Monday, May 28, 2018

Back to the Future

Marty McFly, a teenager, is friends with Doc, a scientist that everybody believes he’s crazy. When Doc creates a machine that can travel through time, an error makes Marty get to the year 1955, before his parents met. After stopping their first encounter, he should get them to meet and marry; if else, hi won’t exist anymore. Going back in time to avoid making mistakes is something that could be great when talking about cybersecurity. 

In our interest to show the newest in the sector, it’s worth reading today’s interview to David G. DeWalt, founder of NightDragos Security and partner in Allegis Cyber and Momentum Cyber and more than other 15 companies, for Cyber Defense Magazine. David G. DeWalt is also known for being the vice-president of Delta Air Lines in the security department. David will guide us through the timeline of cybersecurity because to know the future, we have to know how it all started. 

After a long and intense career and job dedication, David’s chance happened in 2010, when he became the CEO of a security company called McAfee. This day he received a call at 6am to start working immediately. When he first met his administration team he heard what we feared: McAfee had accidentally sent a defective antivirus that had erased 1672 business computers in 16 minutes.  “When I say wiped out, this is an understatement. Entire companies were unable to boot any computers. Entire companies were unable to operate their businesses. In an effort to stop a particularly nasty threat from a government nation state source, we had accidentally shutdown all the computers that updated with our software that morning.” He said. Fortunately, one of their engineers realized the mistake and retired the defective version avoiding that more companies updated it.

After this enormous mistake, David realized what to do when doing something wrong: being honest and telling the truth. Media was showing his face and McAfee decreased a 40% after the incident. David assumed his responsibility and said he was sorry to everyone. He explained how he was working all night long to fix a virus but that that wasn’t the problem. Something happened, instead of getting things worst and being sued, clients and partners were empathic with the company. The more that mass media tried to gossip about it, more empathy David and his team were receiving. David G. DeWalt learnt that with the biggest gaps come the biggest investment opportunities: “if you see a threat, you will quickly see customer spend expand, then Venture Capitalists (VCs) pouring more money into those companies and of course it’s cyclic, by the time the vendors solve it, the actors are onto new threats.”

This fact marked a before and an after for DeWalt in his career and his cybersecurity vision. NightDragon Security isn’t looking to invest in ‘yet another endpoint’ solution. It’s creating a unique platform so that future companies can start faster to give cybersecurity a new life. Yes, thousands of millions of dollars are spent on cybersecurity solutions, but the problem is that exploiters have started changing these infrastructures easily exploitable and critic.

What is the cybersecurity future for David G. DeWalt? Drones, industrial arena and IoT, social networks, satellites and the cloud are the key ambits. Dr. DeWalt said that the number and the kind of drones are quickly increasing their velocity and endurance (new nano carbon fiber batteries). Technology is moving way faster than cybersecurity. These devices have a lot of vulnerabilities and are an easy target for their attackers. In the industrial arena, we have ICS and SCADA teams that help administrating from trains to water and energy. It’s a wonder this industry is not experiencing more Stuxnet-like attacks. These industrial networks are desperately in need of another “FireEye” like solution. There are nearly four billion people on Social Media networks, daily – that’s nearly half of all humanity.  The issues in this area range from false identities to the huge regulatory compliance issues. The cloud. A lot of companies are moving their data to the cloud and this should be closely examined because it’s a weak point and hackers will attack it.

Cybersecurity future is unknown, but thanks to those past mistakes we can move in advance of the behavior of users, companies, and hackers to determinate what will be the working routines in the future that is closer than we think. 


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