Potato Jesus is not Your Savior

by | Jun 27, 2022

In the Zaragoza region of north-central Spain—roughly halfway between Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast, and Bilbao on the Atlantic—lies the town of Borja. Borja is home to the Sanctuary of Mercy, a church with a history dating back to 1451. About a century ago the artist Elias Garcia Martinez pained a fresco of Jesus Christ entitled Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) on the church’s walls.

Over the years, the condition of the fresco deteriorated and so the Sanctuary of Mercy began collecting funds to pay for a professional restoration of the mural. In the meantime, an elderly parishioner and “amateur artist,” Cecilia Gimenez, also took note of the condition of the painting and decided to take matters into her own hands. The project did not go as intended. In fact, Ms. Gimenez’s restoration went so poorly that the fresco went from obscure religious icon to infamous subject of worldwide scorn nearly overnight.

DIY Gone Wrong

The results of Gimenez’s earnest effort became variously known as “Potato Jesus” and “Monkey Jesus,” and inspired further memes and mockery. Her failed art restoration stands as an example of how a well-meaning do-it-yourself project that would otherwise require a specific set of skills can go horribly wrong.

We’ve seen similar botched DIY results in organizations that, needing a skillfully crafted solution to securely and reliably send and receive business-critical files, instead decided to save a dollar or two by tasking a member of the IT staff with the job. Like Ms. Gimenez, these individuals may be more than capable of the technology equivalent of painting a competent still-life, landscape, or portrait, but they lack the know-how to do a job that requires a specific set of skills.

Typically, when organizations establish managed file transfer workflows, they do so because they need to send sensitive data to specific destinations—like trading partners, government agencies, and financial institutions—on a strict schedule. The files in question often contain information that requires handling under the auspices of regulations like GDRP, GLBA, HIPAA, PIPEDA, PIPL, SOX, and many, many more.

Specific Skills Needed to Address Specific Challenges

Remaining compliant with regulations requires knowledge of things like encryption, audit documentation, and scheduling. And to be certain that documents make it securely to their intended destinations, you need support from automation and the ability to alert responsible parties should things go wrong. You also need to build in standard communication and security protocols like SFTP and PGP; integrate with cloud services from the likes of Google, Microsoft, and Amazon; and it helps if you architect it all in a no-code format so that anyone in the organization can use it.

When done right, a secure managed file transfer solution is an elegant, effective, and easy-to-use tool that can be counted on as an essential part of a data security, management, and compliance program; and one that makes sharing data a seamless part of any business operation. Done wrong, do-it-yourself file transfers are a high-risk nightmare that, like Potato Jesus, will bring shame and embarrassment to your organization when something goes awry and a data breach occurs.

Ignominy, not a Silver Lining

The silver lining to the Sanctuary of Mercy’s moment in the spotlight is that the notoriety resulted in enough donations to pay for a complete, professional restoration of Ecce Homo. And the community benefited from the influx of tourism as people from all over the world flocked to Borja to see Potato Jesus for themselves. But regulators are not known for having a sense of humor about data breaches, so your moment of ignominy isn’t likely to have a happy ending.

The good news is, Coviant Software can save you from file transfers gone wrong. Our award-winning Diplomat MFT secure managed file transfer software is trusted around the world by organizations that can’t afford to take chances with their data. Don’t you take a chance on ending up with a file transfer Potato Jesus. Ask for a demo of Diplomat MFT, instead.

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