Cybersecurity Innovation in the Public and Private Sectors

Cybersecurity Innovation in the Public and Private Sectors

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I confess I have read Borderless Behavior Analytics – Who’s Inside? What’re They Doing? three times. I keep finding insights in this book that represent important resonant truths for me that has shaped my perspective on the evolving world of the vanishing security perimeter and what organizations are doing in response to face this challenge.

In chapter five, Robert Rodriguez, Chairman and Founder of the Security Innovation Network™ (SINET), described a number of developments I found compelling. SINET is an international community builder whose mission is to advance innovation and enable global collaboration between the public and private sectors to defeat cybersecurity threats, so his observations are authoritative and insightful.

The one area that struck me was about the emerging trends he saw cybersecurity as well as the sources of innovation for these trends within the security industry. First he observed a critical recognition among many CISOs is the need to move from automation to orchestration of cyber security solution components to facilitate more effective centralized visibility and decision-making. This means having the ability to integrate all the varied automated components of an advanced security analytics solution and supplying simple transparent holistic controls to enable monitoring, analysis and response, from a holistic solution with flexibility for future needs and growth.

This orchestration capability helps the CISOs do their job to assure comprehensive remediation. Eventually, some form of attribution should be included because a number of industries and corporations are battling with this challenge. Nevertheless, in order to do proper attribution, it must become clearly mandated within the cybersecurity industry. That’s something to look forward to in the future.

In terms of other trends, Rodriguez notes that it is disappointing we’re not seeing more disruptive innovation in cybersecurity. He has not seen anyone discovering fire or the light bulb. Meanwhile, it’s a cat and mouse game. Sometimes we’re staying ahead of the adversary, and other times we’re not. What’s needed are solutions that demonstrate thinking from an intel perspective, with components reflecting an understanding of weak points of defense, attacker strengths and likely scenarios.

One of the inhibiting factors of dynamic innovation, however, has been the uncharted, eccentric, and robust evolution of the internet, which has made inspired leaps of innovation in cybersecurity difficult. Use cases rise in popularity, then transform drastically, as has been demonstrated by the original Facebook model and what it has become today. Multiply that dynamic phenomenon exponentially, and you have today’s internet. Now we’re trying to go back in and fix a framework of that information superhighway which has far too many porous holes in it. Moreover, we’re chasing a moving target.

The hope from productive change in cybersecurity lies inherently with the risk takers of early adoption, versus risk-averse people who depend on legacy systems. These change agents are willing to take that risk as they drive the spirit of early adoption in next-generation security solutions, many of which are now drawing from big data and mature machine learning models. Part of the challenge, however, and especially in the government, is that there’s no reward for failure. There is no profit margin or shareholder value, no driving motivation to deliver more for less. As a result, there’s no reward for taking risks. So the culture there is different than in the commercial world.

A positive influence in productive change is when CISOs are exposed to and surround themselves with the innovators, the risk takers, the early adopters. Those change agents are a key influence. Listening to and understanding their forward-thinking, and the way they approach challenges, is part of building a platform of strategic change targeted on the needs, goals and objectives of an enterprise’s next generation of security assurance solutions. CISOs must see the need to continually challenge their traditional perspectives on security and to understand when and where the great opportunities await the informed risk takers.

SINET’s founder Robert Rodriquez has a unique perspective on the trends in cybersecurity. To learn more about his views, read his chapter in Borderless Behavior Analytics – Who’s Inside? What’re They Doing? It’s one of seven chapters where expert CIO and CISO contributors share their qualified observations about security from a wide range of industry vertical perspectives.

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