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Cyber criminals “innovating faster than businesses” finds Infosecurity Europe poll

by Brian Sims

The majority (83%) of respondents to the latest Twitter poll conducted by the organisers of Infosecurity Europe 2019 – the information security event for which Risk Xtra is an Official Media Partner – believe that organisations are not innovating as quickly as the cyber criminals who plan to attack them. This indicates that security strategies and solutions are not being evolved fast enough to defend businesses against the ever-changing and increasingly sophisticated threats they face. An inability to innovate rapidly also points to a lack of agility and responsiveness, which will inevitably inhibit a business’ growth.

Victoria Windsor, Group content manager at the Infosecurity Group, explained to Risk Xtra: “Cyber security innovation is vital if businesses are to stay one step ahead of cyber attackers, who are constantly honing their own techniques. It’s also an important driver of competitive advantage. Security is no longer seen as a function that ‘puts the brakes’ on a business’ endeavours to move forward in the interests of protecting it. Businesses must therefore urgently invest in building their capacity for innovation by developing their people and creating an environment in which new ideas can flourish.”

Infosecurity Europe has introduced the FutureSec Programme for 2019 specifically to help the industry boost its innovation capability. This will be the hub for a series of events and sessions designed to help businesses enhance their people’s skill sets, provide start-ups with the knowledge they need to grow and to support individuals in planning their careers.

Also new is LaunchPad, an interactive ‘one-stop shop’ area where visitors can browse information on all the innovative products on display at the show.

Maxine Holt, research director at Ovum, will be speaking on 5 June as part of the Keynote Stage Programme and has emphasised that there’s some fantastic innovation happening within the industry, and particularly so among technology vendors. “They’re putting time and effort into innovation and working as partners with customers to identify use cases. This is a step forward in the battle to keep organisations safe. The more sophisticated attackers – organised criminal groups and nation states in particular – have huge budgets, time on their hands and incredible technical ability. Although they might not necessarily be faster at innovating than vendors, they’re likely to be faster than the enterprises being targeted.”

Most important skill sets

The Infosecurity Europe poll also asked respondents their views on what they believe will be the most important skill sets for the next generation of security professionals. Almost half (46%) predicted that this will be threat intelligence. A quarter (24%) opted for quantum computing, 21% for knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning and 9% for DevSecOps.

David Edwards, a head of information security in the financial sector, will deliver a Deep Dive on Geek Street on 5 June. Edwards believes the skills that matter most will not be related to technology. “Security professionals will need communication, problem solving and team working skills,” he stated. “The ability to explain complex issues in terms that the business and other technical colleges can understand is vitally important.”

Respondents were also asked to vote on which area of cyber security is seeing the most exciting innovation. Threat intelligence came out on top for 29% of respondents, closely followed by AI/machine learning (25%), the Internet of Things (24%) and blockchain (22%).

Andrew Rose, CSO at Mastercard company Vocalink, explained: “I think AI and machine learning are two elements that offer tremendous hope. The ability to recognise outlier events, edge cases and subtle behaviour change and then automate responses will help the industry to deal with huge volumes of data, find key events and tackle them before they become incidents.”

*FutureSec will take place on Thursday 6 June in the Pillar Hall at Infosecurity Europe

**Now in its 24th year, Infosecurity Europe takes place at Olympia in London from 4-6 June 2019. Access https://www.infosecurityeurope.com for further details and to register your attendance

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