February 10, 2011

Raising Awareness of Cyber Threats - The Debate

Carl Leonard Principal Security Analyst

Last night I had the privilege of participating in a panel discussion at the Frontline Club in London, UK.  The topic for discussion was 'Will the Internet be the battleground of the 21st century?'.


The discussion covered recent examples of Advanced Persistent Threats and the importance of informed security-focused decision-making.  We looked at the topic from different angles: from the strategic viewpoint – how organizations should best prepare themselves to mitigate the effects of a breach of their network, and from a personal viewpoint – looking at the impact of cyber crime on individuals.

Also on the panel were Peter Sommer (co-author of the OECD study 'Reducing Systemic Cybersecurity Risk'), Claire Yorke (co-author of the Chatham House Report ‘On Cyber Warfare’) and Dr Rex Hughes (a fellow in Cyber Security at Cambridge University).  The event was chaired by Ben Hammersley, editor at large of WIRED UK.

I’m sure both security researchers and members of IT security teams will attest to the effects of malware, targeted attacks, and attempts to breach our network infrastructure occurring ever more frequently in our advanced Internet-dependent society.  Certainly in the Websense Security Labs we witness an ever-increasing number of malicious Web sites, targeted attacks, and increasingly complex threats using multiple attack vectors.  These attempts are made to disrupt operations and retrieve valuable data within organizations distributed around the world.

At the end of this event it was clear to me that the need for organizations to carefully review their security position has never been greater.  The current climate of the threat landscape lends itself to us needing to think carefully about the security solutions that we implement within our organizations, not just at a technical level, but also at a policy level.  For example, if as an organization you wish to embrace Web 2.0 and allow employees to utilize social networking, you can do so.  The important part is to ensure you have enabling technology that permits this to occur safely, and protects against the risks that are associated with the use of these sites.

Thankfully with debates like this occurring we can help push forward the message, share experiences, and work towards making our Internet a safer place in which to do business.


The background to the event can be seen here.
If you are interested in seeing a recording of the debate you can watch the video archive linked from the Frontline Web site.


To find out how Websense protects our customers from modern threats you should explore our Advanced Classification Engine here.

Carl Leonard

Principal Security Analyst

Carl Leonard is a Principal Security Analyst within Forcepoint X-Labs. He is responsible for enhancing threat protection and threat monitoring technologies at Forcepoint, in collaboration with the company’s global Labs teams. Focusing on protecting companies against the latest cyberattacks that...

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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.