Information Security

Defending the digital infrastructure

Sergey Nivens - Fotolia

Security innovations need to catch up with technology trends

When we asked CISOs and venture capitalists about disruptive technologies that could transform enterprise security models -- and how to prepare for them -- a few trends stood out.

When I wrote about fiber optic communications in the late 1990s, that industry was focused on the growing need for higher bandwidth and the build out of fiber to  the home, metro networks and transoceanic cables. Roughly 20 years later, much of what we talked about then is happening -- global networks and internet communications have taken hold, and consumers worldwide have flocked to bandwidth-intensive applications.

Many companies spend considerable sums on research and development to keep technologies up-to-date and monetize trends. Looking forward is a key function of leadership for CIOs -- and increasingly, CISOs -- on the lookout for information technology threats and vulnerabilities as well as security innovations.

When we asked CISOs and venture capitalists about technology that could transform enterprise security models -- and how to prepare -- security innovations in a few major areas stood out. Not surprising, artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation were at the top of many experts' lists, according to Robert Lemos, who wrote this month's cover story.

Enterprises are not the only ones taking advantage of security innovations such as automation, however.

"There is not that much time before the cybercriminals [are] fully autonomous," Maurice Stebila, CISO at Harman International, tells Lemos. "We, as CISOs with security programs, have a limited time to really fight back."

The complexity of clouds is another major security concern raised by CISOs and venture capitalists. As Steve Zurier reports, some companies have turned to startups to find new tools that promise better visibility into public cloud configurations and compliance. These services alert your staff when a potential mistake occurs.

Greater visibility and automation should help enterprise security models, but security innovations are desperately needed. Marcus J. Ranum, known for his innovation in firewalls and other technologies, chats with tech entrepreneur E. Kelly Fitzsimmons, who built and sold four security startups before branching out into internet voice communications and virtual reality film production.

"It's not like I have any great technical skills; many of my people were far more competent than I was," she shares with Ranum. "My skill was seeing things at a higher level and being able to see things really early." 

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Next Steps

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This was last published in August 2017

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