Architecture, Network security

SC World Congress: Invest in cybersecurity

October 16, 2009

The United States is falling behind other nations in terms of cyberdefense because security providers are focusing on creating features instead of innovating, a leading information assurance expert said this week at SC World Congress in New York.

Not nearly enough money is being spent on research and development, said Richard Marshall, senior information assurance representative for the Office of Legislative Affairs at the National Security Agency. Instead, providers and end-users are caught up in "feature-itis" and don't demand inherently robust solutions.

To stem the tide, government, industry and academia must collaborate to fund emerging cybersecurity technologies, Marshall said.

"We're polishing stones instead of creating stones," he said. "If we don't do something in the near term, there won't be a long term. We are running out of time."

One way to promote better data security recognition is by organizations better valuing their information assets, said Kirsten Bay Francissen, Marshall's partner on the panel, titled "Building a trusted information supply chain: Lessons learned from the global financial crisis."

Francissen, who is principal of professional services firm KBF Ltd., said businesses must implement strong risk management and corporate governance programs.

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