Information Security Promises Are Made to be Broken

Morality insists that people will abide by the law and do the right thing; those promises have and will always be broken.

Code42, along with almost every other major player in the information security space attended Black Hat 2016 in Las Vegas. Like every other Vegas trade show, Black Hat’s expo hall featured video screens, beer, popcorn and soaring banners over circus-sized booths. Nearly every booth offered sweet swag and some, a chance to win cash if you listened to their well-rehearsed threat warnings and the promise that their indispensable technology would identify, stop, detect, prevent, extract, decode, crack, and protect the enterprise against an army of intruders or individual bad actors.

Taking it all in, I came to one realization: security marketing is flawed. Booth to booth, banner to banner, sign to sign, even pitch to pitch, security decision makers are fed “information security promises” that we all know we just cannot keep. It’s not due to a lack of honesty, but a lack of velocity. We all know the bad guys are more nimble and collaborative, and they move faster to exploit vulnerabilities in software. We know it will be days, weeks, even months before we can detect and respond. It’s at the core of why the security industry exists in the first place. This is why we have BlackHat, RSA, DEF CON, InfoSecurity World, Gartner Security Summits, Cyber Security Summits, and dozens of other events.

How do we start to fix the flaw?

  1. Extend a hand: Dan Kaminsky in his keynote at BlackHat, evangelized a message that flies in the face of the competitive tradeshow landscape. He suggested—in lieu of competition—that information sharing about the endless supply of cyber threats would work faster to counter them. Our need to make things secure and functional and effective has just exploded…the need to cooperate, share code and fixes in the name of better security is now.
  2. Empower the user: Kaminsky went on to say, “people think that it’s a zero sum game, that if you’re going to get security everyone else has to suffer. Well, if we want to get security, let’s make life better for everybody else. Let’s go ahead and give people environments that are easy to work with…think in terms of the lines that you’re impacting, the time that you’re taking…”
  3. Enable the experts: Deloitte Cyber Risk Services researcher Keith Brogan told Infosecurity Magazine, “Sometimes products don’t work. But more often, they’re not being used correctly…organizations don’t always focus on how to use the products to enable business…people need to take threat intelligence, give it to the right people, and use it in informed, considered ways.”
  4. Embrace the reality: Dan Raywood, wrote in Infosecurity Magazine about Arun Vishwanath, associate professor at the State University of New York in Buffalo, who says people are the problem, that “the bad guys are really good at the social side and people are easier to compromise and once compromised, those attackers have got the keys to kingdom and that is the reality we grapple with.”

Modern endpoint backup is a good first step to making good on information security promises. Heck, that’s one of the main reasons Code42 exhibits at the likes of RSA, BlackHat and Gartner events. With visibility and control of data on the endpoints, organizations can protect and monitor data movement and restore data following any data incident. Modern endpoint backup is continuous, automatic, silent and simple. The user is empowered to not only protect data they store on their laptops, but restore when things go bad.

Securing end-user data makes the organization more secure and functional and effective—immediately—and closes gaps between IT, Security, Legal and HR teams to expose insider threats. By implementing this fundamental security layer, organizations embrace the reality that data loss is inevitable and that end users are both the target and the culprit of data theft, loss and breach.

Calculate your data loss risk with Code42


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