The DSCI conducted its third Hyderabad Security conference on 11 Sept 2015. The theme of the conference this year being – Futuristic Scope – Making Sense of the Threat Landscape: Securitizing the Future. There were seven interactive sessions encompassing topics in the likes of Brand value protection in Cyber Age, Cyber Warfare, Big Data Analytics, Next Generation Security Architecture, Securing the technology convergence in terms of our readiness & acceptance of IoT, Securing Mobile applications and Software Defined Networks. There was an exclusive talk on evolution of threat landscape as well. With interactive sessions on current themes addressing fast changing threat landscape, the agenda reflected deep community interest with thought provoking discussions from eminent speakers and attendees across technology and business sectors in Security world.
The conclave opened with a note on the paradigm shift from Information Security age to Cyber Security age, with growing number of cyber-crimes in business, social and technological arena for monetary & non-monetary benefits. There were three levels of security needs stressed upon – Individual, Company and Nation for which every individual is responsible for and has a part to play. There is increased need to be more aware, knowledgeable and proactive in our defenses towards Cyber Crime. It’s not the big companies or industries who have been victims of cybercrime/threats but even ordinary individuals have been party to it in their own magnitude.
Capturing some of the key pointers from the esteemed speakers
- Cyber risk – the least prepared we are , the more prone to attack
- The companies reaction to threat/attack and their communication to the audience (media, public, stakeholders etc.) makes the necessary difference showcasing their readiness and maturity in handling cyber security incidents
- While most of us think and prepare ourselves for immediate attacks, one needs to fortify from long term threats and its impact
- In cyber-crime, ,more than the technology element the human element is very critical
- We might not be facing a Cyber War on a daily basis, but we are victims of a continual cyber espionage, which may shape into a war at the opportune moment.
- Media plays a very vital role in underplaying a security incident or blowing things out of proportion of a security event. We as Information security professionals need to be very mindful of the events/incidents happening around us, try to reverse engineer the threat and expose the truth behind it. Strengthen our command and control mechanism and deter the attack.
- There is an increased proliferation of client side attack, and need to secure it
- End Points are primary target of attack, which once compromised makes a hacker an insider. We very well know our internal controls are not as strong as external defenses, adding to increased percentage of insider attacks/thefts.
- Cloud security continues to be scary, with prime reason being that the cloud applications are unsanctioned
- Vendor Risk Assessment is very crucial, as they could be the conduits for instigating an attack. As part of supplier contracts there needs to be statement(s) on IT security assurance
- There is an increasing need for IT-OT Convergence
- In wake of threats & cyber-attacks, the Security design is evolving towards Securing Data through Containerization and Building a Zero Trust Architecture
- With growth in Big Data, there needs to be increased investments in Data Analytics to differentiate between an Event & an Incident. GIGO is no longer Garbage In & Garbage Out but Garbage In & Gold Out.
- Organizations need to have shift in their mindset from being “Asset Aware” to “Threat Aware”
- Focus on Extrusion Detection and Incident Response rather than only on Intrusion Detection
- One needs to strengthen the three pillars of Cyber Security Defense – Prevent, Detect and Respond
- Cyber Architects need to design framework and Solutions being mindful of the “TTP” of the attackers ( Tactics, Techniques and Procedures)
- Rather than plain pen testing it is necessary to conduct “Scenario Based Pen Test”
- While organizations and individuals spend on security education and awareness, there needs to be increased focus on periodic testing of security effectiveness activities.
- Perform Asset valuation and consider frequent check on compromised assets
- In the wake of securing the information technology elements & process, it’s very necessary to assess the High Value Targets in the Organizations in the likes of CEO, CISO, and CSO etc. who could be prone to attack in any form.
In conclusion, we are no longer just citizens but Netizens who cannot do away from cyber space, so there is an increased responsibility on us to be more cautious, diligent & prudent in securing oneself, the organization and most importantly the coming generations in this dynamic cyber world.
Authored by Dinesh Sawrirajan