Employee awareness and cloud security are top concerns

  • Machine learning and big data allow analysis of behavioral patterns.

  • A virtualized environment can help isolate and defeat security threats.

Meeting with customers is one of my favorite things about the annual RSA Conference. This year was no exception. Together, we explored some of the shared, real-world challenges faced by nearly every organization in retail, financial, energy, government, and healthcare. Regardless of the industry, two themes continued to emerge in our conversations: employee awareness and cloud security.

Deploy defense in depth with employees

Addressing the “human factor” of enterprise security is a key concern for many organizations, particularly when it comes to spear-phishing. However, effective employee training is as much about psychology and behavioral science as it is policy education. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.

As a result, prioritizing security for employees with access to your most critical assets is an emerging practice. The stakes are higher when employees unknowingly make mistakes due to the systems and data they work with. Their security training comes with a lower risk tolerance and greater discernment of risks. Understanding where the business is most vulnerable, especially when it comes to employees, is an important baseline for any organization’s risk assessment.

Looking ahead, teams at the AT&T Security Research Center are already working in big data and machine learning environments where it’s possible to analyze large volumes of behavioral patterns and identify anomalies at the individual level. Findings from their research could lead to new security capabilities that bring technology and human behavior closer together.

Proper cloud architecture increases security

The ability to quickly triage systems during a security event determines the ultimate impact on your organization. Nimble technology and teams are critical in the race to mitigate attacks, yet we still hear security as a top concern for organizations adopting cloud. Surely, visibility into and across all cloud environments can make all the difference for your incident response team taking inventory of potentially impacted systems. It’s something we work very hard to provide to our customers.

Yet, one of most exciting developments in cloud architecture is the inherent security benefits of a virtualized environment. Software Defined Networking (SDN) and virtual machines can enable your organization to accept and analyze traffic inside an isolated container before it hits your perimeter network. If one of these machines becomes infected, it can be quickly retired and replaced with a clean machine. This kind of network design innovation is making it possible for AT&T and our customers to confidently move into the cloud.


Jason Porter Security Solutions Vice President AT&T About Jason