RSA Chief Executive Art Coviello challenged a widespread belief that cybersecurity awareness could curb cyberthreats: "There's no amount of consumer education to make them smart enough to resist attacks. They're just too sophisticated."
Intelligence expert Terry Roberts says cyber intelligence, a new approach to IT security, could make significant gains in the coming year. "The good thing is, this isn't really rocket science," says the chair of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance's Cyber Council.
Creating a culture of security within an organization may be on CISOs' wish lists, but it's often hard to educate and spread that message, says Justin Somaini, chief information security officer at Yahoo.
Yahoo's Justin Somaini believes his fellow CISOs in business and government do a good job keeping their bosses informed of proper information security practices, but could do better in educating the rank and file about them.
"The action and manifestation of risk is not necessarily evident to today's users in the way it was in the past, and that creates a big inherent challenge for a CISO," says Malcolm Harkins, CISO at Intel Corp.
Eddie Schwartz didn't shy away from the offer to become RSA's first chief security officer after the security firm experienced a sophisticated advanced-persistent-threat breach. Instead, Schwartz embraced the hack as the reason to take the job. (See RSA to Get Its First Chief Security Officer.)
Among the 12 computer-related job classifications tracked by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts was one of only two categories to report no unemployment during the second quarter of 2011.
"It's not enough to know the architecture of the breach system," says Michael Aisenberg of MITRE Corp. "Leaders have to understand the different jurisdiction of where they do business, where their customers are and which breach law applies."
"While securing energy, financial, health and other resources remain vital, the future of the innovation and the economy will depend on the success of Internet companies and ensuring that these companies are trusted and secure is essential," Commerce Secretary Gary Locke says.
NRC CISO Patrick Howard is among three information security leaders who share their experiences, approaches and challenges from battling data breach incidents that had an impact on their organizations and their careers.