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"Inventive Collaboration" for Fighting Cybercrime

During the opening keynote at RSA Conference 2009 in San Francisco, Art Coviello, president of RSA, the security division of EMC, cautioned that the global cyber-threat continues to escalate and online fraudsters are more organized, collaborative, and effective than ever. He addressed major forces such as the economy and emerging technologies that are driving the information security industry to evolve and adapt -- and how these forces provide an opportunity for "inventive collaboration" to effectively restructure the information infrastructure. Coviello also provided examples on how RSA is working to foster inventive collaboration around key practices.

"To combat the cybercriminals requires far more purposeful collaboration on the part of the industry and a strong security ecosystem built around a common development process focused on risk," said Coviello. "Today's security technologies are applied as independent applications cluttering the information landscape and leaving perilous gaps of risk."

Coviello cited three major forces driving the information security industry to evolve and adapt, including: the challenge posed by the criminal threat; the demand upon enterprises and governments to achieve unprecedented levels of productivity to restore value to the faltering economy; and the opportunity to rethink the approach to security based upon emerging technologies and trends such as virtualization, cloud computing and social networking. He argued that these three forces have placed the industry at a critical inflection point by providing the opportunity to restructure the information infrastructure almost from the ground up -- and warned that the industry must avoid repeating past mistakes.

According to Coviello, "We must embrace a common development process that allows us to create a more secure infrastructure today. Then, with an eye on the future, we can ensure that the new technical infrastructure is designed around that process, rather than forcing a process around a collection of technologies."

Coviello urged the industry to foster inventive collaboration around three key practices and provided examples of how RSA is pursuing them:

  • Collaborate on standards such as the Key Management Infrastructure (KMI) standard led by RSA, HP, and IBM.
  • Practice technology sharing. The RSA Share Project, which provides the leading RSA BSAFE encryption software developer toolkits at no cost, is a good example of this practice.
  • Integrate technologies and embed controls directly into the infrastructure itself. Examples of these integration points were discussed onstage between Coviello, Brett Galloway, Senior Vice President, Wireless and Security Technology at Cisco and Scott Charney, Corporate Vice President of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft.

"We must develop a stronger and healthier ecosystem than the fraudsters and ensure the fluid and frictionless exchange of information on which our global economy depends. It's not about changing the game, it's about winning the game," Coviello said.

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