November 22, 2016

Forcepoint’s Thanksgiving 2017: Security, Stuffing and Cyber (things we are thankful for)

Susan Helmick

The early years were tough years for the Plymouth colonists. To celebrate the success of their first harvest, they invited their neighbors, the Wampanoag tribe, to share in an autumn harvest feast in gratitude for their early help providing food to the colonists during the first winter when supplies were insufficient. The first Thanksgiving was meant to commemorate the collaboration between the two groups and to share in their collective bounty.

In much the same way, 2016 has been a tough year for the cybersecurity industry. With high profile breaches aplenty in the news and a constant barrage of attacks targeting enterprises worldwide and even elections, there has never been so much attention paid to cyber protection efforts.  But at Forcepoint this Thanksgiving, we’re here to celebrate the success and collaboration shared among our team and customers.

Our business is fully dedicated to safeguarding our customers, their intellectual property and networks against security threats, data breaches and malicious attacks. And in our efforts we’ve come to realize that there is a frequently unchecked threat that has become pervasive in practically all enterprises today – the malicious insider. And to successfully tackle this threat, it takes a lot of collaboration with our customers and the deployment of our full range of cyber technologies.

Our innovations and research enable our customers’ success, security and, most importantly, their mission critical operations. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we asked some of our experts to weigh-in on the technologies that they are most thankful for in enabling the fight against insider threats we share with our customers and clients.

Dr. Richard Ford, Chief Technology Officer:

“It’s easy to get disillusioned about cybersecurity given the tough year that 2016 has been, but it’s also important to think more about what cybersecurity innovations have enabled  our success.”

“I’d say it’s good to reflect on technologies that aren’t necessarily ‘new.’ New is nice, but in cyber, I’m really thankful for things that are steady and foundational, such as patching and content filtering. While these may not be innovations in the traditional context, they are steady technologies that allow us to operate safely in a hostile universe. These are technologies I couldn’t live without. Sometimes I think we see the new and shiny and take our eyes off the foundations at our peril.”

“In terms of what is new - I’ve been looking at security in a new way, focusing increasingly on protecting valuable business-critical data for our customers. That paradigm shift is important. It helps me do a better job for our customers.”

“And when it comes to raw technology – it’s important to mention the work done by all the teams involved in the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge. We supported team Deep Red in this contest – but all the teams involved help push the science of autonomous cyber defense forward dramatically. The new techniques developed to compete will be driving product innovation for years to come.”

Bob Hansmann, Director of Security Technologies:

“After this year, I’m grateful for the advancements in threat analytics. Innovations have improved real-time identification of the most advanced threats from malware to initial phishing emails. This has helped render many cutting-edge evasion techniques developed by cybercriminals useless.”

“It’s also important to highlight expanding collaboration among security solutions.  Modern cyber defense strategies involve dozens of products applied in concert, but functioning independently.  As SaaS defenses, firewalls, DLP, UBA and other solutions begin to communicate automatically, they improve the identification of new threats.

“Most importantly, I’m thankful that people have finally started to ask for evidence that their data is being appropriately secured when stored in or processed by 3rd-party cloud service providers. After several high-profile breaches of cloud services, I think people now realize how easily they could become collateral damage in an attack, even if it targets another user of a service. Organizations are asking for assurances that cloud facilities are properly secured both physically and digitally. More than anything, it’s critical that Security-as-a-Service providers lead the way, which makes me also grateful that Forcepoint had the foresight to invest in ISO, CSTAR, and other important certifications years ago.”

With our eyes on the horizon and everything in store for the cyber industry in 2017, the Forcepoint team wishes you a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving. We look forward to continuing to enhance our customer’s cyber protection efforts throughout the Holiday Season.

About Forcepoint

Forcepoint is the leading user and data protection cybersecurity company, entrusted to safeguard organizations while driving digital transformation and growth. Our solutions adapt in real-time to how people interact with data, providing secure access while enabling employees to create value.