Sramana Mitra: Let’s switch to the 30,000 foot level question. What do you see out there as emerging trends? What are some open problems that you see that if you were starting a company today, you would feel good about solving that problem?
Anne Bonaparte: The data explosion is exponential. We see some sophisticated cross-border cyber battles going on. There are some very big challenging issues that are going to take a lot of cooperation and partnership across public and private to solve.
The way I think about it is, the bad guys are in two camps. One is just leveraging weaknesses in the overall ecosystem and security infrastructure. Then, you’ve these sophisticated targeted attacks. If you’re thinking about starting a company, you should have some expertise in whatever you’re going to do it in. The sophisticated attacks have even targeted nation states. Cryptocurrency is a very sophisticated area and takes a sophisticated and experienced professional to go after that one. It requires a lot of public and private partnerships.
There is very interesting work about how it’s possible to attack supply chains and how they infiltrate the easiest ones and work their way up to the bigger, more complex ones. I think people should be thinking about that. Supply chain is very important as we get integrated across corporate boundaries.
Another trend is software development tools are providing easy ways for mass compromise. People are no longer writing every line of code. They’re using SDK’s as part of their solutions. Sometimes they’re taking shortcuts. That’s exposing a lot of risk. That’s an area where we do some work to expose the risk and help manage it. If I were to pick one that we’re not yet doing, it would be the explosion of data that is partially driven by the whole IoT movement.
I personally believe there’s going to be more and more extortion of our industrial infrastructure. That just scares me. I want really smart people to solve that and pay attention to that. In the IoT area, the one that’s interesting to me is industrial internet. The other is the exploitation of the weak voting systems we have around the country.
Obviously, we’ve seen evidence of attempted tampering. That brings us back to data being king. That’s where the gold is. It’s no longer people stealing credit cards. They’re trying to get access to data that is exploitable.
Sramana Mitra: This whole business of exposing at every level with IoT at every corner of our universe is scary.
Anne Bonaparte: Yes. We need the smartest minds on this.
Sramana Mitra: I couldn’t agree more. Anything else that you want to point out?
Anne Bonaparte: I was so intrigued with you and your business. I do think there is a white space for a really powerful security company to be born. It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed. The reality is we can do a lot. Right now, organizations use risk-based multi-factor authentication to protect themselves. They could really pay attention to contextualized access.
I wanted to test one thing with you that came to me last night as I was thinking about this. This next generation is really valuing transparency and conscientious consumption. As we think about what is unfolding with Facebook and what happened with Cambridge Analytica, people are saying, “I want to know what’s under the covers.” I have some hope that the way we change behavior and get more secure. If we can get everyone to begin to not pick everything on face value and instead ask questions, GDPR can actually be positive.
Sramana Mitra: I think GDPR will be great. I think we need to put something in place that creates a much more responsible privacy infrastructure.
Anne Bonaparte: I think it’s a very interesting time in our industry. I just don’t believe everyone’s going to accept that privacy is dead.
Sramana Mitra: It shouldn’t be dead. That is not an acceptable situation.
Anne Bonaparte: Finally, people are getting a little bit even in these last years. I’m very excited and positive about the future.
Sramana Mitra: Great. It was nice speaking with you.