August 08, 2016
Shopping for cyber security technology and services is perplexing but does not have to be a gamble
By: Mike Harty

As I returned home from the Black Hat USA 2016 conference in Las Vegas last week, a certain metaphor for the state of cybersecurity came to mind.

A given business’s quest to seek out suitable security solutions today could be likened to a stroll through one of Vegas’ shiny, clattering casinos—so many, many choices in which to sink my money, in other words. What to do, which way to turn?

The cybersecurity space is burgeoning now, with multiple vendors joining the market every month. Don’t get me wrong, strong, well-funded, competitive markets accelerate innovation; however, having plenty of options is good—until it isn’t.

Security customers find the rapidly-moving, dynamic marketplace increasingly confusing, with similar messages emanating from many vendors. CIOs and Chief Information Security Officers want fixes that not only address current issues, but also carry capabilities upon which they can build. Another thing I hear is, I have too many tools; I need to consolidate and simplify.

Meanwhile, the bad guys are constantly, insistently banging at the gates, and they don’t really care that you need more time to figure out your defense plan.

With the launch of the Accenture Cyber Defense Platform (ACDP), which we announced during Black Hat, we’re taking square aim at these issues, with the ultimate goal of helping clients make it easier to identify, prevent and respond to cyberattacks.

It’s long been said there’s strength in numbers, and that’s absolutely the case here. ACDP combines the know-how and experience of four industry leaders—Accenture, Palo Alto Networks, Splunk and Tanium—into something that’s far more than a marketing relationship.

We’re all talking to each other, observing with many sets of eyes and sharing intelligence, and because it’s an integrated platform, it’s not just Accenture clients who benefit. Through the collaborative “ecosystem” structure of ACDP, our clients positions are strengthened as intelligence regarding new-found dangers are quickly shared throughout the ecosystem, which typically includes many of our clients’ customers, suppliers, government agencies and other digital interfaces.

If there’s one takeaway from Black Hat that rang loud and clear for me, it’s this: Cybersecurity’s time is now. More than 11,000 attended the event and over 200 companies were represented. Whether you’re already in the security industry or are thinking about it, there’s no doubt the business demand—for expertise, for talent, for answers—is only growing.

Global enterprises are getting increasingly complex and interconnected. It’s incumbent on us to understand the threats, know what they’re going after and provide the defense that clients expect to protect their most sensitive and valuable assets—for example, sensitive, non-public information including: new product releases, marketing campaigns, financial reports, innovations and patents or mergers and acquisitions.

The battle has been joined and the stakes are clear. It’s up to us to get the job done.

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