RSA's Amit Yoran calls on APAC firms to rethink security: Outlines steps to bolster cyber defense

At the RSA Conference Asia Pacific & Japan in Singapore, Amit Yoran, president of RSA, The Security Division of EMC Corporation, asked Sounth East Asian companies and governments to re-think their traditional approaches to cyber defense as they increasingly turn to mobile and cloud technologies to store and access data and systems.

As mobile and cloud technologies decentralise organisations’ digital environments, the perimeter on which traditional cyber defenses are based is disappearing, he said.

 RSAs Amit Yoran calls on APAC firms to rethink security: Outlines steps to bolster cyber defense

Amit Yoran

"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."

Yoran went on to outlines five key principles of a next generation approach to security based on faster detection and more effective response:

-- 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.”

-- 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.”

-- 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.”

-- Organisations must leverage external threat intelligence - “[Threat intelligence] should be machine-readable and automated for increased speed and leverage. It should be operationalised 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.”

-- Security programmes 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.”

Yoran reminded the audience that the technologies already exist for companies to move to a more effective approach to security focused on faster detection and response to security threats. "What is lacking is the will. This is not a technology problem. This is a mindset problem,” he concluded.

Updated Date: Jul 23, 2015 12:41:13 IST