One Change to Improve Security

March 11, 2016 | Javvad Malik

One of the best things about being at RSA last week was the opportunity to meet and seek out the opinions of industry practitioners, observers and commentators. In addition to conducting a formal, structured survey at events like RSA, I also like to pull out my camera and talk to folks to capture some of their thoughts on film.

Having fallen victim to one too many click-bait articles, I thought I’d turn the tables and ask RSA attendees, “if you could change one thing about security to make it better, what would it be?”

While the question itself was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, the intent behind it was serious. With so many vulnerabilities and assets to protect, it is useful to understand which particular actions would potentially yield the biggest returns.

Three main themes emerged from the responses I got to this question:

1. Taking A Unified Approach

Complexity appears to be one of the biggest challenges arising from security technology. Understanding assets and network structure, keeping track of change management processes, and having to buy a variety of products to achieve specific tasks all stand out here as related issues.

One person we spoke with off camera stated that “security” is not one industry. Rather, it ends up feeling more like a collective of many micro-industries. Endpoint products are separate from network products, which in turn are different from assessment products, and so on. This is a sentiment that we at AlienVault whole-heartedly agree with, and one of the reasons we take a unified approach with our security management offering, to reduce both complexity as well as the number of products that enterprises need to purchase and deploy.

2. It’s Not Just About The Technology

Too many times, information/IT/cyber security is viewed as a technological problem that can only be resolved by implementing technologies. However, one cannot overlook the human element of security, people ultimately remain a huge factor in the success of any infosec program.This forms a fundamental part in ensuring security is embedded within the business.

The best tools in the world can be rendered useless without the buy-in of both the businesses that they are designed to protect and the team members that are responsible for using them.

3. Consumer Awareness & Protection

Finally consumer-level awareness and protection was brought up several times. Many internal company employees can also fall into the category of “consumer” – and this is even more the case in ‘bring your own device’ environments.

Social engineering attacks, such as phishing emails, not only affect home-users, but also many companies as well, when employees fall victim to costly CEO/executive fraud emails and ransomware scams.

Check out the video below and feel free to weigh in with your opinions. What one thing do you believe would have the biggest impact in improving information security?

Javvad Malik

About the Author: Javvad Malik

The man, the myth, the blogger; Javvad Malik is a London-based IT Security professional. Better known as an active blogger, event speaker and industry commentator who is possibly best known as one of the industry’s most prolific video bloggers with his signature fresh and light-hearted perspective on security. Prior to joining AlienVault, Javvad was a senior analyst with 451 Research providing technology vendors, investors and end users with strategic advisory services, including competitive research and go-to-market positioning.

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