Give Thanks for Cybersecurity

By Eric Noonan • November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving Day is almost here and with it, our focus turns to our family, friends, food, and most importantly, football. As we celebrate one of our country’s most cherished traditions, we give thanks to health, wealth, good company, and of course, turkeys. However, this holiday season, we should recognize our nation’s involvement in cybersecurity and how much we’ve grown with it! Whether it be booking your flight home online, posting a picture of your Thanksgiving feast to Instagram or Facebook, streaming the big game, or FaceTiming your relatives that can’t be there in person, being online is a huge part of this and every day. I’d like to take a moment to share with you some news within our industry that we should be thankful for this year.

Automatic Threat Analysis and Response with New Technologies such as IBM’s Watson:

  • Watson, an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, was developed by a research team working on IBM’s DeepQA (QA stands for question answering) project. It was named after IBM’s first CEO, Thomas J. Watson. Although it was initially designed to answer questions on the popular game show, Jeopardy, its development has opened several doors for cognitive computing. Cognitive security will change the game entirely for both federal and commercial organizations. Built upon existing security intelligence, it will help accelerate responses to threat and reduce the cost and complexity of managing cybercrime. Watson will help analysts find new, more efficient ways of managing security events and building your defenses by searching for solutions in a vast, ever-growing database of software vulnerabilities, countless research articles, and blogs. Cognitive systems bring the ability to spot anomalies and flawed logic and provide evidence-based reasoning — enabling analysts to weigh alternative outcomes and improve decision making. “Analysts will call on cognitive systems to augment or even automate their understanding of a threat — at depth, and with speed and scale, like never before” (IBM). Cognitive security is a tool that will continue to develop as it learns how the human brain functions and thus, security teams will be able to get better at preemptively protecting their networks from the threat with each new interaction.

Politically Driven Security:

  • It’s been a tough election season and it was frustrating for all citizens to see the country so divided over the two main candidates. One beneficial result from the media frenzy of the presidential election was the increase in visibility of issues within our nation’s cybersecurity. Members of both major political parties on Capitol Hill have emphasized the importance of building a forum for legislation change regarding cybersecurity. Senator Mark Warner (D-Va) and founder of Nextel, established the Senate Cybersecurity Caucus, which launched just this past summer. The caucus aims to educate lawmakers by introducing them to cybersecurity experts and providing a means of studying cybersecurity’s effect on not only our national security but our economy as well. Warner said that he would work with the president-elect to continue efforts on legislation that would strengthen an organization’s data breach reporting as there is currently no federal legislation in place requiring data breach notification.

Building the Security Workforce:

  • National Science Foundation is funding programs like CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service, a “unique program designed to increase and strengthen the cadre of federal information assurance professionals that protect the government’s critical information infrastructure. This program provides scholarships that may fully fund the typical costs incurred by full-time students while attending a participating institution, including tuition and education and related fees. Additionally, participants receive stipends of $22,500 for undergraduate students and $34,000 for graduate students” (OPM). These programs are being used by over 65 large accredited universities across the United States and are helping to increase the visibility of the ever-expanding career field and build the federal workforce.
  • Mogul technology conglomerate Cisco Systems, Inc is also investing in cybersecurity centered educations, funding approximately $10 million into their Global Cybersecurity Scholarship program which hopes to increase the talent pool through services like free training, mentoring, and testing designed to aid students to achieve certifications and degrees.

These are just a few topics that are new to our ever-evolving industry. If you’d like to hear more about some of the latest and greatest in cybersecurity, our expert consultants at Cybersheath would love to hear from you. We leverage our security product experience, cutting-edge technology knowledge, and industry best practices to guide your organization through the complexities of cybersecurity implementation.

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