‘Bringing together industry leaders, RSA is at the forefront of cyber security. We’ve taken notes on the important points that will affect you.’

Security is having its moment. With the current court battle between the FBI and Apple, privacy and security concerns have moved from the preserve of IT professionals and cultural commentators into the public sphere. In this context RSA, the world’s foremost security event, bought together experts to discuss the past, present, and future of the industry. If you couldn’t make it to sunny San Francisco, we’ve bought together the three main talking points that came up across the conference.

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Apple vs The FBI

‘The path to hell starts with the back door, and we need to ensure that encryption technology remains strong’ – Brad Smith, Chief Legal Officer for Microsoft.

As you’d expect at RSA, the voices of the industry’s best and brightest were nearly unanimous in their support for Apple. Creating a back door was pointed to as an anti-consumer security nightmare, and weakening encryption with the sole purpose of making life easier for law enforcement would be a golden opportunity for the ‘bad guys’.

The main dissenting voice came, unsurprisingly, from U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who expressed her surprise at Apple fighting this particular case when they’ve previously co-operated on others. She finished her talk on a positive note, praising the industry’s constant innovation and making a plea for further partnership between the public and private sectors in the fight against extremism.

The Future of Security is Creativity

‘If you don’t have hunters, grow them. Train and equip people to become hunters. Give them tools to fuel their curiosity.’

The president of the RSA, Amit Yoran, shared an interesting statistic: whilst 90{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} of security professionals are not satisfied with the state of security, 60{3bd8d559a10c7b53d43ee5a40432883f63579c4fd6edc8dac88954d74ee5f2b3} of budgets are spent on incident response. His point was that we are spending too much time closing the stable door after the horse has bolted and not enough time being proactive. By fostering the creativity of the analysts we already have, Amit posits that we can identify threats early and even the playing field.

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Who’s Right: Legislation or Business?

‘It’s written by people who don’t run businesses’ – Meme Rasmussen, VP and chief privacy officer of Adobe

Industry insiders know that privacy laws and regulations often come into conflict with an organizations’ objectives. Sometimes that means we need to change directions, but more often than not this reflects just how out of date legislation has become. The panel discussing this, comprised of privacy executives from Microsoft, Adobe, and Google, bought up The European Data Protection Directive which was adopted and written in 1995 and remains in effect to this day. EU and US leaders are three years into creating a new directive (the General Data Protection Regulation) but, as its being crafted without any input from the industry, how long before this too is out of date?

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