RSA Conference 2015: How to avoid the “Year Of The Epic Breach”

By Dr. Guy Bunker @guybunker

RSA Conference stand

2013 was the “Year of the Breach.” 2014, the “Year of the Mega Breach.” Looking back on 2015, will it be known as the “Year of the Epic Breach”? We certainly hope not, but how can we avoid it? We believe it starts with accountability from the inside out. But first, let’s start with a shot in the dark.

Picture this (if you can), a pitch-black conference hall and a voice over the loud speaker discussing a metaphor about how stumbling around in the dark is much like protecting networks today. That voice belongs to RSA President Amit Yoran and that conference hall was full during his RSA Conference keynote last week. While he raises a good point, as evidenced by the breaches that have given 2013 and 2014 their titles, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Yoran went on to acknowledge the changing security space, which, thanks to the rise of the Internet, has given way to a world in which the threat knows no bounds. Shouldn’t this mean that security knows no bounds, as well? That hasn’t been the case as of yet. The walls of the perimeter have fallen down, but companies are still thinking small picture. "Either the terrain is wrong, or the map is wrong…The map we're looking at simply doesn't match the terrain, but we keep hoping it does," Yoran said. Eventually, something has to give lest we continue as is until we get to the “Year of the Super Mega Epic Breach.”

It’s time for a change, and it starts internally. Yoran said, "The threats that matter most are the ones you can't see.” While they may not be apparent at first glance, they’re right in front of us. The way companies collaborate, the way teams’ access and share data, the way employees leverage technology all lend a hand in contributing to the ever-present insider threat. But what if, as Yoran suggests, we use a new map to help us see in the dark? What if we focus on prioritizing the insider threat, not just protecting the perimeter we’re comfortable with, but the new perimeters afforded internal sources thanks to the very devices they can’t live without? The terrain has moved beyond a business’ front door, and the map needs to accommodate that. Insider threats (both malicious and inadvertent) are far more common than external threats, that doesn’t mean that you can ignore the external ones, but it does mean that you really can’t ignore the internal ones. Whether it is an external attack, or an internal malicious actor or just a mistake from an internal employee if the information falls into the wrong hands then the result is the same. It is a data breach.

We’re helping rewrite the map, and essentially changing the game, with our launch of ARgon for Email earlier this month. Clearswift’s world first adaptive data loss prevention (DLP) solution which can be used with any email gateway solution enables companies to communicate and collaborate freely while reducing the risk from inbound and outbound information threats. We’ve got your company’s critical information covered, the rest is up to you.

To avoid the “Year of the Epic Breach,” and instead make 2015 the “Year of the Game Changer,” come play the game with us.