December 2015

SC Magazine | On deck: Predictions for 2016 and beyond

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What’s to come in the cyber universe in 2016 and beyond? What threats will be most challenging for security pros? We compiled predictions from a number of experts.


Bob Ackerman, managing director and founder, Allegis Capital


Data analytics. Whether we are looking at threat intelligence or insider behavior, which contributes to 40 to 75 percent of all breaches, data analytics will continue to be a major innovation and investment theme. There is no shortage of data, it’s finding the specific piece of hay in the haystack – not just the needle in the haystack – that is essential for the security practitioner.


Autonomic defense. The explosion in volume and quality of threat intelligence and the chronic shortage of threat analysts will drive the demand for automated response systems for cybersecurity. We need to automate the rudimentary threat responses and for all management to focus scare threat analyst resources on the most complex and critical threats. Essentially, it’s all about scale and velocity.



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A ‘Golden Key’ to Unlock Encryption Is the Wrong Approach

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RSA Conference


This post in our VC-series comes from Robert R. Ackerman, Jr., the founder and managing director of Allegis Capital.


It seems like an appealing strategy—give the FBI and other law enforcement agencies, as well as our spy organizations, a back door— a “golden key”—to unveil encrypted communications to help catch criminals and terrorists and protect Americans from harm. This is particularly compelling in the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and the role of Islamic State propaganda in the mass killings in San Bernardino, Calif., the worst homeland terrorist episode since 9/11.


golden keyWhen Islamic State commanders find a recruit willing to die for the cause, they move their communications over to encrypted platforms, “going dark,” FBI Director James Comey has said. He has also pointed out that Islamic State militants and other terrorist groups could use encryption to “recruit troubled Americans to kill people” in the homeland.


These are scary points, but a golden key won’t help resolve them. The unvarnished truth is that it is a fictitious panacea, one analogous to fool’s gold.


In the domain of cybersecurity and encryption, the bad guys are just as smart as the good guys. Their tradecraft is focused on identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities. If there is a back door, they will find it and exploit it.  At the same time, it’s hard to imagine that government agencies, which are regularly breached, could be trusted to keep such a golden key safe from hackers and criminals.



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