Thoughts coming out of AGC and RSA conferences

The recent AGC and RSA conferences in San Francisco at the end of February proved to be very successful, well attended events around topics facing the security industry. The overall theme of customer comments, keynotes and roundtables centered on cloud adoption—specifically the risks and gaps associated with fragmented, non-standardized security controls that affect visibility into risks across a hybrid, on-premise or cloud architecture. True, the benefits of the cloud are evident, yet without unified visibility into threats that target an entire enterprise, attackers can easily penetrate defenses and move laterally throughout an organization.

We are actively working to close this gap, using multiple techniques, partnerships and strategies to simplify network design and unify visibility to threats across hybrid architectures. Addressing the obstacles inherent in distributed network architectures and the risks associated with embracing the cloud is crucial.

In cloud security, knowing the geolocation of the data and how that data is secured is significant but what most organizations don’t think about is that cloud has unique requirements. These requirements should have a full security package where security leaders should be thinking about how do I get from where I am to the next level of maturity and what’s the strategy or roadmap?

From my perspective, security is not necessarily a technology problem but rather a process and people problem. In thinking about the full security package in the context of cloud security,  you should consider aspects such as mobile security, social media implications and the evolution of your role as a security leader.

 

Mobile, Social Media and the Evolution of Your Role as a Security Leader

As security leaders and thought leaders gathered to discuss the current state of the threat landscape, I made three key observations that emerged from the events that might help you:

1. Mobile security remains one of the hottest, most vulnerable operating spaces within the IT security industry.

This is rapidly becoming a trust issue for end-users and must be addressed by validating the security of hardware and software platforms. Customer confidence and consumer safety can only be maintained through such vigilance. This should extend far beyond mobile phones, BYOD and MDM to include smart, embedded devices and the discovery of vulnerabilities direct from the factory. Smart device manufacturers reduce their risk and protect their brands as they deliver new innovative products in an increasingly interconnected world.

2. The evolution of the Chief Information Security Officer.

For those who are new CISOs my advice is to not necessarily learn security; first learn how to communicate the priorities that your security folks have to the business. For those of you who have been with the business for a while and are now taking on a different role as a CISO, you have the opposite challenge. What you need to be focusing on is learning the business. Think about your role as being one foot in the business and one foot in security and then act as the interpretation between those two organizations.

3. The hacker’s playground is social media.

Social media accounts with a large number of followers provided another type of a central strategic target that serves as a key communication platform for the enterprise, providing news, promotions, business updates, and other types of announcements and alerts. It is more important than ever to ensure the integrity and safety of these accounts and profiles, and to ensure users entrusted with accounts associated with the enterprise understand strong security practices. Any organization is only as secure as its weakest link.

 

Security monitoring and SIEM are certainly prerequisites in today’s threat landscape. However, without the right amount of expertise and intelligence, today’s security practices can leave gaps that result in front page headlines.

So how do you build threat intelligence into your strategy? It’s both an art and a science but in order to build your strategy you have to understand risk. To understand risk, you have to understand threats, because threat management is part and parcel of that entire process of risk identification.

 

More from CISO

Who Carries the Weight of a Cyberattack?

Almost immediately after a company discovers a data breach, the finger-pointing begins. Who is to blame? Most often, it is the chief information security officer (CISO) or chief security officer (CSO) because protecting the network infrastructure is their job. Heck, it is even in their job title: they are the security officer. Security is their responsibility. But is that fair – or even right? After all, the most common sources of data breaches and other cyber incidents are situations caused…

Transitioning to Quantum-Safe Encryption

With their vast increase in computing power, quantum computers promise to revolutionize many fields. Artificial intelligence, medicine and space exploration all benefit from this technological leap — but that power is also a double-edged sword. The risk is that threat actors could abuse quantum computers to break the key cryptographic algorithms we depend upon for the safety of our digital world. This poses a threat to a wide range of critical areas. Fortunately, alternate cryptographic algorithms that are safe against…

How Do You Plan to Celebrate National Computer Security Day?

In October 2022, the world marked the 19th Cybersecurity Awareness Month. October might be over, but employers can still talk about awareness of digital threats. We all have another chance before then: National Computer Security Day. The History of National Computer Security Day The origins of National Computer Security Day trace back to 1988 and the Washington, D.C. chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control. As noted by National Today, those in…

Emotional Blowback: Dealing With Post-Incident Stress

Cyberattacks are on the rise as adversaries find new ways of creating chaos and increasing profits. Attacks evolve constantly and often involve real-world consequences. The growing criminal Software-as-a-Service enterprise puts ready-made tools in the hands of threat actors who can use them against the software supply chain and other critical systems. And then there's the threat of nation-state attacks, with major incidents reported every month and no sign of them slowing. Amidst these growing concerns, cybersecurity professionals continue to report…