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D.C. Metro Cyber Security Summit

(t) Trend Micro logoOriginally posted on the Trend Micro blog.

Last week’s D.C. Metro Cyber Security Summit was chock-full of great discussions on the current state and future of cyber security. I had the opportunity to sit on the Enterprise Security & BYOD panel as seen here. I’m 2nd from the left :-).

While the panel discussion was great, I wanted to focus this post of the underlying themes throughout the summit.

Continuous Monitoring

A significant amount of the discussions about the state of security at the summit centered around continuous monitoring . This is a theme that is going to come up over and over again, as it truly does underpin every area of a modern security practice.

Our own Tom Kellermann took to the stage to highlight the rise of the criminal underground to the level of the 6th estate . Tom’s presentation showed how we not only have to shift our awareness of the threats we face but our defensive strategies that we deploy to deal with them.

With continuous monitoring as the keystone, Tom’s recommendation centered on a comparison of a modern defence with a no-movement super max prison. Tom’s thesis is that strictly controlling and monitoring key data flows is the only logical approach to build from.

I agree with this approach because it means you start ensuring the protection of your most valuable assets and work out from there. Be sure to keep you eye out for more from Tom on this new perspective.

Learning & Innovation

I was really happy to see a strong focus on learning at the summit. While no panel specifically focused on the topic, it was another key undercurrent of the discussions held throughout the day.

Two organizations that stood out to me were LifeJourney and Mach37 .

LifeJourney

LifeJourney’s tag line says it all: “Creating The STEM Generation.” They focus on reaching students and encouraging their pursuit of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activities by highlighting real-world career possibilities.

I’m a huge fan of anything that helps more students realize the value of focusing on STEM subjects, and I think the LifeJourney approach has real possibilities.

They are trying to bridge that educational gap between the subject matter and its application. I know that as a young student, understanding where some of the subjects were leading would have definitely helped me focus.

Mach37

Mach37 is more direct in its mission. They are a start-up accelerator with a cybersecurity focus. Their role is to ensure that truly innovative companies in the cyber security space get the start they need.

Definitely worth keeping your eye on Mach37 and the companies coming out of their program.

Next Up: NYC

Overall, the summit was a great opportunity for in-depth discussions with some of today’s leaders in cyber security. They key take-away for today’s defenders is twofold:

  1. You’re not alone. A lot of other people are facing the same challenges, and by getting together and sharing our stories & perspectives, we are all better off.
  2. We need to be consciously encouraging the next wave of defenders. We’ve learned a lot through hard work and tough experience; sharing that with today’s students and helping new innovations reach the market is a win for everyone.

The next summit is in New York City in the fall. If you’re able to go, I highly recommend it. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter where I’m @marknca .