Advanced Threats: Prepare for War

FireEye's Dave Merkel on Changing the Security Mindset
Advanced Threats: Prepare for War

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It's time for security practitioners to adopt a new mindset, says Dave Merkel, CTO of security solutions vendor FireEye.

Rather than continuing to act as though they are living in peacetime, security organizations need to adopt a wartime mindset against their sophisticated, persistent attackers.

"A military organization in peacetime is very inefficient," Merkel says. "It's not very bottom-line focused; it isn't focused on the attacker - because there is no attacker. So, it's focused on inspections, regulations ..."

But an organization with a wartime mindset is focused on just one thing: Stop the enemy.

"There are very objective ways you measure that [focus]," Merkel says, "and it's how you run your day from the time you get up to the time you go to bed, and that's the only thing that matters."

Merkel made these comments in an exclusive interview conducted at the recent Global APT Defense Summit in New York. In a conversation about APT defense, Merkel discusses how to:

  • Shift to a wartime mindset;
  • Respond to nation-state threats;
  • Maximize threat intelligence.

Merkel is a chief technology officer at FireEye Inc., with more than 15 years of experience in the information security and incident response fields. He previously served as CTO and vice president of products at cybersecurity firm Mandiant, where he focused on shaping the strategy and direction of the company's technology and engineering solutions. Prior to Mandiant, Dave spent more than seven years leading a team of technologists at America Online (AOL) to protect corporate systems and network infrastructure.

About the Author

Tom Field

Tom Field

Vice President - Editorial, ISMG

Field is an award-winning journalist with over 30 years experience in newspapers, magazines, books, events and electronic media. A veteran community journalist with extensive business/technology and international reporting experience, Field joined ISMG in 2007 and currently oversees the editorial operations for all of ISMG's global media properties. An accomplished public speaker, Field has developed and moderated scores of podcasts, webcasts, roundtables and conferences, and he has appeared at RSA Conference and on various C-SPAN, The History Channel and Travel Channel television programs.

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