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Yesterday was day one of the 2022 RSA Conference, which is taking place June 6-9 this year at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Even as a first time RSA-attendee, I can tell that attendees are energized and ready to be back in person to share cybersecurity insights, network, and check out their favorite vendors (and discover new ones, too).

The first day of RSA was a travel day for many attendees, myself included. But there was still time for an opening keynote to kick off the week. Starting off the show was a high-energy performance from Freestyle Love Supreme, a hip hop improv group that managed to incorporate cybersecurity terminology like “multi-factor authentication” and “tactics, techniques and procedures” into a rap. 

Let’s delve into the highlights of day one at RSA.

Identity-Based Attacks: A Cybersecurity Constant

The concept that took center stage in the first keynote from Rohit Ghai, CEO of RSA: the only constant in life is change. And one of the constants in cybersecurity is that new technology will lead to more vulnerabilities, and consequently, new exploits.  

Shifting left, creating a more resilient infrastructure, faster disclosure of CVEs, and constructing patching protocols can help prevent playing the game of vulnerability whack-a-mole, but Ghai focused on identity as a viable solution.

“A case for this argument has been staring at us for decades,” Ghai said, citing that most attacks occur due to compromise identity, and most attacks can be blocked by multi-factor authentication. 61% of all breaches include credentials, according to Verizon’s DBIR report

We’ve found this in Blumira’s research as well. Our recent report, The State of Detection and Response, found that identity-based attacks, specifically attempted credential access into a honeypot, was the number one finding of 2021. 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) adoption remains low at only 50% — even in the enterprise, said Ghai. Research from Microsoft showed even more dismal numbers, with only 22% of its Active Directory customers using MFA in 2021. 

Standards such as OpenID Connect and trends like passwordless technology give hope that the future will change. In the meantime, being able to detect identity-based attacks and of course implementing MFA if you haven’t already are good ways to get started.

Rising Above The Security Poverty Line

The security poverty line was another concept highlighted in day one’s opening keynote. Coined by Wendy Nather, Head of Advisory CISOs at Cisco, the term refers to the baseline minimum security posture that every company should maintain. 

Companies that don’t have the resources to maintain that baseline fall below the security poverty line and put the entire ecosystem at risk, explained Jeetu Patel, EVP and General Manager, Security and Collaboration at Cisco in the presentation What Do We Owe One Another in the Cybersecurity Ecosystem?

Small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) often don’t have the expertise, capabilities or budgets to stay above the security poverty line, leaving their environments vulnerable to cyberattacks such as ransomware and business email compromise (BEC). What’s worse is that these businesses are disproportionately impacted by these attacks in comparison to larger enterprises. Sixty percent of small businesses that are the victims of a cyberattack fail in the ensuing six months, Patel said.

Cybersecurity products shouldn’t be reserved for seasoned experts. We believe that one way to combat this issue is to provide smaller teams with affordable cybersecurity products that are easy to use and manage. Accompanying alerts with guided playbooks, for example, help smaller teams with less expertise know how to respond to an incident. 

Visit Blumira at RSA

Making cybersecurity more accessible to organizations that fall under the security poverty line is why we’ve introduced Blumira’s Free edition, an easy way to get immediate visibility into your Microsoft 365 environment. Check out Blumira’s Free edition at our RSA booth #3222 in the South Expo to learn more.

You can also stop by to get a free t-shirt and learn more about how Blumira is making cybersecurity more accessible and affordable.


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