CIOs needs to be proactive in security: NSA
- 06 October, 2010 15:57
A former CIO and deputy director of the United States National Security Agency (NSA) has urged CIOs to become more proactive in their approach to corporate security consciousness.
“They’re just now getting their hands wrapped around this problem,” Dr Prescott Winter, who spent 27 years with the NSA, told CIO.
“But I’m afraid many of them are still reactive. The ones who have been burned are extremely proactive, they’re really leading the charge and many of them who have been burned are actually out on the circuit speaking on behalf for better cybersecurity activities and policies.”
Winter cited numerous experiences in which he found CIOs became deathly afraid of potential holes in their corporate security, particularly in areas involving critical infrastructure.
In one example, Winter pointed to a nuclear energy producer which found two separate botnets operating within its network, while another engineering firm discovered its network was the source of a pornographic distribution network.
“There’s a lot of stuff out there that people don’t know simply because they’re not looking,” he said.
Winter commended Australian service providers for taking the lead in collaborating on cybersecurity measures - largely formulated out of industry watchdog the Australia Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) - but said large enterprises would ultimately be required to ensure their networks weren’t prone to corruption from botnet viruses or other potential shortfalls in security.
“In the long run the biggest threat to functioning democracies is probably the loss of intellectual property that is happening everyday because these things are not being tied down,” he said.
“Think about the amount of money put into developing new products, marketing and services - that is what keeps economic activity alive in Australia in a lot of ways. It’s going to be a very sad day when we realise a lot of these are coming from Beijing or somewhere else.”
Winter rattled off the common excuses from CIOs around security - “we don’t know what we don’t know”, “we don’t like what we now that we know it” and “we are spending too many resources fixing things” - but said these would ultimately have to be sacrificed in favour of a more proactive approach to securing cyber defences.
The NSA CIO’s concerns come as threats of targeted distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have increased in the public sphere of late, particularly against those groups tied to legal protection of intellectual property and copyright.
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Queensland government to provide 200 services online by 2015
Call Centers Suffer From Big Data Overload
CIO 100: Carsales wins top gong for innovation
How to secure passwords and other critical numbers
Australian National University streamlines IT
Pathways Course Curriculum 2014
Developed by the CIO Executive Council, Pathways is a unique, flexible, self-managed, self-paced 12-month professional development program that brings together best practices, thought leadership and business insights for today’s most promising ICT professionals. Pathways is designed and delivered by leading local and global CIOs; enabling participants to capitalise on mentor CIOs personal experiences, expertise and knowledge.
Eight Simple Steps to Boost Campaign Results Using Predictive Modelling
Marketers today are consumed by big data, struggling to find meaning and under pressure to use that meaningful data in smart ways to boost results. But many organizations are reluctant to try and use predictive modelling in their campaigns, due to unfamiliarity and the dependence on complex tools – yet with modern, marketing-friendly modelling tools, integrated with campaign management, it is easier than you think. This whitepaper demonstrates how predictive modelling plays a critical role in streamlining the selection process.
Data vs instinct: Perfecting global sales performance
Getting sales territories and perfecting their associated incentive compensation plans is a challenge even for the most seasoned of sales executives. The effectiveness of a plan relies heavily on the data available and how it’s being utilised. In this global survey of 229 sales/marketing executives, we look how sales managers use data—or respond to the lack of it—in developing sales territories and incentive compensation plans.