Cybersecurity 2019 in Review: CISO Benchmarking, 5G, AI and More


As we close out 2019, the EDGE360 editorial team is looking back at the top trends and topics of the year. There is no doubt that cybersecurity flooded the headlines this past year, because it is a top-line business imperative in today’s digital world.

In this roundup, we take a look at a study from Cisco that explores why chief information security officers (CISOs) must become “threat hunters,” how 5G will affect cybersecurity efforts, whether artificial intelligence (AI) is – or isn’t – ready for “prime time” in cyber efforts, and why small businesses must make cybersecurity a business priority. Read more below:

Anticipating the Unknowns: Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) Benchmark Study

Cisco recently conducted a survey with the intention of answering a few questions, including “What does it mean to be a CISO day-by-day?” and “What is your charter?” They found that there are multiple areas of focus that can help a CISO determine an organization’s cyber “health.” They also shared that, as most CISOs know, “unknown threats exist outside the enterprise, in the form of malicious actors, state-sponsored attacks and malware that moves fast and destroys everything it touches,” as well as inside the enterprise and in the form of devices and technology applications. CISOs become “threat hunters” who must expand their mitigation efforts to “the entire spectrum of cybersecurity” and “must deal with that balance of organizational culture while combatting the most critical threats.”

To learn more about how to become a successful threat hunter, access the Cisco CISO Benchmark Study here.

Advice from Cisco on Securing 5G Networks

At Cisco Live, Mike Geller, Principal Architect with Cisco, explored how 5G is growing, what we can expect to see in the future, and how to secure these networks in the Applying Security in a 5G World session. “Some people say 5G is barely here,” said Geller. He explained that 5G is seeing greater usage today and will continue to grow in the coming years. This highlights the need for strong security as its usage grows. Geller said that even though this technology is new, it’s best to approach security with the best practices we’ve already learned, including using secure routers, switches, and firewalls. As 5G becomes more widely used, it’s vital that the networks, systems, and data are secure.

Read the story here.

Cybersecurity Moving to Use of Artificial Intelligence, Making Mature Overall Risk Matrix Essential in 2019

As we headed into 2019, the EDGE360 editorial team spoke with regular contributors to get their thoughts on what they anticipated would be the biggest trends this year. Bryant G. Tow, Managing Principal of CyberRisk Solutions, a security consultant firm focused on security strategy, operations and managed services, shared that – like other areas – cybersecurity would move in the direction of using artificial intelligence (AI) in 2019. That, in turn, will lead cybercriminals toward AI. Tow also shared that many companies still needed to get to a higher level of cybersecurity maturity. As he said, “Frankly, until you have clearly defined frameworks around your overall risk matrix, which includes clearly defined processes around technology, people and facilities, talking about a specific technology is really fruitless.”

Read the story here.

Cybersecurity and AI: Not Partners Just Yet

There may be a lot of interest in applying artificial intelligence (AI) to make up for a chronic shortage of cybersecurity skills, but it turns out a highly fragmented cybersecurity landscape is making it extremely difficult to aggregate all the data required to train those AI models. At the recent GPU Technology Conference hosted by NVIDIA, multiple speakers said the use cases in which AI might be applied to cybersecurity likely won’t be moving past automating some basic and rote cybersecurity functions anytime soon. They said that AI has great potential to identify a potential cybersecurity compromise. However, aggregating all the security data required to drive the AI models that need to be built and then updated continuously is proving to be difficult.

Read the story here.

Future of Cybersecurity: Best Practices for Small Businesses

Not so long ago, cybercrime was primarily associated with big business and government organizations – in other words, huge entities whose information is extremely valuable. Small and medium-sized businesses felt largely unaffected by the cybercrime scare – after all, if you do not move around millions of dollars, there is no reason to target you, right? Wrong. As cybercrime methods grow more sophisticated and hackers grow more numerous and organized, they are turning their attention to small companies. Why? Although the payoff of breaching a small business is smaller than hacking into a multinational corporation, it is also far more straightforward and less risky. The survival of small businesses depends on early adoption of the right cybersecurity practices.

Read the best practices here.


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