Live From RSA: In a World Changed by Software, Make Security Your Competitive Advantage

At RSA, our own CEO Sam King and CTO Chris Wysopal presented to a roomful of intrigued attendees on how software has completely changed the way businesses tackle problems, how companies work everyday to change our world, and how doing so in a secure manner provides these companies with a competitive edge in the marketplace.

They key takeaway, if you read nothing else is this: Companies leverage software to rapidly solve life-changing problems in innovative ways, but the speed of doing so means nothing if the software you build is insecure. Companies build their own competitive advantage by staying agile. And if companies have to drop everything in order to deal with a security breach, they lose all of the competitive advantage they worked so hard to build. So companies must work to make security part of the competitive advantage that helps them change the world.

When we think about software, it’s easy to default to thinking about browsers, word processing software, and accounting programs. We forget that software also powers many life-critical things. The agricultural industry leverages software to ensure that the right amount of irrigation is used based on the saturation of the soil. Healthcare companies leverage software to find new cures and supply the right amount of medicine. Weather companies leverage software to better predict severe storms in order to warn people in the damaging path. 

You are leveraging software to change the world for the better, every single day. We want to make sure that the work you’re doing doesn’t become undone, because we need you, our country needs you, and our entire human civilization needs you.

Sam and Chris talked about how the entire world of software itself has changed, with a greater focus on automation. Chris painted a picture of the three waves of automation that we have undergone. The first being the automation of back-end systems, like financial programs. Then we experienced front-end automation, like e-commerce stores. Finally, we are now in the automation phase of software, augmenting everything else from medicine to the space program.

So to stay up to speed with the rate of change, to keep your competitive advantage, and to continue changing the world – you have to implement security practices in your software development processes. And the security needs to be automated, integrated into developer tools, and help facilitate actual fixing of the code (after all, a list of security issues is nothing more than a list if they never get fixed, and what good is that?)

Everyday you’re changing the world, we’ll help you secure it in the process.

Stay tuned for more from RSA …

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