Timely information is the best defense

After the success of our inaugural SC World Congress and Expo in December, we're kicking off 2009 on a high note. Hearing from our attendees, we learned that they were able to pick up plenty of tips to address fast-evolving cyberattacks, regulatory compliance demands, selling information security programs to their bosses, and much, much more.

And while there were a slew of beneficial sessions and speakers, some stand-outs were mentioned in feedback we got back from conferees. For many, Rod Beckstrom, the recently appointed director to the Department of Homeland Security's National Cyber Security Center, brought some welcome advice on helping to better quantify security programs and risk profiles for CEOs. Others were glad to learn how the Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th Presidency thought President-elect Obama should tackle national cybersecurity issues, as well as better position the country to be successfully competitive in cyberspace. 

Yet another discussion centered on upcoming vulnerabilities, risks and attack types. The NSA's Tony Sager, SystemExperts' Jon Gossels, Echelon One's Bob West and West Coast Labs' Lysa Myers went into detail about some of the areas IT security execs and their bosses must be mindful of this year. More organized attacks, the increased use of virtualized environments and cloud computing applications, data security for corporate partners, and web application holes, along with browser and desktop application vulnerabilities, were just some of the talk's highlights. And these, it turns out, reflect many of the concerns that our readers have when it comes to data theft.

In this issue, we've published our second annual Guarding Against a Data Breach Survey, which showed that these and other threats, such as insecurities introduced through mobile devices and unprotected databases situated on the edge of networks, are high on the list of priorities for readers this year. The bigger challenge compared to 2008, however, is tackling these as the economy sinks.

But, just as we ended 2008 with our SC World Congress by sharing timely, cutting-edge insight to help security pros address these problems, we will move into 2009 by promptly providing you with useful advice and information in the pages of our monthly publication, on our website which is updated daily, and through both our online and live events – a bevy of which are planned throughout the coming months. So keep turning the pages of our publication in your hand and online and do let us know what we should be covering at not only our next SC World Congress, but in our editorial webcasts and eConferences!

Illena Armstrong is editor-in-chief, SC Magazine.

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