I love this classic Billy Joel song. It always pops into my head whenever I am flying into and out of the bustling city. Last week the tune again weaved its way into my subconscious as I had the privilege of speaking to nearly 500 cyber security professionals at the Cyber Security Summit in NYC. The location of this event is very pertinent considering much of the world’s economy touches this city in some capacity. Hence the moniker: the “Financial Capital of the World.” Considering that over 95% of the global economy is now in the form of electronic currency, New York City is considered the central nervous system for processing these precious transactions. It is only fitting that we descend on this fantastic city to talk about the latest issues and tactics we can look to employ against a common enemy. Many of the leaders in the cyber security space call New York City their home, and it was great to collaborate with some of the world’s best.
The event was put on by the Wall Street Journal as the official media sponsor, with the primary focus centered directly on the challenges facing our day-to-day effort to secure our networks. Topics ranged from contextually-aware threat intelligence to protecting against the human element that many believe is still the biggest weakness we have when fighting the cyber security war. I had the chance to host the first executive roundtable in the morning. We had an overflow group that was engaged and eager to hear what others are doing to improve their threat intelligence initiatives. All conversation was designed to focus on the “relevant and contextual” threat intelligence that organizations could easily ingest and digest within their respective organizations. We also discussed the dynamics of extending a cyber security strategy to cloud-based ecosystems.
Other key sessions continued throughout the day with key experts zooming in the lens on healthcare attacks, which continue to lead the overall breach count year-to-date. Adam Levin, CEO and Chairman for IDT911 and Credit.com spoke to the need for a breach box. This falls in line with the new category of security technology called the breach detection system.
I was also honored to be part of the last panel of the day focusing on securing of financial infrastructures. The stage was filled with strategic thought leaders sharing their experiences with the audience. I personally learned a great deal from the perspectives of my fellow panelists which included: Jon Ramsey, CTO & Executive Director for Dell SecureWorks; John Prisco, CEO of Triumfant; J. Paul Haynes, CEO of eSentire; and Dave Larson, Chief Technology Officer & Vice President, Product, Corero. The entire session was brilliantly moderated by Rob Sloan, Cyber Thought Leadership, Dow Jones. We discussed the toolsets leveraged in targeted attacks ranging from custom POS malware to DDOS attacks. The panel also stressed the need for continuing education for enhancing and improving global cyber security skill sets. Lastly, we discussed the ongoing effort to work with ISACs (Information Sharing Analysis Centers) to communicate and share critical threat intelligence to improve overall security posture.
The weather in New York was lovely and definitely put me in a New York State of Mind. However, the current state of Cybersecurity quickly brings me back to reality that we need more conferences like this one that bring strategic critical thinkers together to help solve this massive challenge we all face.
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