Cybersecurity Evolves Gigaom Change

Sitting in a room at the GigaOm Change 2016 conference in Austin, I took a journey into the world of cybersecurity and heard the latest about how consumers can protect ourselves in the ever growing connected world. When Niloofar Razi Howe, chief strategy officer at RSA, uttered the words “the Internet was not built with security in mind” I paused. If we’re going to have more than 30 billion connected devices in the future, and the Internet was not built with security in mind, what should people think and do? Thank goodness, the panelists from Cylance, RSA and 1011 Ventures had it figured out and I like sharing so you’re in luck.

It came down to these key tenets:

1) Simplicity—whatever cybersecurity solutions, products and platforms you’re implementing, it has to be simple. Sound obvious? It makes sense. Solutions need to be simple enough to operate; simple enough to manage; simple enough to execute. The best quote was “complexity is the enemy of security.” A panelist noted there are a million pieces of malware released every day. To effectively fight that, whatever is being implemented has to be simple.

2) Focus on the business impact—the experts stressed that cybersecurity is no longer a tech problem, present only in the mind of a business owner/leader. It’s a business problem – as headlines about major hacks remind us all too well. As soon as a breach or incident happens, they want to know the business impact, not how it happened.

3) The future is automation and education—by 2019, the cybersecurity industry will be at personnel resource deficit of 1.5 million people (that’s ominous for businesses and consumers alike). For the industry to grow at the rate it needs to protect our connected devices, the panelists said automation and artificial intelligence were critical for growth. But just as important, is the continued push for STEM education and diversification within our schools.

After listening to three cybersecurity experts talk about what our cybersecurity future will look like and what do we need to do to secure it, am I still concerned with the statement that “the Internet was not built with security in mind?” Yes, and no. I learned the bad guys will always be out there, trying to hack away at whatever they can for their own personal or financial benefit, and with 30 billion connected devices, that can be concerning. So that means you have to be diligent with your company’s cyber security by following the tenants above. As well, if you do run into an issue where your system, or database or anything else is hacked, you will need an experienced communications partner to help manage the process, keep customers informed and help your business get back normal operations. With more than 30 years of experience WE communications has built deep industry expertise and the connections needed to strategically handle a breach, while adapting to an ever changing threat landscape.