RSA's Art Coviello reflects on last year's big data breach | Art Coviello | Chairman, RSA Security | Interviews | ChannelWorld.in
Close
%%CLICK_URL_UNESC%%

RSA's Art Coviello reflects on last year's big data breach

Interviewed on Jan 18, 2012 by Tim Greene
Art Coviello
Art Coviello, Chairman, RSA Security Customers still want to hear details about how the company so quickly detected the data breach that last year compromised its SecurID tokens.

Interview Questions

Full Interview with Art Coviello

CW : What’s the fallout been from the data breach?

Coviello: If there’s a silver lining to the cloud that was over us from April through over the summer, it is the fact that we’ve been engaged with customers at a strategic level as never before, and they want to know in detail what happened to us, how we responded, what tools we used, what was effective and what was not.

CW : What are those conversations like?

Coviello: Again, a silver lining to us being attacked, I’ve heard it time and time again, “If it can happen to you then I guess it can happen to anybody,” or, “My CIO said, ‘Oh my god if it happened to them let’s redouble our efforts, let’s review everything we’re doing.’”  It’s kind of gotten to even a CEO level. I was actually brought into a major money center bank in Europe at the CIO’s request to talk to the CEO of the bank and his whole management team about the threats and vulnerabilities that exist today. The reason he brought me in was they were doing an overhaul of their IT infrastructure which included the development of a private cloud. Even though it’s an internally controlled cloud he wanted the management group to understand the security ramifications of the infrastructure change that the bank was about to go through.  I’m at a [similar] level with Fortune 10 oil and gas, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals. I am getting in at levels that are unprecedented in terms of the contacts and the people I’m talking to.

CW : You say you’ve been promoting a security model that calls for automating threat analysis and response for years. Why haven’t more people adopted it?

Coviello: You would like to think that people would come to these conclusions and act on them more quickly but there’s such competition -- whether it’s budget, whether it’s business initiative, whether it’s overhauling their own infrastructure, whether it’s this crazy economy we’re working with -- it never goes as fast as you think it should or could.
I’m in a position now where as much as I’ve preached for three or four years that we have an opportunity to get it right this time as we virtualize our environments and we go to cloud [by building] security in, it just isn’t happening and we’re making the same mistakes all over again. I don’t fault the infrastructure vendors – it’s just unfortunately the way the world works sometimes that people want to get the benefits of a new technology wave and don’t always think through all the security ramifications.

CW : Why do you think CEOs – people outside of IT – want to speak to you now, and are they driving better responses from the IT people?

Coviello: What they are aware of is how much they themselves and how much their businesses have changed in having more reliance on the Internet and on Web applications. They’re not oblivious to the impact of technology on their operations. They’re clearly looking to not only take more advantage of technology but also to wring cost out of these ridiculously outdated IT infrastructures where people are spending 60%-70% just to maintain old client-server, old mainframe, old ways of doing things and not getting mileage out of their IT infrastructure dollar.

Increasingly, the more mature companies get that as never before, and then they see that in the context of all these attacks. I do think there is more awareness, so they themselves are less reactive and they’re more proactive in wanting to know not only how technology can benefit their business but also the ramifications of using that technology in terms of the operational risk to business.

CW : You say awareness of the breach problems is high, yet adoption of new defenses remains slow. Do you think that awareness has finally galvanized these CEOs you talk to?

Coviello: I don’t think there’s any question of that, and as I’ve said, I’ve seen it time and time again in discussions I’ve had with people and the silver lining to our breaches is people literally did say if it could happen to those guys we’ve got to be more aware of it, which is really giving us an entree to having these strategic discussions as never before. Customers do understand that we were able to handle that attack and mitigate the damage better than anyone and that’s put us clearly in demand to talk to a lot of customers.

CW : Does being a victim give RSA more credibility in a way with customers?

Coviello: Yeah. Believe me we are not the only ones. We are one of the few that’s been forthcoming but for us to have handled it any other way would have been kind of a dereliction of duty. When we go into detail about the attack, I think people are actually impressed with the speed with which we were able to see the attack in progress. We were still unable to keep [hackers] from getting away with at least something. But we were able to minimize the damage, and more importantly, get to our customers timely enough so they could protect themselves to mitigate risk associated with the damage. We’ve gotten a tremendous amount of credit with our customer base that we certainly haven’t gotten in the press.

Other Latest Interviews

Editor's Pick
Customer service: The proof is in the numbers

Customer service: The proof is in the numbers

Customer satisfaction increases when you find your greatest weaknesses and then hone in with a laser focus to address them.

5 principles for great vendor relationships

5 principles for great vendor relationships

Unhappy with your vendor? Challenge them to commit to a strategic relationship. And don’t hesitate to move on if they don’t.

Services is a Multi-Pronged Strategy: Jayanth Gojer, Vitage Systems

Services is a Multi-Pronged Strategy: Jayanth Gojer, Vitage Systems

Services is the goldmine for us, asserts Jayanth Gojer, COO of Bangalore’s Vitage Systems.

We Help Customers Effectively Integrate the SMAC Stack: Pankaj Ratra, Path Infotech

We Help Customers Effectively Integrate the SMAC Stack: Pankaj Ratra, Path Infotech

Customers need applications to effectively adopt and integrate the SMAC stack and we help them achieve the objective, says Pankaj Ratra, Director-Sales & Marketing, Path Infotech

How Ujjivan is Using a Mobile App to Uplift the Underprivileged

How Ujjivan is Using a Mobile App to Uplift the Underprivileged

Enough is said about Digital India. But it’s actually happening here and now. Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance company, is leveraging a mobile app to make sure that its underprivileged customers get loans real quick in order to grow their businesses.

Latest Videos
Cloud Computing is Not Hype, But Real: Channel Partners

Cloud Computing is Not Hype, But Real: Channel Partners

Cloud Computing has come out of the hype cycle and is now the defining point for enterprise IT, channel partners observe, about the potential for cloud, cloud services and the financing models around cloud computing. 

Services is a Multi-Pronged Strategy: Jayanth Gojer, Vitage Systems

Services is a Multi-Pronged Strategy: Jayanth Gojer, Vitage Systems

Services is the goldmine for us, asserts Jayanth Gojer, COO of Bangalore’s Vitage Systems.

We Help Customers Effectively Integrate the SMAC Stack: Pankaj Ratra, Path Infotech

We Help Customers Effectively Integrate the SMAC Stack: Pankaj Ratra, Path Infotech

Customers need applications to effectively adopt and integrate the SMAC stack and we help them achieve the objective, says Pankaj Ratra, Director-Sales & Marketing, Path Infotech

How Ujjivan is Using a Mobile App to Uplift the Underprivileged

How Ujjivan is Using a Mobile App to Uplift the Underprivileged

Enough is said about Digital India. But it’s actually happening here and now. Ujjivan Financial Services, a microfinance company, is leveraging a mobile app to make sure that its underprivileged customers get loans real quick in order to grow their businesses.

How Mobility Has Helped Our Business Grow: Channel Partners

How Mobility Has Helped Our Business Grow: Channel Partners

Indian channel partners share how mobility has been instrumental in growing the business of their customers and how that, in turn, has taken partners' business to another level.

ChannelWorld Research
Why Channels Have Changed Their Go-to-Market Strategy in Six Months

Why Channels Have Changed Their Go-to-Market Strategy in Six Months

According to our SOTM Mid-Year Survey, a majority of Indian channels said their top go-to-market strategy was to offer services in a recurring revenue model—not introducing new technologies, like SMAC, which was their top GTM strategy six months ago.

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015: Your Roadmap for the Next 6 Months

According to the survey, the next six months of the year are going to be eventful. Here are the challenges, emerging technologies and trends that will shape the rest of the year for you.

Big Data, Mobility Top Partners’ Wish List: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

Big Data, Mobility Top Partners’ Wish List: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year Survey (SOTM) 2015, big data is the way to go for the enterprise channels for the second half of this year, with 34 percent partners planning to invest in it.

Private Cloud Still Remains a ‘Safe Bet’ for Partners: SOTM Survey 2015

Private Cloud Still Remains a ‘Safe Bet’ for Partners: SOTM Survey 2015

According to the STOM 2015 survey, channel partners who are into cloud computing feel that 42 percent of their business will be generated by private cloud.

Partners Pin Hope on Government, Expects IT Spend to Grow: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

Partners Pin Hope on Government, Expects IT Spend to Grow: SOTM Mid-Year Survey 2015

According to the ChannelWorld's State of the Mart Mid-Year survey (SOTM) 2015, 30 percent of the channel partners believe that IT spend in the government sector is likely to increase in next six months.

No More Baby Steps, Partners Ready to ‘Risk’ Gambling with Disruptive Tech: SOTM Survey 2015

No More Baby Steps, Partners Ready to ‘Risk’ Gambling with Disruptive Tech: SOTM Survey 2015

According to ChannelWorld’s State of the Mart Survey (SOTM) 2015, 43 percent of channel partners say their business will have a ‘high risk appetite’ in the second half of this year.

Channels’ 3 Great Expectations from Tech OEMs

Channels’ 3 Great Expectations from Tech OEMs

Introduced as an individual category under ‘Expectations from tech OEMs’ list in SOTM Mid –Year Survey, ‘transparent deal registration’ emerged as the biggest concern for channel companies in India.

SLIDESHOWS
What Quarterly Earnings Reveal About Top IT Companies

What Quarterly Earnings Reveal About Top IT Companies

As top companies reported their quarterly earnings, we find out what strategy worked best for them and the causes of concern in the future.

10 Things You Need to Know About Bi-Modal IT

10 Things You Need to Know About Bi-Modal IT

No longer just another buzzword, bi-modal IT is soon becoming a necessary organizational setup in most companies, especially the ones which find it difficult to go completely digital. Read on to know what CIO.com (http://bit.ly/1Rz1Jti) wants you to know about this system.

Five Hybrid Cloud Benefits Your Customers Can’t Ignore

Five Hybrid Cloud Benefits Your Customers Can’t Ignore

According to IDC, the global cloud market, including private, public and hybrid clouds, will hit $118 billion in 2015 and crest at $200 billion by 2018. If that isn’t enough for you to convince customers to take the hybrid cloud route, here are five more from across the web.

Horrible Bosses: Five Bosses You’d Love to Kill

Horrible Bosses: Five Bosses You’d Love to Kill

It takes all kinds to make the world go round. But it takes only one to bring yours to a standstill: Your boss. Here are five types of bosses you wouldn’t miss—when they’re gone (under mysterious circumstances).

India's Leading VADs
Why Channels Want to Partner With Inflow Technologies

Why Channels Want to Partner With Inflow Technologies

Inflow Technologies’ tie up with 39 vendor companies, an extensive tech portfolio, and a services play, are great value propositions for enterprise channels, says its President and CEO, Byju Pillai.

iValue Creates Real Value for Channels in India

iValue Creates Real Value for Channels in India

Focused on niche vendor alliances around data, network and app management backed by a robust channel ecosystem marked iValue's success in 2014. What clicked for the seven-year-old VAD?

RAH Infotech Shows Channels the Way Ahead

RAH Infotech Shows Channels the Way Ahead

Mutual trust and long lasting bond with vendor companies and channel partners helps VADs to evolve and succeed in today’s aggressively competitive market. Leveraging competent channel partners and forge niche vendor alliances marks RAH Infotech’s success in 2014.

How Satcom Infotech is Adapting to New Security Landscape

How Satcom Infotech is Adapting to New Security Landscape

As a leading value added distributor, Satcom Infotech is emerging as an end-to-end security player, helping both customers and partners grow.

How ComGuard Shields Channel Partners

How ComGuard Shields Channel Partners

As emerging technologies introduce new threats to the enterprise landscape, they are making channel partners anxious. But VADs like ComGuard are putting their worries to rest. Here's how.

Tech Chat
Collaborating To Outcome Based World: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Collaborating To Outcome Based World: Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Avaya

Priyadarshi Mohapatra, Managing Director, India and SAARC, Avaya, on how IT is transitioning from a keep-the-lights-on role to one that enables customers to deliver results.

The Dawn of the Digital Age: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

The Dawn of the Digital Age: Akhilesh Tuteja, KPMG

The development of digital infrastructure will be a key growth driver for technology and solution providers. 

Paradigm Shift from End-Users to User-First : Parag Arora,Citrix

Paradigm Shift from End-Users to User-First : Parag Arora,Citrix

Parag Arora, Area Vice President and India Head, India Sub-continent, Citrix, says new technologies will force organizations to take a user-first approach in 2015.

Mobile and Cloud Are Gamechangers of the Future: Karan Bajwa, Microsoft

Mobile and Cloud Are Gamechangers of the Future: Karan Bajwa, Microsoft

Karan Bajwa, Managing Director, Microsoft India, says, in  2015, organizations will adopt a mobile-first and cloud-first strategy to get ahead of competition.

A Network for the Internet of Everything : Dinesh Malkani,Cisco

A Network for the Internet of Everything : Dinesh Malkani,Cisco

Dinesh Malkani, President, India and SAARC, Cisco, talks about IoT and the significant technology transitions in the networking world.

Moving to the Third Platform: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Moving to the Third Platform: Jaideep Mehta, IDC

Cloud and mobility are the two technologies that will fuel the rapid adoption of the third platform in India.

Envisaging a Holistic Security Strategy For 2015: Sanjay Rohatgi,Symantec

Envisaging a Holistic Security Strategy For 2015: Sanjay Rohatgi,Symantec

Sanjay Rohatgi, President–Sales, Symantec India, says the company has a set of holistic solutions in place to secure organizations from security threats. 

Beating the Bad Guys: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Beating the Bad Guys: Sivarama Krishnan, PwC

Organizations will need to turn inwards to establish robust information security strategies.

Building Capabilities for a Digital Tomorrow: Alok Ohrie,Dell

Building Capabilities for a Digital Tomorrow: Alok Ohrie,Dell

Alok Ohrie, President and Managing Director, Dell India, on the company’s investments to build end-to-end solutions and delivery capabilities for a digital world.

FAST TRACK
Kamtron Systems

Kamtron Systems

Transitioning towards a service-oriented company will boost our growth, believes Kavita Singhal, director, Kamtron Systems.

TIM Infratech

TIM Infratech

Delivering ‘best of breed’ technologies to enterprises is key to success, says Monish Chhabria, MD, TIM Infratech

Mudra Electronics

Mudra Electronics

A vendor-agnostic strategy helped us sustain business, says Bharat Shetty, CMD, Mudra Electronics.

Systematix Technologies

Systematix Technologies

Our USP is a customer-friendly approach backed by services, says Akhilesh Khandelwal, Director, Systematix Technologies.

CorporateServe Solutions

CorporateServe Solutions

Our ability to turnaround complex ERP projects in record time is what gets us customer referral, says Vinay Vohra, Founder & CEO, CorporateServe Solutions.

KernelSphere Technologies

KernelSphere Technologies

We are emerging as an end-to-end systems integrator, says Vinod Kumar, MD, KernelSphere Technologies.

Uniware Systems

Uniware Systems

We constantly validate emerging technologies for first-mover advantage, says Vergis K.R., CEO, Uniware Systems.

Astek Networking & Solutions

Astek Networking & Solutions

An innovative approach helps us stay successful, says Ashish Agarwal, CEO, Astek Networking & Solutions.

CSM Technologies

CSM Technologies

Our approach is backed by innovation and simplicity, says Priyadarshi Nanu Pany, CEO, CSM Technologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA @ CW India
SIGNUP FOR OUR NEWSLETTER

Signup for our newsletter and get regular updates.