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Sallie Mae CISO: 4 Technologies That Will Shape IT Security

'The world as we know it will vanish,' according to Jerry Archer.

INSECURITY CONFERENCE 2017 - Washington, DC – IT security is will undergo a major transformation in the coming years due to four waves of technology changes, according to Jerry Archer, Sallie Mae's chief information security officer.

In a keynote here this week at Dark Reading's INsecurity conference, Archer said cloud computing is the first wave of technology changes affecting IT security. "We have a complex (IT) environment, so we abstract to make the complex simple," Archer said. "But this abstraction creates gaps and that presents vulnerabilities."

Although cloud computing is more secure than companies building a distributed environment for their data, there are a couple of problems they face in keeping their cloud secure. One problem is companies need to remember to "turn on the security," Archer said, pointing to breaches companies have faced when misconfiguring their Amazon S3 buckets.  Another problem is they forget to keep their security "on" once they have initially taken that step, he said.

Cloud computing is also creating an environment where companies are deploying software-defined perimeters, where users must authenticate to the network based on risk-based calculations before they can connect to it. This reliance on behavioral analytics is creating a who, what, when, and where is happening in the cloud without the traditional visibility, he noted.

A second wave of technology that will affect IT security is artificial intelligence in networking, according to Archer. Companies will turn to AI to parcel out the workloads into smaller pieces that will be secured in lots of tiny containers, which Archer described as "rain," and moved to policy-based computing clouds that perform specific tasks, he said.

Additionally, the data will go from micro-segmentation to nano-segmentation, with the containers enabling agile security services, he said.

Massively Integrated Systems of Smart Transducers (MIST) will be the third technology wave, in which data is everywhere and moves continuously: "Things will come and go out of my orbit."

He added it will be a return to a larger environment that companies will need to secure, after having taken the steps to simplify their IT environment.

The fourth technology wave is quantum computing, which has many unforeseen implications for IT security as computers become exponentially more powerful, Archer said. But one area already being discussed is quantum computing's impact on encryption and its expected ability to break it, he added.

"The world as we know it will vanish," Archer said. "This may happen in three years, five years, or 10 years. I don't know when but it will happen."

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Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's ... View Full Bio

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