RSAC Reporter’s Notebook: Change is coming

The cybersecurity industry is just absolute chaos, and rightly so.  This is the industry charged with plugging dikes during the Class-5 hurricane that the internet seems to be today.  Nowhere is that chaos more evident than at RSAC just from a marketing perspective. Everyone has “ground-breaking”, “industry-leading”, and “first ever” product offerings and this year was no different.  But if you can look past the Macho-man impersonations, Formula One cars, and the mesmerizing miasma of the website and show floor, you can see an order forming in the chaos. Change is coming.

Back to step one

RSA CEO Rohit Ghai, said we have missed a step in AI development.  “We’ve seen it first as a co-pilot alongside of a human pilot and then see it taking over flying the plane.”  He said the first step is making it an advanced cockpit making it easier for less trained and experienced people to do the work.  He pointed out that cybersecurity is an industry with negative employment making it difficult to find experienced technicians to do the work.

Last year, any discussion of ethical development was met with confused stares. This year, the need for ethical AI development is taken seriously but few can see a profit in it. Cybersecurity VC Rob Ackerman (DataTribe) and Carmen Marsh, CEO of the United Cybersecurity Alliance, were open to suggestions,

“From the perspective of (companies like OpenAI), I understand the reasons to go as fast as they can to develop a true artificial intelligence, the question is, who are the people in the room guiding the process?” said Ackerman. “Once you get a diverse set of advisors working on the problem, then you do the best you can to create something ethical.  But right now, we aren’t even doing the best we can.”

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Commentary: Getting the point of Google News v. the media

Cyber Protection Magazine posted a long article about Google’s decision to start de-listing California-based newspapers. We strove to be as objective as possible and present both sides of the argument, but we did say that the opponents were missing the point, hoping that the point would be obvious in the discussion. Here, however, we want to shed objectivity and make the point clear.

Google’s move, generously described, is a preemptive response to California’s Journalism Preservation Act (AB 886) that has yet to pass the Senate. The act will require Google to sit down and negotiate with California publishers over the fair price of publishing content from those media sites.

Note that the bill is not mandating a price. It is mandating a negotiation. That changes the nature of the discussion.


IAM in a shifting environment

The fourth annual Identity Management Day (April 9) brought the opportunity to assess and evaluate the shifting environment plaguing Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Identity plays a pivotal role in all facets of business functions. Overseeing identity and access presents challenges in determining who should have access to what.
This process requires a contextual understanding of the roles and duties of numerous individuals within an organization, ranging from system owners and supervisors to IT, security, and compliance personnel. Managing access between all these stakeholders and decision-makers while mitigating human error, minimizing excessive permissions, and preventing inappropriate access configurations presents a formidable task.

As workforces evolve, managing access privileges becomes even more complex, raising the risk of insider threats and unauthorized access. Understanding identity management is crucial across all business activities, especially with the rise of hybrid and remote work setups.

A strong IAM strategy requires enterprises to maintain a centralized and consistent view of all devices, resources, data, and users, along with timely provisioning of access to different users. When any of these elements are insufficiently operated, both the level of cybersecurity and the quality of user experience are jeopardized.


Murky third-party agreements weaken healthcare privacy controls

The healthcare industry is a vulnerable target of cybercriminals, but not for the reasons most business sectors are. Between 80 and 90 percent of all cybercrime results from people not following basic cyber hygiene practices, but in healthcare criminals gain access to information through infrastructure weaknesses and the murky third-party agreements.

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