RSA Europe: Privacy is stunting security says Coviello


Privacy advocates are slowing the progress of the security industry and preventing people from being fully protected online, according to RSA chairman Art Coviello.

Coviello claimed that the "cries of Big Brother" from privacy groups over more stringent security measures were doing the industry no favours. However, he did praise the efforts of the UK government to work with businesses to strengthen infrastructure defences.

"Privacy advocates think we should be able to endure reasonable danger to protect privacy," he said during a keynote speech at the RSA Europe conference.

"[This is] dangerous reasoning [and the] true depth of the problem remains hidden."

The chairman said that this reasoning was "a knee-jerk reaction without understanding the scope of the situation". He added that activists did not understand safeguards could be implemented and accused activists o believing a reasonable danger to protect our freedoms was "acceptable".

Coviello called for an overhaul to privacy laws and new cybersecurity model that "doesn't focus its efforts on an increasingly porous defense of the perimeter." He claimed that CIOs, boards of directors and others agree that a new model of cybersecurity makes sense.

He said that organisations should build intelligence-based security system comprising of a number of components, including risk-mitigation strategies and more enhanced use of data analysis.

Coviello also said another hindrance to the industry was a lack of skilled professionals. He said the industry needed around 4.25 million security professionals by 2015, but at present this was at just 2.25 million in 2010. He said that the industry may not be able to fulfill this requirement.

"There is a severe skills shortage, we have a need for the right level of people with the right level of expertise. Where will they come from? There is a need for more understanding," he said.

Rene Millman

Rene Millman is a freelance writer and broadcaster who covers cybersecurity, AI, IoT, and the cloud. He also works as a contributing analyst at GigaOm and has previously worked as an analyst for Gartner covering the infrastructure market. He has made numerous television appearances to give his views and expertise on technology trends and companies that affect and shape our lives. You can follow Rene Millman on Twitter.