Last week’s RSA Conference, held in San Francisco, revealed the extent to which United States business leaders are discouraged by the advances being made by hackers. The annual conference drew attendance of more than 20,000 attendees, many of them professionals working in the technology security field. The attendance figures represented a record for the conference.
Gregory Roll, who attended in order to seek input about which security software suite would best serve the interests of the large banking firm that employs him, described the current IT security situation in the United States as “pretty discouraging… it’s a constant battle, and we’re losing.”
Others were equally pessimistic. Art Coviello, the executive chairman of RSA itself, spoke on the recent hacking attack that his company experienced. The incident caused problems when an employee opened an email that had a malware-infested attachment. This gave hackers a way to get into the network structure of the corporation; they managed to steal algorithms that determine how RSA generates information used in the SecurID tokens they produce for industry. That in turn led to an attack against defense contractor Lockheed Martin, an attack that was fortunately unsuccessful.
Many of the presentations highlighted the need for better security measures by business. One way to help promote better security is to work with a managed services provider. Such companies use remote monitoring to guard against attacks 24 hours a day, long after in-house IT solutions staff have gone home for the day.