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The Urgent Need to Recruit More Cybersecurity Pros

Symantec CTO Hugh Thompson Offers 2017 Threat Assessment
The Urgent Need to Recruit More Cybersecurity Pros
Dr. Hugh Thompson, CTO, Symantec

As cybercriminals continue to wage more sophisticated, well-funded attacks, it's more urgent than ever to attract qualified professionals to careers in cybersecurity, says Symantec CTO Dr. Hugh Thompson.

"Purely from an intellectual perspective, there are opportunities - there is still some uncharted territory in the security space," he says in an interview with Information Security Media Group. "There is a lot of opportunity to apply creativity and data science to solving some of these issues."

The frequency and sophistication of targeted attacks in 2016 shows that cybercriminals are developing a better understanding of business processes, Thompson says. So the industry needs to incentivize cybersecurity as a career to meet the need for talent to devise cutting-edge protection.

"Look at the SWIFT banking attacks as an example. That required a very intimate understanding of how that process worked," he says. "These targeted attacks are getting even more personalized to individual companies."

Internet of Things

Recent distributed denial-of-service attacks fueled by botnets built using internet of things devices demonstrate another emerging threat that must be addressed in the year ahead, Thompson says. "Some of the recent attacks have brought what was a theoretical set of possibilities into sharp focus as reality," he notes (see: Can't Stop the Mirai Malware).

Meanwhile, as more enterprises adopt cloud-based services, their model for providing adequate security must change, he adds.

In this exclusive interview (see audio player below photo), Thompson provides insights on:

  • Major cybersecurity trends this year;
  • Predictions on security challenges and up-and-coming technologies for 2017;
  • His view of the security industry after taking over as CTO of Symantec.

Thompson formerly was chief security strategist and senior vice president at Blue Coat Systems. He was named CTO of Symantec after the company acquired Blue Coat in August. Thompson has more than a decade of experience in creating methodologies that help organizations build more secure systems. For the past several years, he has served as the program committee chairman for RSA Conference. He has co-authored four books and written more than 80 papers on security and has taught computer security at Columbia University for five years.

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