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2016 to be Wild Wild West for CISOs: Carl Leonard, Raytheon Websense

Yogesh Gupta | June 29, 2016
Data breaches to continue in 2016 as more CISOs will adopt cyber insurance to mitigate risk, says Carl Leonard, Principal Security Analyst at Raytheon|Websense.

2015 has been the year of the data breach. What are new security trends in 2016 from a cyber security perspective? How will the role of CISO change in modern companies?

ChannelWorld India spoke to Carl Leonard, Principal Security Analyst, Raytheon|Websense Security Labs on the key takeaways for stakeholders (vendors, channels and CISOs/CIOs) in the security business. "Businesses have not been able to adapt quickly to the current threat landscape. Unfortunately we will see more data breaches in 2016,"says Leonard.

How did you see the face of security landscape or the threat landscape change in 2015?

We have seen an increasing move by malware authors to execute the social engineered attacks. Definitely this year we have seen ransomware come to the fore that relies on the fear amongst the end users. They have to transfer funds into the accounts of the malware orchestrations. That's very specific type of threats we see.

Not only businesses are seeing that their data is being encrypted and how it is held to ransom but data is being stolen at a rather increasing frequency. There have been some very large breaches in 2015 with millions of records stolen. Malware authors are either actually trading that online of course or sharing that data. And there has been an increase in the number of advanced attacks wherein malware authors are tailoring their attacks to an industry sector or even to a region.  It is state problem of attacks onto businesses in 2015 which is very difficult environment to protect against.

It is worth mentioning on the face of the external attacker trends, other factors come into play that affect businesses' ability to response to that. It is the fast acknowledgement and response time due to skills shortage of security professionals. It is making life difficult for businesses because they don't really have the resources to counter these new-age attacks.

Where exactly is the skillset gap at the end user level?  Does Raytheon |Websense act as an evangelist?

The skillsets gap is a global problem. There was a report recently of a slight decline of malicious files per day but it is only a small percentage. The numbers we must not forget are incredibly high in comparison than two to three years. Businesses are facing increasing threats with increasing complexities.

The skills traditionally come out of information technology team but not necessarily from the computer forensics type of background.  Raytheon|Websense works within the industry and education sector to help promote the skillets required around forensics and reverse engineering. This will ensure the next wave of security individuals have the necessary skills in the workplace.

There is massive reliance on the skilled staff than the technology work for them. We have systems (on our technology) that allows an end user or employee at maybe accounts or HR to be alerted if they click through a suspicious URL on an email. Our product actually alert them for us to scan the problem and issue a warning. With URL sandboxing technology the end users become more aware of the dangers of these threats and the business can then use their end users as their eyes and ears. Using your entire employee workforce to help identity the threats and train them on and what kinds of threats they typically see. We are very much involved in first identifying the skillsets gap and then help educate the end users.


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