In many spheres of employment, the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology is creating a growing fear. Kevin Maney of Newsweek vividly summarized the pending transformation of employment and the concerns it raises in his recent article “How artificial intelligence and robots will radically transform the economy.”
In the Information Security (InfoSec) community, AI is commonly seen as a savior – an application of technology that will allow businesses to more rapidly identify and mitigate threats, without having to add more humans. That human factor is commonly seen as a business inhibitor as the necessary skills and experience are both costly and difficult to obtain.
Much of Phillimon Zongo’s youth was spent walking or running great distances barefoot, sometimes en route to school, other times scouring the township for empty cola bottles he could sell for change. Whatever the distance, Zongo was determined to find a way to afford food to fill his belly and knowledge to fill his brain.
Zongo’s first pair of shoes came when he was 12, prompting months of adjusting his steps to acclimate to the new sensation. But with or without footwear, in warm or wintry conditions, traversing the roads of rural Zimbabwe often was preferable to being home, where he and his large family lived in poverty.
With the dawn of 2017, ransomware continues to emerge as a top security threat. This form of attack that encrypts and locks computer files and devices until a ransom is paid looms ominously over large companies, SMEs and even individuals.
Ransomware is part of the top 10 security threat predictions by various analysts and security labs across the world. In 2015, businesses paid $24 million to ransomware attackers, a figure that was expected to jump to $850 million in 2016, according to Carbon Black’s 2016 Threat Report. However, I would shudder to place a number on that total, with many organizations choosing to pay the ransom rather than report the incident.
Having worked for most of the “Big Four” as well as several boutique consultancies, I have witnessed a well-marketed shift and the birth of a new industry as it pertains to integrated regulatory content. When I refer to integrated regulatory content, I mean taking statements from individual sources and mapping those to a single control statement. For example, PCI 3.2, Requirement 2.1 states that default account passwords for accounts shipped with a Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) product should be changed.
Similarly, supplemental guidance from control enhancement 5, of the SA-4 control family of NIST SP 800-53r4, mentions very similar control language. In an integrated framework, one would have a single control named something such as “Access Management – Password Management – Default Accounts,” and both the language from NIST 800-53r4 and PCI would be mapped to that single integrated requirement as opposed to managing similar requirements independently across frameworks. This mapping would ostensibly allow one to create controls and control procedures that could reduce testing and compliance efforts within most organizations.
We hope 2017 finds you ready for another year of challenges, opportunities and achievements—much like the year we all have just enjoyed.
In 2016, ISACA moved forward as an organization with the support of its 215 chapters around the world working to increase our visibility, influence and impact, locally and globally. Perhaps most encouraging is the progress we are making as a valued professional community, which has occurred amidst rapid changes and increasing complexity in and around our key fields of interest—audit/assurance, information and cyber security, governance and risk. Highlights from 2016 included:
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