Key Challenges Facing Security Managers
by David Stuart, Manager of Symantec MSS Product Marketing
Having just participated in an executive CISO Summit attended by nearly 70 CISOs from mid- to large enterprises, I’m struck by the many common challenges we face in the presence of a more sophisticated threat environment and dynamic business climate.
General themes from the practitioner-speakers included:
- The consumerization of IT is leading to “boundary-less computing”. At work, at home, at play - all are blurring. iPads, iTV’s, smart phones, Androids…. Need to protect everything – not just a corporate network. One CISO said they had “a thousand new devices enter their network on the day after the iPad went on sale.” Consumerization of IT is real and it is driving fundamental changes in the way we think about securing “the enterprise.” Certainly, a comprehensive, cross-correlated security analysis approach (such as what Symantec MSS provides) is required to have true visibility across today’s fluid enterprise.
- Awareness programs are very hard to do, but absolutely requiredand are one of the key strategies for a secure organization. Security solutions should help, not hinder this – use the summary reporting capabilities of MSS to your advantage and to highlight areas of risks/gaps/etc. that requiring shoring up. Regular service manager progress reviews are a good time to understand trends gain insight.
- Business integration and enablement are priorities for CISOs. ‘Connecting with the business’ better means moving to more strategic, less tactical roles. Focus on top priorities and demonstrate how security is helping to improve risk posture and thwart threats. MSS helps by focusing your attention on those most critical incidents that have real meaning to our organization.
- Collaboration. How do you get your organization collaborating in a safe manner? Some have standardized on a singular tool set that is felt to be secure. User awareness and education are very key. Avoid links /attachments in instant messages, etc. Also, discover where your data/assets reside and monitor for critical leakage.
- Cloud Computingwas a huge discussion. Concept is great – implementation so far is weak. Security is a concern. Opportunity exists for key players to step up and define a reference architecture for securing cloud infrastructure /applications /data. MSSPs can play an important role as (hopefully) agnostic proponents of defense-in-depth strategies.
- Moving towards a COTS app environment and away from a programming environment. How do you secure this? XML is a great enabler but there must be a commensurate focus on security. Trojan threats in the mobile app marketplaces are a good example of what can go wrong. Reputation has a big role to play, to ensure both sites and files are legitimately secure. Why take the risk if you don’t have to?
- Data is HUGE. So much information that is being stored. Today Cisco estimates 30 Billion devices attached to the Internet. Expect up to 1 Trillion in 3 years. Let’s hope they don’t get too smart – they already outnumber us! Data encryption, discovery/classification, and leakage monitoring are all key ingredients to securing critical assets. Symantec can help you.
- Teaching kids about security. How do you educate all these young up and coming Internet users? My daughter is a good example – she’ll click on anything from a ‘friend’. I haven’t counted, but she must get a hundred ‘posting’ notices a day from her facebook crowd. Yikes! Policies only go part way – education is equally important. We have a long ways to go!
As always, your comments are welcome!