Whenever I participate in a cybersecurity conference, I try to take a moment afterward to identify the major themes that emerged from the talks and sessions. This is not always an easy task, given the wide assortment of topics that most cybersecurity conferences cover. Our industry has grown and expanded so much – and while this is welcome, it can make conferences tough to navigate.
When I review the impressive talks and sessions included in our 2021 AT&T Security Conference, however, (you can now watch the sessions on demand) I see two obvious themes that jump right off the page: First, it was clear that coverage to secure everything is now a major part of the security equation. The so-called Internet of Everything (IoE) now extends cybersecurity to include focus on machines, devices, equipment and on and on. Our speakers all reinforced this point.
Second, it was clear that working toward collaboration between industry and government, as well as between industrial sectors, is a valuable goal, albeit one that remains somewhat elusive in some contexts. Our team at AT&T has always valued the cybersecurity collaboration we have with our customers, partners and all branches of government. But we also understand the challenges in making this work properly.
One issue is the speed with which modern technology continues to advance. We heard this referenced from Chris Inglis, President Biden’s National Cyber Director. He and others pointed to the exciting advances of cloud, internet and mobile networking – but also reinforced the need for major entities such as AT&T to support and advance cybersecurity sharing wherever possible.
A second issue is the constantly evolving threat to cyber infrastructure. Our afternoon keynote speech from Ed Amoroso of TAG Cyber showed this in a historical context. Ed explained how malicious threats have evolved from early hacks in the 1980s to a future that might involve serious cyber conflict. He gave us all something to think about (including his advice for parents to help their children with their math homework).
The slate of AT&T speakers covered a lot of ground – and perhaps illustrated the IoE concept just by the wide variety of topics addressed during their sessions. Talks from industry leaders such as Brian Rexroad, Karthik Swarnum and Rita Marty, for example, covered many different aspects of “securing everything.”
We delved into automation, cloud security, Zero Trust, Shift Left methodologies, DevSecOps, 5G wireless, mobile security, threat detection, security analysis, emerging technologies and on and on. Just the conference agenda alone provides a roadmap to the need for our industry to expand its coverage.
I hope you were lucky to have spent a wonderful day enjoying and learning from these fine speakers. If not, then please feel free to visit the conference site. You can still register for the conference for free, after-the-fact, and view the recordings on demand. Business customers can contact their AT&T sales representative for insights into cyber trends.
This year, coverage and collaboration emerged as the primary themes. Hopefully, these two themes are consistent with and embedded into your 2022 security goals planning.