Dustin Rigg Hillard, CTO at eSentire, is responsible for leading product development and technology innovation. His vision is rooted in simplifying and accelerating the adoption of machine learning for new use cases.
In this interview Dustin talks about modern digital threats, the challenges cybersecurity teams face, cloud-native security platforms, and more.
What types of challenges do in-house cybersecurity teams face today?
The main challenges that in-house cybersecurity teams have to deal with today are largely due to ongoing security gaps. As a result, overwhelmed security teams don’t have the visibility, scalability or expertise to adapt to an evolving digital ecosystem.
Organizations are moving toward the adoption of modern and transformative IT initiatives that are outpacing the ability of their security teams to adapt. For security teams, this means constant change, disruptions with unknown consequences, increased risk, more data to decipher, more noise, more competing priorities, and a growing, disparate, and diverse IT ecosystem to protect. The challenge for cybersecurity teams is finding effective ways to deliver and maintain security at the speed of digital transformation, ensuring that every new technology, digital process, customer and partner interaction and innovation is protected.
Cybercrime is being conducted at scale, and threat actors are constantly changing techniques. What are the most significant threats at the moment?
Threat actors, showing their usual agility, have shifted efforts to target remote workers and take advantage of current events. We are seeing attackers exploiting user behavior by misleading users into opening and executing a malicious file, going to a malicious site or handing over information, typically using lures which create urgency (e.g., by masquerading as payment and invoice notifications) or leverage current crises and events.
What are the main benefits of cloud-native security platforms?
A cloud-native platform offers important advantages over legacy approaches—advantages that provide real, important benefits for cybersecurity providers and the clients who depend on them.
- A cloud-native architecture is more easily extensible, which means more features, sooner, to enable analysts and protect clients
- A cloud-native platform offers higher performance because the microservices inside it can maximally utilize the cloud’s vast compute, storage and network resources; this performance is necessary to ingest and process the vast streams of data which need to be processed to keep up with real-time threats
- A cloud-native platform can effortlessly scale to handle increased workloads without degradation to performance or client experience
Security platforms usually deliver a variety of metrics, but how does an analyst know which ones are meaningful?
The most important metrics are:
- How platform delivers security outcomes
- How many threats were stopped with active response?
- How many potentially malicious connections were blocked?
- How many malware executions were halted?
- How quickly was a threat contained after initial detection?
Modern security platforms help simplify data analytics by delivering capabilities that amplify threat detection, response and mitigation activities; deliver risk-management insights; and help organizations stay ahead of potential threats.
Cloud-native security platforms can output a wide range of data insights including information about threat actors, indicators of compromise, attack patterns, attacker motivations and capabilities, signatures, CVEs, tactics, and vulnerabilities.
How can security teams take advantage of the myriad of security tools that have been building in the organization’s IT ecosystem for many years?
Cloud-native security platforms ingest data from a wide variety of sources such as security devices, applications, databases, cloud systems, SaaS platforms, IoT devices, network traffic and endpoints. Modern security platforms can correlate and analyze data from all available sources, providing a complete picture of the organization’s environment and security posture for effective decision-making.