With the increase in cybersecurity attacks such as denial of service, ransomware attacks, data breaches in the public clouds, new data processing technologies are emerging which will allow enterprises to process their data in public clouds in a more secure manner. Techniques such as multi-party secure computation, homomorphic encryption (operating on encrypted data) and Secure Enclaves (where even cloud operators cannot peek into the code being executed by a cloud consumer) are different approaches that allow enterprises to run their computation in a secure manner.

CAPRE: How do you anticipate the broader IT security landscape changing in the next 5 years?

Montoya: While making unforeseen predictions for such a fast-changing industry are difficult, we do know that the threat landscape is massive; hackers will continue to become more sophisticated using new methods and tools to gain access to private information.  As we witness this upsurge of cybercrime and data hacking activities, I can say that enterprises will continue to place greater focus on the adoption of better security solutions for securing the information deployed on the cloud as well as on-premises, and to strengthen internal security structures.

Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, IoT and 5G will enable billions of new devices to be connected to the internet, and more high-value information, such as health and financial data, will be collected and stored through connected environments. Over the next five years and beyond, we certainly expect that the need for more seasoned cyber security professionals will boom, in parallel to the surge of automation and threat detection processes. Furthermore, the need to assess the threat landscape will become a growing board-level priority as significant investments to implement effective controls that prevent cyberattacks and criminal activities will need to be made.

CAPRE: Got it, Michael. Thanks foryour time. We’ll see you — and hear from you — in Seattle!

Equinix connects the world’s leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the world’s most connected data centers in 52 markets across five continents. In the United States, Equinix operates data centers in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Silicon Valley and Washington D.C. Montoya joined Equinix from Digital Realty where he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer. Prior to Digital Realty, Montoya held various leadership roles at Microsoft including Chief Cybersecurity Advisor.