(ISC)2 Security Congress 2016

I recently attended the (ISC)2 Annual Security Congress (in conjunction with ASIS International) in Orlando, Florida. (ISC)2 Security Congress is a premier 4-day conference attended by hundreds of IT security professionals from around the world. This year featured a line-up of excellent speakers including keynote speeches from journalist Ted Koppel and foreign policy expert Elliott Abrams.

Here are the top IT security topics I gathered from the conference:

  1. Cloud security. As more and more companies are migrating to the cloud, IT security professionals are seeking the best practices for securing applications and data in the cloud.
  2. IoT (Internet of Things) security. It’s still a wild west out there. Manufacturers are making IOT devices (sensors, cameras, appliances, etc) that are insecure. There is a lack of standardization. People are putting devices on the Internet with default settings and passwords which make them vulnerable. Inside most companies, there is usually no process of putting these IOT devices on the network.
  3. Ransomware. They are getting more prevalent and sophisticated. Some perpetrators have a solid business model around this, including a call center/ help desk to help victims pay the ransom and recover their data.
  4. Resiliency. It’s better to build your network for resiliency. Every company will be a victim of an attack at some point, even with the best defenses in place. Resilient networks are those that can recover quickly after a breach.
  5. Common sense security. There are plenty of discussions on using time-tested security practices such as hardening of devices (replacing default passwords for instance), patching on time, and constant security awareness for users.
  6. Cyberwar.  There’s a mounting occurrence of cyber incidents and the next big threat to our civilization is cyberwar. Bad actors (state-sponsored hackers, hacktivists, criminals, etc.) may be able to hack into our industrial systems that are controlling our electrical and water supply, and be able to disrupt or destroy them.
  7. Shortage of cybersecurity experts.  The industry is predicting a shortage of cybersecurity professionals in the near future.