A hectic but interesting week at RSA – here are the key takeaways

RSA Conference 2016 is winding down, but you can feel the energy even while the crowds are thinning and getting ready to head back home. I felt there was a marked change in the attitude towards attacks and breaches – now a majority of industry professionals agree that detection is more important than prevention. It is common knowledge that there is no way to defend completely against an attack or a data breach given the asymmetric nature of cyber-attacks. This change in mindset will help increase the effectiveness of breach detection solutions. There is a lot of awareness about what is a threat vs. risk. When threats intersect with weakly protected assets, the risk increases. There is no one size fits all solution for cyber security.
One of the CISO’s summed it up brilliantly: “If it were that easy cyber security would not be the topic of discussion around the globe on a daily basis for both CEOs and nation leaders.”
Some key takeaways for IT security and InfoSec professionals to help plan and execute your cyber security strategy:

  • Understand your core business
  • Identify critical assets, workflows, data, applications and processes in use
  • Assign priorities to security projects based on business impact
  • Focus on data outflows from your infrastructure/cloud
  • Evaluate build vs. buy – identify all of the possible scenarios/use cases/benefits for each
  • Trust but verify every solution you plan to purchase
  • Deploy a small pilot, but hit large-scale production as soon as the pilot succeeds
  • Don’t forget that “detection” is more critical than “prevention”

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