With terms like hijack, Trojan, ransomware, backdoor, Snort and worm, the ever-evolving security threat landscape is certain to scare, overwhelm and confuse almost anyone. This has put many into a state of cognitive saturation where we can only process information about today’s known threats, nothing more.
So, how do we move instead to a state in which we’re planning for, protecting against and even predicting the unknown threats of tomorrow, five and 10 years from now?
On Thursday, July 24, we gathered Dell customers and channel partners, Dell security experts, industry analysts and journalists in Boston to discuss this very topic at our inaugural Dell 1-5-10 Series discussion.
The discussion series is designed to examine the opportunities, challenges and key issues connected to technology trends and customer needs within the current year, over the next five years and forecasting 10 years or more into the future. By exploring technology and customer needs in this way, Dell receives uniquely honest and provocative feedback that it can incorporate into its technology vision and strategy to better serve customers and push the industry forward.
I was honored to moderate the very first Dell 1-5-10 Series discussion, which covered a gamut of security topics. The main, recurring theme was clear, however – no matter the specific issue at hand, a security approach must be based on simplicity, efficiency, and connectivity that tie together the splintered aspects of IT security into one, integrated solution, capable of sharing insights across the organization. For example:
- Zero-day threats: Channel partner David Wrenn, vice president of sales for Advanced Office Systems, reminded us that the human element of security is one of the biggest factors that we’ve yet to resolve. While we can make technology as simple as possible to use, if that technology doesn’t share insight about the threat, explaining why we shouldn’t click on a suspicious link, and then prevent us from doing so or proactively shut down part of the system if we do, then someone’s going to click on the link and open the system to exploitation.
- Personal and corporate data on personal and corporate-owned devices: Dell Senior Fellow and Software CTO Don Ferguson ventured to say that in 10 years’ time, data may only be in containers, not on a device. He said because “data is everywhere, on everything, data needs to be self-protecting” and in policy-based containers. Patrick Sweeney, executive director, Dell SonicWALL, confirmed Don’s hypothesis by stating that encrypting the data is key to tackling “the Big Harry Audacious Goal to solve BYOD.”
- Build security into technology: Brett Hansen, executive director of Client Solutions Software, explained that the industry will “move from security being a technology discussion to a fundamental business discussion.” With that shift, we’ll see security built inherently into technology, much like airbags are now standard in all cars.
- Rise of the Internet of Things: Jon Ramsey, Dell Fellow and CTO of Dell SecureWorks, shared that we’ve “just changed the risk equation substantially by merging the cyber domain with the physical domain.” Also, as the pool of data from connected devices, including our cars, refrigerators, alarm systems, etc. gets bigger, the threats get equivalently bigger.
- The future of security: Dell Fellow and Executive Director of Security Software Tim Brown wrapped up the discussion by bringing it back to the beginning, noting there will be a big trend towards human-based security, both contextual and behavioral. Jon Ramsey expanded on that by saying, “the way we defend ourselves tomorrow will be much different than today – today is very static, but in 10 years, it will be more adaptive like biosystems.”
There were so many other great insights that came from our discussion. In fact, media attendees from CRN, CSO and eWeek have published stories highlighting the security topics debated at the event. You can also see posts from key participants via the Twitter hashtags #DellSecurity and #DellEnterprise.
We’re excited to continue the security conversation with another Dell 1-5-10 Series discussion in the new year, but will also host sessions dedicated to cloud, mobility and big data in the months ahead. Stay tuned for more information about those discussions.