RSA from the Eyes of Our IT Team 

by Tori Thurmond / May 17th, 2023

Here at KirkpatrickPrice, we strive for all members of our organization to continuously learn about what’s going on in our ever-evolving industry. Our goal is to educate and empower our clients with the knowledge we learn so you can feel confident that you’re doing everything you can to set your organization up for success.  

Recently, we had several members of KirkpatrickPrice attend the 2023 RSA conference in San Francisco, including several members of our IT team, and we wanted to share a few highlights from the conference with you.  

AI and Machine Learning: Friend or Foe? 

One of the hottest topics of this year’s conference was AI and ChatGPT, which makes sense since the platform’s popularity skyrocketed after its launch late last year. Security professionals and non-security professionals alike are wondering how advancing AI and ChatGPT will affect the future of not only their organizations but also the rest of their lives. There’s still a lot up in the air about AI technology, but the conference offered some interesting insights into what the future could hold.  

AI, machine learning, and ChatGPT have the ability to save organizations time and money. Some of the presenters at the conference even asked AI to generate the introductions to their speeches. Not only can these tools help us be more efficient in both our work and personal lives but AI could also help expediate response times to threat events and maybe even prevent some of these events from happening in the first place.  

The attack surface is growing every day. A point that was mentioned several times throughout the conference was that the attack surface is approaching infinity, meaning that the attack surface is growing exponentially and will eventually be everywhere.  

Lately, there’s been an increase in zero trust practices like endpoint protection to increase an organization’s security measures against the growing attack surface. Presenters also talked about extended detection and response (XDR), an open cybersecurity architecture that integrates security tools allowing different security solutions that wouldn’t normally be able to work together to co-operate to increase threat management initiatives. The conversation around XDR was mainly focused on how it can be integrated with AI to increase rapid response.  

XDR combined with AI can be used to automate the recovery process after or even during a compromise. The combination uses real-time data and telemetry to bring granular data points together and evaluate that data as an exploit is happening.  

Imagine if you could stop a threat before it gains any traction. It’s projected that by next year, we could be looking at zero recovery time—essentially you are creating the path to recover data automatically.  

AI and machine learning can help us identify vulnerabilities. However, because AI and machine learning is still rapidly evolving and improving, we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to trust this technology enough to place our organization’s security in its hands. Ethics have not been built into AI, at least not yet. ChatGPT is useful for tasks like reviewing code to search for vulnerabilities, but it does not yet have the ability to determine if code is being created for malicious purposes, like malware.  

If we are going to use AI and start incorporating it into our organization, we cannot use it ignorantly. We need to understand how the technology is functioning and be aware of the risk that comes along with it.  

Things to Keep in Mind about Threat Management 

A threat is a who, not a what. It’s easy to think of threats as some evil force with no motive other than to destroy our hard work, but there’s a person or group of people behind these threats that we spend so much time, money, and energy defending our organizations against.  

Take the time to evaluate who your threats are and what their motives could be. Once you figure this out, you can more realistically evaluate and manage your risk.  

Cyber resilience needs to be a priority for your organization. According to the 2023 Voice of the CISO Report, 68% of CISOs believe their organization is at risk of experiencing a material cyber-attack in the next 12 months. Unfortunately, breaches and cyber-attacks are inevitable. You should be taking preventive measures like performing risk assessments and risk assessment reviews, undergoing penetration testing, and performing cloud scans, but make sure you take the time to really consider all of the ways a threat actor could take advantage of your organization.  

One vulnerability that was mentioned at the conference was attacks against the extended internet of things (XIoT), and all connected assets that support cyber-physical systems (CPS) in industrial, healthcare, and commercial environments. This includes items like printers and phones that connect to your network. Bad actors can use these devices to hack into your environment.  

One solution to this issue is to segment your network, but all you’re really doing in this case is taking a bleeding hand and putting it in a bag; it’s still bleeding, just in a different area. Another solution is to keep all of your devices up to date. However, this can be a challenge when your organization has 1,000+ users. Finding a management platform is a good solution to maintain all these devices and to ensure they are up to date.  

Threats can lie in unlikely places, so make sure you’re staying up to date on the latest types of threats and vulnerabilities. Educate your users on common threats so they know what to look out for. AI and machine learning have allowed for smarter threats that are harder to identify. By educating your employees and creating a space where they can voice any concerns or observations, your organization will be set up for success in the rapidly evolving threat landscape.  

KirkpatrickPrice wants to partner with you on your compliance journey.  

Are you wondering if implementing AI is right for your organization? Or how you can best prepare for evolving threats? Here at KirkpatrickPrice, we want to partner with your organization and help you feel confident that you are doing all of the right things when it comes to security and compliance.  

Connect with one of our experts to see what you need to do to help your organization become unstoppable.  

About the Author

Tori Thurmond

Tori Thurmond has degrees in both professional and creative writing. She has over five years of copywriting experience and enjoys making difficult topics, like cybersecurity compliance, accessible to all. Since starting at KirkpatrickPrice in 2022, she's earned her CC certification from (ISC)2 which has aided her ability to contribute to the company culture of educating, empowering, and inspiring KirkpatrickPrice's clients and team members.