Speaker Interview: Steve Durbin, Information Security Forum

Speaker Interview: Steve Durbin, Information Security Forum

You will be speaking at the CNI Security conference at SCTX 2019. Can you give us a brief insight into the areas you will be covering in your address?

By 2021 the world will be heavily digitised.  Technology will enable innovative digital business models and society will be critically dependent on technology to function.  This new hyperconnected digital era will create an impression of stability, security and reliability.  However, it will prove to be an illusion that is shattered by new vulnerabilities, relentless attacks and disruptive cyber threats.  This session will provide insight into the threats and associated changes that organisations’ leaders may expect over the coming years and some of the key actions they should consider now.

The conference theme is ‘Developing resilient critical infrastructure in a networked world’. What do you believe are the major challenges in maintaining secure critical infrastructure in today's interconnected world?

Over the coming years a range of damaging threats will materialise.  Vulnerabilities will be shared across interconnected systems; malware attacks will be amplified by superfast networks; and business models using machine learning techniques will become a prime target.  Impacts will reverberate across the digital world with severe consequences for critical infrastructure.  Nation states will exploit this digitisation, thrusting the world into a new digital cold war.

How has the threat landscape evolved over the past few years and in what ways do you expect it to change in the near future?

By 2021 the world will be significantly digitised and connected.  The race to develop the next generation of super-intelligent machines will be in full swing and technology will be intertwined with everyday life.  Coupled with heightened global mistrust and rising geopolitical tensions, this will lead to a cyber threat that is relentless, targeted and disruptive.  The operating environment for all will become increasingly volatile.  Vast webs of intelligent devices, combined with increased speeds, automation and digitisation will create possibilities for businesses and consumers that were previously out of reach.  The internet of things will continue to develop at an astonishing rate, with sensors and cameras embedded into a range of devices across critical infrastructure.  The resulting nexus of complex digital interconnectivity will prove to be a weakness as modern life becomes entirely dependent on connected technologies, amplifying existing dangers and creating new ones.

With regards to your own address, what measures need to be taken by CNI and essential business operators to better secure their services, businesses and facilities against the evolving threat landscape?

In a hyperconnected world, attack surfaces and interdependencies will grow astonishingly quickly.  By understanding and evaluating how these technologies will be leveraged for competitive advantage, organisations may be able to invest in controls to protect against any new threats that they pose.  Organisations must be agile enough to adapt to heightened digital connectivity, ensuring that new security mechanisms are implemented should existing ones prove ineffective.

What can delegates expect to take away from your session?

The session will describe a number of threats driven by global events and major developments that individually and collectively have the potential to cause severe disruption to an organisation’s ability to conduct business.  Digitisation promises much and development of the next generation of technologies will bring significant benefits to business and society.  To survive in the new digital world organisations will have to adapt. To thrive they will need to evolve.  This session will highlight some of those emerging threats and provide guidelines as to how organisations might go about that process of evolution in the face of unprecedented change.