bobsguide were present at Infosecurity Europe 2014. The three-day event was held at Earls Court, London and remains the continent’s largest gathering of information security professionals. Among the vast number of seminars and presentations we had a chance to catch up with some of the events most prominent exhibitors to discuss the biggest information security challenges of 2014.
Against a backdrop of major threats and breaches such as Snowden’s NSA surveillance disclosures, the Target breach and the Heartbleed bug, there was plenty on the agenda. It seems clear that sophisticated technology and tactics used by online criminals have outpaced the ability of information security professionals to address those threats.
Security professionals are working to secure their expanding and inter-connected organisations against increasingly complex threats and sophisticated attack models. All the while, navigating complicated compliance standards and providing flexibility for business to grow, innovate and transform is paramount.
It is evident that the role of information security is evolving to become a business discipline rather than just a technology one. EY’s Global Information Security Survey 2013 states 46% of organisations align their information security strategy to the organisation’s business strategy. This has been one of the key themes of Infosecurity Europe this year. Breaches affect the whole business and security professionals can no longer afford to be on the periphery of boardroom activity.
In the case of cyber security, Troels Oerting, head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, states safety will only be achieved through joint effort from all the stakeholders. “We will win, a safe and secure internet will prevail, but it will be a tough ride, and can only be done if everyone works together,” he told the opening keynote at Infosecurity Europe 2014 in London.
According to Nicko Van Someron, Chief Technology Officer at Good Technology, data is the most valuable asset to any enterprise. “Data can be a real driver for enterprise. If you can mobilise it you can release a lot of business value from it. Security is not the end goal nobody wants to buy security. It’s hard prerequisite to business productivity.”
“A lot of the selling at infosec is – ‘you’re not safe you are in danger’ – I like to think of it as an enabler. By being able to secure your data the possibilities for business productivity are enhanced.” He continues.
Paige Leidig, Senior VP and CMO of CipherCloud also conveyed an onus on data: “The foundation of our portfolio is around data protection – working with Microsoft and google to protect data expanding from data protection to data discovery”.
The emergence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) into the business environment has raised susceptibility to security threats. The problem is that consumer focussed devices are focussed on the end user rather than enterprise security. The android and Ios platforms are designed for data share between users. The exhibitors we spoke to are firmly behind the notion that businesses must educate their employees about the importance of mobile device management.
Another key focus of the event was the importance of people in security. During the show, organisations like Marks & Spencer and Barclays called for more organisations to focus more intently on the training that is given to security personnel, and combine staff with deep technical expertise with those who understand how to explain these complex issues to a wider audience.
Whistleblowing was a major point of discussion with many suggesting that a culture has been created as a result of companies failing to address concerns of their employees. As generation Y begins to enter the workforce ignoring this any longer could lead to seriously dangerous consequences.
The 2014 show has bought light to the ways in which cyber criminals are attacking the most valuable of business assets in more ways than one. However it is clear from Infosecurity Europe 2014 that the shared intelligence of the industry is more than capable of meeting any challenge.