The cybersecurity ecosystem has changed over the past year, especially with new attack vectors associated with novel working conditions. COVID-19 forced an accelerated shift in digitization that drove millions of companies to adopt a remote workforce, significantly widening the attack surface and further exposing the need for innovative cybersecurity technologies. In a recent interview, Pondurance Chair of the Board of Directors Niloofar Razi Howe — a judge at this year’s RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest — discusses cyberattack trends and cybersecurity innovation and technologies, and it all starts with the cloud.  

Increase in Security Solutions — From the Cloud and for the Cloud

We are seeing an influx of companies migrating to cloud infrastructures and consuming more applications in the cloud. As a result of adopting a cloud environment, companies are focusing on solutions that are designed to enable them to defend workloads and data across the entire cloud and throughout the migration phase. 

Supply Chain Attacks

Development, security, and operations is important right now, and security must be integrated earlier in the development life cycle as attacks continue to get more sophisticated over time. Understanding firmware and the vulnerabilities within firmware will give organizations more insight into their supply chain risk visibility. The next generation of third-party risk assessments and supply chain security is getting down to the code level and firmware level. As we saw in the SolarWinds nation-state attack, these types of attacks are stealth and can lay dormant for months, causing significant damage to a company’s bottom line. 

Detect and Response Solutions 

Having visibility into managed and unmanaged assets is important as we shift into remote work and as organizations are forced to accelerate digitization. As companies are forced to adapt to a compressed planning life cycle, a widening of attack surfaces and innovation to categories such as endpoints, networks and SIEMs have occurred. It takes more than security alerts for companies to stay one step ahead of attacks and reduce their threat surface. 

Automation is key to detecting and responding to threats, but leveraging human intelligence can take your security infrastructure one step further. Since a common theme is not having enough resources, leveraging a remote security operations center can make all the difference in protecting your business and digital assets. 

Empowering Human Resilience

The most important trend is human resilience. We are living in a world where the humans at the center of our security and networks need to be empowered to become more resilient through training and automation and by reducing the human attack surface. The human operating system is paramount in protecting your ecosystem.

These cyberattack trends prove there is a broad foray in the current attack surface. As our world gets more complex, these cyber trends indicate the need for more resilience in our systems as well as our ability to empower human intervention to enable intelligent resilience.

Niloofar Razi Howe

Chair of the Board | Pondurance

Niloofar Razi Howe has been an investor, executive and entrepreneur in the technology industry for over 25 years, with a focus on cyber security for the past 15 years. Most recently, Howe served as CSO and SVP of Strategy and Operations at RSA, where she led corporate strategy, corporate development and planning, business development, global program management, business operations, security operations and Federal business development. Howe is on the board of directors of Pondurance (as Chair), Morgan Stanley Bank, NA, Recorded Future, and Swimlane.