@CloudSecChris Discusses RSA Conference 2017 – Day 2

February 15, 2017 |
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What a great day at the RSA conference! Here are a few highlights:

Michael Dell:  Immediately following the opening keynote by Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan, CTO at RSA Security, Michael Dell delivered an outstanding speech. Something that particularly resonated with me – something that I have believed for a LONG time – is how IT and business interact and complement.  He said “It’s a truly amazing time in our industry. IT is becoming ‘BT’—business technology. The thirst for digital transformation and investment is following, and it presents the opportunity to tremendously change all sectors of society, but it has to be done securely.” I could not agree more. Businesses are no longer afforded the choice of avoiding technology if they want to grow and prosper. And if they are using technology (almost in any way) they had better make certain that they are using information security best practices. Even the smallest companies can be exploited by ransomware and hack attacks.

Photo of Microsoft President Brad Smith

Digital Geneva Convention: Microsoft President Brad Smith presented the idea (one that had been discussed multiple times before, but not as publicly as the mainstage keynote at RSA) the concept of a Digital Geneva Convention. “The time has arrived to call on the world’s governments to implement international rules to protect the civilian use of the internet. Just as the Fourth Geneva Convention has long protected civilians in times of war, we now need a Digital Geneva Convention that will commit governments to protecting civilians from nation-state attacks in times of peace.” Fantastic idea, but the devil is in the details. When countries can’t seem to get agreement on the rules designed to protect user privacy, protecting countries from attacking each other on the internet seems a long way off.  Still, the concept is excellent, and I hope that it gains some traction.

Hacker on TV - Got access into one system.

Politics and CyberSecurity: Several weeks ago, I penned a blog talking about my predictions for 2017.  My very first one (and it wasn’t much of a stretch) was the politicization of cybersecurity. I felt then with the incoming administration that it would be a significant topic. Boy – I had no idea how right I was going to be. Nearly all of the talks yesterday, and much of the buzz on the expo floor, as well as the political protests outside of the convention, have a political leaning. Regardless of your stance or political beliefs, cybersecurity and politics has entered the mainstream conversation. I have always hoped that this kind of publicity would increase security awareness. But right now, it is hard to see it contributing much to the overall security posture of the average citizen or commercial enterprise.

We had well over 1,000 interactions at the Cryptzone booth yesterday. We gave away a NES Classic as well as 2 Raspberry Pis, in addition to hundreds of t-shirts, pens, and stickers. Stop by booth 407 in the South Expo to spin the wheel and join the conversations about Software-Defined Perimeter.

Hope to see you there!

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Chris Steffen

Christopher Steffen joined Cryptzone in October 2016 as the Technical Director to educate and promote information security and regulatory compliance as it relates to network access management and cloud computing solutions. Before joining the team at Cryptzone, Chris served as the Chief Evangelist – Cloud Security for Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE). He has also served in executive roles as the Director of Information Technology at Magpul Industries (a plastics manufacturing company) and as the Principal Technical Architect for Kroll Factual Data (a credit service provider). Steffen has presented at numerous conferences and has been interviewed by multiple online and print media sources. Steffen holds several technical certifications, including CISSP and CISA.

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