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RSA 2011: Day 3

As we trek into the third day of RSA, we’re already noticing that many of our pre-RSA predictions are holding true – guess it’s our "sixth sense" for security trends. In an earlier post, my colleague Kristin Allaben suggested that in addition to cloud security, top themes at this year’s conference would include trends in government security and cyber warfare.

Yesterday’s highly anticipated Symantec keynote delivered by president and CEO Enrique Salem warned his audience that the worst of targeted cyber attacks is yet to come.  A statement made by Salem left us, and surely the rest of the audience, feeling slightly unsettled referred to a recent, highly publicized targeted malware attack. “Stuxnet was the attack that moved the game from espionage to sabotage.” It seems as though the safety of our critical security infrastructure is at stake, especially with recent movements to the cloud and the replacing of PCs with smart devices. Is our growing adoption of virtualized environments ultimately letting down our protective barriers?

Art Coviello, EVP of EMC and president of RSA, doesn’t seem to think so and remains fairly optimistic. During his presentation, he claimed that virtualization is the silver lining in the cloud. Due in large part to a growing business demand, organizations are rapidly adopting cloud technologies. While this is great for the cloud industry, Coviello stated that it is causing growing concern for security practitioners who are in charge of governing and managing data in the cloud. Automation has become an essential part of enabling security in virtualized environments.

Rest assured though, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Coviello told audience members that the vendor community has been working to apply security principles to their solutions that will enable a secure, trusted cloud. Interestingly enough, we can expect to see predictive analytics being deployed in trusted cloud environments based on an understanding of normal states, user behaviors and transaction patterns.

Check back here tomorrow for additional coverage and highlights of this year’s RSA Conference. We’re interested to see if discussion will continue around security in the cloud or if something new will pop up.

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Nina Korfias

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