Accuvant CSO Offers Channel Advice On NSA Impact

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CRN: You are speaking at the 2014 RSA Conference called "Castles In The Sky." What will be the theme of the session?

Clark: It's about cloud security. Everybody knows the huge blind spots already associated with the cloud, but I see it as an opportunity for information security to get a lot more involved with the business. The cloud is so much of a business enabler, and that is where everything is going. The cloud can be leveraged as an opportunity to completely remodel the security strategy of an organization away from the infrastructure-centric or compliance-centric view of security.

We'll talk a lot about various technical architectures that I would recommend as people go through a deployment of Office 365 or migrating to and other cloud infrastructures. It will explore where security vendors are innovating and what some startups are doing to help secure the world there. We'll define the problem and I'll explain that cloud is not all doom and gloom. This will help elevate your jobs, but you have to be ready for it.

CRN: Describe the blind spots that seem to be consistently associated with the cloud.

Clark: It's lack of visibility. You still have blind spots on your network, but at least you have a bit more control and more visibility into what is going on. As your devices are going more mobile and off of your network, you lose that transparency. Encryption is a blind spot. SSL traffic is often a blind spot, because you can't see in that. It forces some organizations to buy technologies to help them see in that traffic. Cloud becomes a much bigger blind spot because you are relying on the controls supported by the provider. There are a lot of things you can do to get some visibility, but you don't have insight into a lot of the internal practices. You need to figure out a good balance.

CRN: What will your new role be at Accuvant?

Clark: A lot of vendors are hiring chief security officers who had been in the field to help marketing and sales activities and think about their product strategy. They're looking to create solutions to address problems by finding the core problems first and then creating the solutions to address them. At Websense, I touched about 400 chief security officers and chief information officers a year. But now at Accuvant, I get to focus on helping the broader audience as well as focus on 40 to 50 customers and CISOs and CIOs and help them really be successful. I'm moving from building specific products to being able to help people with services.

I'll be helping produce some models and tools to help them think about things from a threat-modeling perspective. It is about making more risk-based decisions by applying controls to the security weaknesses to look at it in more of a visual way. I'll be helping organizations have the flexibility to think about the way their security strategy and security team is organized. The last part is in assessments and architecture recommendations. If you want to solve the APT or DDoS problems, this is the architecture we recommend, and the people and processes around it.


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