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A Roadmap for CIOs & CSOs After the Year of the Mega Breach
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Ed Moyle
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Ed Moyle,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/17/2014 | 9:00:51 AM
Sympathetic practitioner, frustrated consumer
As a securtiy practitioner, I can heartily relate to the issues that face enterprise security teams and I get it why these breaches keep happening.  

However, as a customer who's information has been comprimised time and again (leading to multiple incidences of identity theft against me), I'm extremely frustrated with the state of security in enterprise.  When it comes to personal data about me, it seems like if you can name it, somebody's lost it: financial data, health records, passwords, sensitive personal information, etc.  

I'm frustrated by this.  Firms continue to fail to take basic "blocking and tackling" security measures until they get burned. Until someone -- consumers or regulators -- start to hold organizations accountable for this, I'm not sure there's an economic incentive for organizations to care.  In fact, right now the situation arguably favors poor security: since there's no correlation between company valuation and breaches (there isn't, see acquisti - http://www.heinz.cmu.edu/~acquisti/papers/acquisti-friedman-telang-privacy-breaches.pdf), by avoiding the cost of implementing basic security measures, the economic impact of that is almost entirely absorbed by customers.  

Maybe that's cynical, but it seems to me it'll get worse before it gets better.
securityaffairs
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securityaffairs,
User Rank: Ninja
6/17/2014 | 7:44:47 AM
Re: Engage the C-suite
The real problem today is that security is still perceived as an additional cost to reduce or eliminate. The economic crisis and the globalizations have exaggerated this aspect.

On the other side, we have a that the cyber threat is increasing in complexity, cybercrime is even more profitable and has low risks for criminals.

As a result the number of data breaches is increasing, and it will continue to do it. The overall losses will continue to increase and new technologies like IoT with be source of further problems if we don't start to think to security by design.

We need a change of mentality and CIOs are responsible for this.
SheilaJordan
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SheilaJordan,
User Rank: Author
6/16/2014 | 5:34:53 PM
Re: Engage the C-suite
Marilyn

Great question and one that is important for all of us. In order for the execs to see Security and Infosec as a benefit and not a cost, we have to start delivering benefits to the organization and then communicating them in a way that is meaningful. I love the way we think of security now in five steps: Identify, Protect, Detect, Respond, Recover.  I love the fact we can now explain what we are doing to add value at each stage. The ultimate, of course, is when we can Protect, Detect and Respond without the business being seriously impacted.

Sheila
Sara Peters
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Sara Peters,
User Rank: Author
6/16/2014 | 4:24:54 PM
Scapegoats
Great stuff, Sheila. I'm still not sure I know the answer to this question though: "Is "scapegoat" now a part of IT's job description?"  ]

Let's say that CIOs, CSOs, and CISOs do a great job communicating with the rest of the C-suite. They've convinced those other execs to let them secure the organization as they see fit. 

But then, there's a breach event anyway. Is the company going to support the IT/IS people they've built such a good relationship, or are they going to point the finger and show them the door?
RetiredUser
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RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
6/16/2014 | 3:41:31 PM
The Hacker CIO/CSO
Over the past 15+ years, I've noted that CIO/CSO candidates for companies I've worked at were not "hackers" (traditional sense) - in fact, they had less cyber criminal instincts about them and more the ladder climber in them.  I'd argue that, similar to a development management/director role, what we need more of are CIO/CSO candidates with killer instincts, who not only are hackers in their own right, but have no problem switching the gear from a tech hacker to cyber criminal mindset to keep steps, if not leaps, ahead of the enemy.

When an average engineer at your company can poke a hundred holes in the security architecture within 15 minutes of their first day, you've opened the door for finding a new CIO/CSO.  The alternative is to train these candidates, or those who already hold the position, but from my perspective, data integrity is too precious to trust to a ladder climber, a salary-chaser, or even a mid-range tech manager with good intentions, but who can't make the leap from having academic security knowledge (often dated) to being able to pop open their personal GNU/Linux intrusion system and take on cyber criminals at their own game, using current knowledge and techniques.

Management in tech, at least from a development and security perspective, needs to change.  DevOps attitudes and multi-specialty engineers/managers are the new norm.

 
Marilyn Cohodas
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Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
6/16/2014 | 3:29:44 PM
Engage the C-suite
Sheila -- I suspect at Symantic, as CIO, you have the full attention of your C-suite. But what strategies do you recommend for CIOs and CSOs at companies that aren't so tuned in to the problems and challenges of security? How do you get through to an executive management team that views InfoSec as a cost, not a benefit. 
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