Infocrime Summit 2012 - London Keynote Review

This week saw the Spring Infocrime Summit at the Thistle Marble Arch in London.  With a great range of speakers and some fantastic Spring sunshine, it was a great 2 day event.

With the last event only in November, it was good to see a range of varied speaks and industry representatives have their opinion on a range of information security issues.

Jim Griffiths from Yodel make an interesting presentation referring to the curse of ‘Security Theatre’ often being applied by many organisations. The term was initial coined by information security leader Bruce Schneier, when referring to security counter measures that don’t actually reduce the threat per-se, but simply increase the feeling of being secure. In today’s complex threat landscape and with many organisations facing a finite security budget, it could often be a short term solution to a long term threat.

Jamie Cowper of Verocode, spent some time discussing the often overlooked aspect of 3rd party library usage and open source application management. Whilst many development programmes – both internal and external – reference open source libraries from a range of languages, many organisations often overlook the fact that they often contain numerous vulnerabilities that need identifying, managing and ultimately remediating.

Well re-knowned speaker Neira Jones, Head of Payment Security at Barclaycard, spent time to reference the recently published Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. With 855 incidents covering 174million compromised records, 2011 was a busy year. Whilst BYOD has become a popular focus, it was startling to reference that 94% of all compromised data didn’t occur from mobile devices or laptops, but via servers. Whilst ‘hacktivism’ was seemingly a large cause for concern, many hacktivist or external attacks rely heavily or pre-existing user accounts often held by trusted employees.

Alan Cottom from Stonesoft introduced the newer concept of AET – Advanced Evasion Techniques. Whilst not to be confused with APT – Advanced Persistent Threat – AET, is more focused on the transport and conduit method a threat will use in order to infiltrate theprivate network. AET’s are becoming more advanced as they attempt to circumvent late generation firewalls, IDS and IPS systems to delivery a threatening payload on to the trusted network, with great emphasis on perimeter threat reduction and analysis.

David Shore from Pfizer gave a fascinating insight into the world of fake prescription drug manufacture and how Pfizer are leveraging new approaches to identify and track suppliers of fake goods as well as educating the entire supply chain on how to avoid potential counterfeights. Dave Evans from the UK Information Commissioners Office, provided an update on some of the recent changes to the DPA and how organisations are implementing ways to protect the privacy of personally held information.

Overall it was a great summit, with some interesting talks and great client networking. It seems whilst 2011 was the year of the hacktivist and external cyber criminal, many organisations simply want better intelligence when it comes to threat management from both an internal and external perspective, reducing the noise whilst being able to focus every reducing resource to the areas of the highest risk.

(Simon Moffatt)