Welcome!

Linux Authors: Trevor Parsons, Esmeralda Swartz, Sandi Mappic, Carmen Gonzalez, Roger Strukhoff

Related Topics: Security, Java, SOA & WOA, Linux, Cloud Expo, SDN Journal

Security: Article

Selling Security

Enterprises can no longer afford to see their CISOs confined to the dark recesses of the IT department

The threats facing network operators all over the world, spanning service providers, enterprises, cloud and hosting providers and mobile operators alike, are by no means stalling. While optimism is always the name of the game, we know all too well in security that trying to keep pace with the slew of attack vectors out there today is an unfortunate reality. As our 9th annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report reveals the magnitude of attacks is on the upswing once again and coupled with increasingly complex, multi-vector style attacks, the threat is all too real.

Winning the battle against those threats depends on many factors: the expertise of the security organization; response plans and resources; and the ability to put those plans into action. Increasingly, part of the challenge for Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) is in getting the right support from their senior management. That's not necessarily a new hurdle for CISOs to overcome. Management buy-in has always been vital for dealing with IT security threats. But with threats becoming more complex, the priority for CISOs is ensuring that they have sufficient resources to deal effectively with those issues.

Executive and board-level awareness of these threats is already pronounced: recent research found that senior executives and risk managers within American and Canadian enterprises today are more concerned about losing money through cyber threats than they are through property damage or investments or securities failing.[1] This growing board-level awareness as to the severity of IT-based attacks means CISOs have an opportunity to champion their own role as a risk manager and defender of the business. By showing leadership and engaging proactively with other heads of department, CISOs can show how their expertise adds a ‘return on prevention' value to the business.

However, when it comes to getting their voices heard, many CISOs face an uphill struggle from day one - everything from IT being seen as ‘just' the cost of doing business and not an asset, to board members with vastly different priorities (i.e., those who would rather wait for their house to be on fire to call the fire department versus taking preemptive action upfront). If CISOs are to deliver an understandable call to action and gain the credibility to push their strategic plans, they need to deploy a range of tactics to make their voices heard including:

  • Discuss security risks in a way that resonates with management: Expecting the management/executive team or board to learn the information security professional's vocabulary can be unrealistic. Instead, the CISO must communicate threats in a way that the leadership team understands. This language barrier doesn't need to be a hindrance though; approached in the right way, it can actually be an excellent way for CISOs to showcase how their role fits within the overall corporate risk management strategy.
  • Translate prevented costs to realized goals: The substantial increase in botnet code modification and botnet node recruitment may be crucial in the understanding of how attacks are developing, but bring these terms up in a conversation with a CFO and you're likely to see their eyes glaze over faster than you can say Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). The primary message a CISO needs to get across is the threat that attacks of any kind pose in terms of lost revenue, reduced productivity and damage to the business brand.
  • Anchor the threat in your own organization: Engage with the CFO and COO to obtain financial figures relating to the cost of your operations and the amount of money generated through online services and a workforce reliant on a fully functioning IT network. Armed with these figures, CISOs can offer a realistic estimate of the negative financial impact of a level-one cyber attack where key IT services might be adversely affected. In an age where many institutions have built strong revenue streams and enhanced customer loyalty through online and mobile services, it also provides an opportunity for CISOs to demonstrate the crucial role they can play in preserving business operations.

These days, no enterprise risk assessment and business plan is complete without taking into account the operational risk represented by cyber security attacks intended to have a negative effect on the availability of key online services. Enterprises can no longer afford to see their CISOs confined to the dark recesses of the IT department because as DDoS attacks and other cyber threats have become increasingly high-tech and more complex, enterprises need a technologist with a seat at the table.

But with greater responsibility comes the challenge of gaining and maintaining credibility within the C-suite. And it is only by conveying this threat in a language the business understands - by demonstrating the potential outcomes using examples familiar to other business heads - that the CISO will be able to get the buy-in they need to do their job properly. This is the challenge and the opportunity - the opportunity for the CISO to get the recognition they deserve and the backing to deal with the ever-growing threat faced by organizations today.

Resource:

  1. Execs Say Cyber-Attacks a Top Threat: AIG Survey-CNBC News-6 February 2013

More Stories By Rakesh Shah

Rakesh Shah is Director, Product and Strategy Marketing of Arbor Networks. He has been with the company since 2001, helping to take Arbor's products from early stage to category-leading solutions. Before moving into the technical marketing team, Rakesh was the Director of Product Management for Arbor's Peakflow products, and he was also a manager in the engineering group. Previously, Rakesh held various engineering and technical roles at Lucent Technologies and CGI/AMS. He holds a M.Eng. from Cornell University and a BS from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign both in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
Predicted by Gartner to add $1.9 trillion to the global economy by 2020, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is based on the idea that devices, systems and services will connect in simple, transparent ways, enabling seamless interactions among devices across brands and sectors. As this vision unfolds, it is clear that no single company can accomplish the level of interoperability required to support the horizontal aspects of the IoE. The AllSeen Alliance, announced in December 2013, was formed with the goal to advance IoE adoption and innovation in the connected home, healthcare, education, aut...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...