Network Security

Security pros must think like militias

The rapidly changing threat landscape requires new ways of thinking about security, presenters told attendees at the Rethink Cyber NYC event on Thursday.

Brad Peterson, CTO/CIO of Nasdaq, compared the challenges facing security professionals to battles during the revolutionary war in which American militia soldiers “hid behind trees fighting against British soldiers.”

He told attendees that our opponents “are not sitting around at budget meetings.”

Nadav Zafrir, co-founder and CEO of Team8, conceded that opponents are not preoccupied with budget meetings, but said “they are a lot more organized and collaborative than we typically think.” Previously the Commander of Israel's Technology & Intelligence Unit 8200, Zafrir likened the challenges facing security pros to Winnie the Pooh being carried upside-down by his legs by Christopher Robbins, with his head bumping against the stairs. Security pros, he said similarly often think “that there must be another way” if only they could stop bumping for a moment and think of it.

Patrick Helm, head of trust and security for Dropbox, highlighted the difficulty that C-suite security executives face in selecting from a seemingly limitless array of security products. “Good technology does not always win,” he said, citing recent data that estimates 1,600 security vendors. He said he spends a significant amount of his time evaluating the business and operations teams of the vendors that Dropbox considers.

“What is my evaluation that they are still going to be around in a year, or three, or six years?” Helm asked.

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