RSA’s Rashmi Knowles on BB2’s Newsnight


Last week, RSA’s Rashmi Knowles contributed to a BBC Newsnight feature on cyber security, discussing the UK’s cyber-security policies with Diplomatic Editor Mark Urban. During the programme, you can also see Rashmi demonstrate the use of RSA security analytics to forensically examine data exfiltration attempts, isolating the key vulnerabilities and potential perpetrators.

Commenting on the UK government’s cyber-security strategy, Knowles said:

“In three years the threat landscape has changed a lot. Now we’re dealing with advanced threats, which are highly targeted, well-funded carried out by operatives who know exactly what they want, and will target an organisation with that specific objective in mind. Typically this is intellectual property, which may offer the opportunity to gain competitive advantage in the corporate sphere, or to compromise national security or defence.”

Although the show is no longer available iPlayer, it can still be seen on BBC News Online, and you can also read more of Rashmi’s comments in Mark Urban’s written accompaniment to the feature.

As Rashmi outlined on the programme, RSA’s approach to security within the UK’s policy framework revolves around six key points

  • Encouraging information sharing. The cyber criminals are, in the main, better at sharing information about attack vectors and breaches than we are as a community. RSA’s NetWitness programme is a key vehicle in helping to change this, as well as RSA’s Cybercrime Intelligence Service.
  • Assessing and identifying ‘Advanced Persistent Threats.’ Noticing a persistent attempt to steal information or breach systems can make finding a needle in a haystack look trivial. Security analytics plays a key role here in identifying signals in the noise and alerting analysts to live threats.
  • Security and fraud analytics: We help the majority of the UK’s high street banks and increasingly the retail sector to identify attempts at fraud and mitigate them. Fraud continues to be a major issue in retail, payments, financial services as well as the public sector and a key vector criminals use to target businesses today.
  • Anti-Fraud Command Centre: Our anti-fraud operations centre continues to be a source of global and UK-based market insight into the scale and mechanics for fraud attempts. As social media changes the ‘attack surface’ these attacks will get more and more sophisticated.
  • Helping to manage security responses: Every major UK business is attacked hundreds or even thousands of times a day. The traditional approach of ‘shutting the gates’ is no longer viable.

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