The RSA Conference is this week in San Francisco. This event is like the annual prom for the security industry—part conference, part trade show, part “place to be.” In the midst of all the Diet Cokes that I shared with various conference participants, a few musings about the world of security have become clear.
First, the level of threat exposure has never been higher. It wasn’t long ago that security meant PC security. Now it’s mobile and every connected device in your home. Many of which have huge vulnerabilities. Imagine if you were the fire prevention industry and every home was built out of balsa wood. That’s the security industry today—operating in an environment with ubiquitous threats. No doubt, a good time to be in the space.
Second, the “killer app” in security is going to be simplicity. We need simple solutions that users can actually use. That’s why I’m excited about solutions like FIDO authentication that strives to eliminate passwords. Back to the analogy of a home, many of today’s security solutions trade the simplicity of turning up a thermostat with the skills required to actually write the code of the next generation of smart home thermostats. The genius of FIDO is that it improves security through a modern approach to authentication while enhancing the user experience at the same time.
On a related note, people remain the weak link in the “security triangle” of “People, Process and Technology.” Like a smoke detector with a failing battery, no security solution can overcome human error. The best solutions will remove “people” from the equation.
Finally, I was pleased to see the conference include a track this year on women in cybersecurity. For a long time, the RSA Conference had the gender diversity of an MIT fraternity party. I’ve been seeing it change over the years and it’s great to see efforts like this geared toward attracting more women to the field.
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