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If you build better security, it will make cybercriminals try harder

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March 14, 2016

Roland Cloutier, the chief security officer of U.S. payroll processor behemoth ADP says his executive peers will need to become very technical if they still want to have a future in the industry.

Cloutier, who has a stint as EMC's chief security officer on his resumé, told the Nullcon security event in Goa, India, that executives must be a lot more technical than they presently are and they need to better understand security tools already in use both across the enterprise and the products it sells.

Cloutier has studied the last six months to learn more about encryption and stresses that chief security personnel will need to focus on four areas including security technologies, threat information, risk management and overall convergence.

“First they have to fully understand information technology, networking defense operations, basics of big data, and so on,” Cloutier told delegates. “If you are protecting SCADA systems you better know how a programmable logic controller works.”

“And you also have to understand a deep acumen of various defense models, and response capabilities,” he added.

He then asserted that risk is critical for security executives despite that he admits it is his weakest area. “I hate risk,” he says.

He added that “converged security is the final area that executives must conquer. Here disparate security divisions are brought together to share threat and other information.”

Cloutier gathers his thirteen security executives together for 09:00 AM Monday meetings so they can share security intelligence among each other.

But Cloutier warns that attackers will become more determined and skilled as security defences improve. It's always a 'Catch 22' situation he said.

And he talks from experience. ADP recently deployed an in-house anti-fraud system that shot attack detection rates from about 64 percent to 93 percent overnight.

“The number of attacks went up 10 fold because they needed to try to find other ways to break in and steal money,” Cloutier says.

Ultimately, it's a balance between leadership and technical skills, the ratio depending on the business.

“Better security means that you will scare off the bad guys and they will become more sophisticated,” he asserted.

On any given week, ADP processes about 12 billion events a day through its global anti-fraud platforms including transactions and external threat data which it uses to create more detailed attack overviews, so Cloutier sure has a good idea of internet security when applied in a large-scale enterprise environment.

Source: BitDefender.

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