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Posted on February 28, 2014
For a conference that opened with William Shatner and pushed attendees to Share, Learn and Secure throughout five days, the 2014 RSA Conference delivered value, challenges, and ideas on virtually every cyber topic. Speakers RSA CEO Art Coviello and Juniper Networks security executive Nawaf Bitar challenged attendees to replace apathy with action and push leaders to more thoughtfully address the concerns of offensive cyber weapons and privacy. The Chertoff Group’s Michael Hayden, and Richard Clarke from Good Harbor Security Risk Management discussed the Capitol Hill debate on NSA surveillance, and I spoke about the struggle many organizations face when attempting to better identify, rank and prioritize the assets that drive their profitability and are targets of attacks.
RSA attendees also saw attacker theory become reality when CrowdStrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch and George Kurtz demonstrated the ability to permanently and completely “brick” the device making it useful only as a doorstop or paperweight This kind of destruction could be much worse than Shamoon, which destroyed the data on 30,000 laptops, but left them operational.
Booz Allen had a significant presence at the conference and my colleagues and I believe that the following themes will continue to be top of mind for security professionals:
The RSA Conference offers sharing, networking and learning in spades, however, the largest gathering of cyber professionals demonstrated yet again that our community is still focused on point products and band-aids: anti-virus, firewalls, administrative controls, filtering, IDS, etc. When CISOs turn to off-the-shelf products they’re often left dealing with training, integration and implementation by themselves. Recently, Booz Allen released a white paper, “Shifting Risks and IT Complexities Create Demands for New Enterprise Security Strategies,” that helps security decision-makers address this challenge. The white paper, which received positive feedback from RSA attendees, provides actionable information on the current threat landscape, the changing role of the CISO and CRO, and the consequential need for an end-to-end security and service partner.