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RSA boss calls for an APAC security rethink

RSA boss calls for an APAC security rethink

Industry is being “out-manouvered and out-gunned” by cybercriminals

RSA, president, Amit Yoran

RSA, president, Amit Yoran

RSA president, Amit Yoran, has called for a complete rethink of security in the Asia-Pacific region at the company's conference in Singapore.

The boss of EMC’s security division said that as organisations increasingly turn to mobile and Cloud, they need to rethink traditional approaches to cyber defence.

In his speech, Yoran discussed how the rapid growth of mobile and Cloud technologies in Asia represent a boon to the organizations and industries of the region but also a significant threat to their legacy security operations.

Yoran described 2014 as another reminder that organisations were losing the battle with cybercriminals.

“The adversaries are out-maneuvering the industry, out-gunning the industry, and winning by every measure,” he said.

Yoran noted that as mobile and Cloud technologies decentralise organizations’ digital environments, the perimeter on which traditional cyber defenses are based was disappearing.

“Despite the disappearing perimeter, Asian businesses and businesses around the world continue to rely primarily on perimeter protection technologies like firewalls, anti-virus, and intrusion detection systems to prevent breaches, only to see those tools invariably fail under the onslaught of today’s advanced attacks,” Yoran said.

“Compounding that failure is the current practice of relying on SIEM and other signature-based tools that require historical experience to detect advanced threats, which oftentimes have no precedent. This combination of antiquated technologies and misguided practices is the root of the vast majority of today’s security failings.

He went on to outline his vision of the new approach to security focused on faster detection of and more effective response to cyber threats in a series of five principles.

  1. Acceptance that even advanced protections are insufficient for today’s threats

    “No matter how high or smart the walls, focused adversaries will find ways over, under, around, and through.”

  2. Deep, pervasive visibility from the endpoint to the network to the cloud is necessary

    “The single most common and catastrophic mistake made by security teams today is under-scoping an incident and rushing to clean up compromised systems before understanding the broader campaign.”

  3. Effective management of identities matters more than ever

    “In a world with no perimeter and with fewer security anchor points, identity and authentication matter more than ever . . . At some point in every successful attack campaign, the abuse of identity is a stepping stone the attackers use to impose their will.”

  4. Organizations must leverage external threat intelligence

    “[Threat intelligence] should be machine-readable and automated for increased speed and leverage. It should be operationalized into your security program and tailored to our organization’s assets and interests so that analysts can quickly address the threats that pose the greatest risk.”

  5. Security programs must be guided by an understanding of risk

    “You must understand what matters to your business and what is mission critical. You have to . . . defend what’s important and defend it with everything you have.”


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