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Thursday June 16th 2016 | 13:50

‘Man vs Machine’, ICO data breach statistics and the Light Chaser Challenge: Highlights from Infosecurity Europe 2016

Last week, Egress Software Technologies had a busy three days at Infosecurity Europe 2016, hosted at Olympia London. Our stand was bustling with attendees interested in learning more about latest product developments, responding to CEO Tony Pepper’s presentation on ‘Man vs Machine’, discussing current issues in information security and trying their hand at the Light Chaser Challenge.

The Egress Team enjoyed networking with delegates over the three days, meeting with both new and familiar faces – as well as occasionally testing our reflexes on the Light Chaser Challenge! Here are a few of our highlights from the event.

Day One: Securing your data from start to finish

The Egress Team launched into the event by updating delegates on the latest developments across the Switch platform that are helping organisations to secure their data throughout its lifecycle.

As the team explained, at Egress we see information security as a journey. From the point of creation, through to internal storage on your network and sharing it externally, both customer and corporate data needs the appropriate levels of protection and care applied to it.

As a result, since we were last at Infosec, we have continued to invest in the Switch portfolio of products to ensure sensitive information is protected from start to finish, as well as making our software as user-friendly as possible. Our document and classification tool was particularly popular with this year’s delegates, as they seek to understand the sensitivity of the information they handle and enforce its protection throughout its life cycle.

Additionally, delegates were keen to see the ways classification can integrate with secure information sharing solutions – whether email, large file transfer or online collaboration tools – to mandate encryption and improve data protection.

Day Two: Man vs Machine

Egress CEO Tony Pepper presented to a packed Strategy Theatre on Day Two, looking at the upward trend in data breaches caused by human error and the growing role of technology to mitigate against the insider threat – both accidental and deliberate.

In fact, Egress’ most recent Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) revealed 66% of sectors have reported a year-on-year increase since 2014. Alarmingly, almost two-thirds of these incidents have a single cause: human error. In particular, people are most likely to make mistakes when sharing sensitive information.

It is therefore apparent that, in isolation, traditional mechanisms such as classification, DLP and encryption are failing to fully solve this problem.

Additionally, research into CIO’s data security priorities shows that 49% are focused on overcoming external threats, while only 20% are prioritising human error. It’s therefore little surprise that we have seen a rise in machine learning and graph technology seeking to use trend analysis to address threats such as hackers, malware and phishing.

However, this approach to information security urgently needs to be transferred to information sharing – using AI to support people when making complex decisions to prevent human error and highlight a lack of security awareness.

As mentioned previously, this means Egress continues to develop information security software that supports every customer on their information-sharing journey and protects data throughout its lifecycle.

In practice, this means examining the types and sensitivity of the data your organisation shares and making informed choices over how and where it is accessed, and by whom. This also includes our continued investment into automated analysis of user interactions and trends to provide recommended security and procedures to overcome this insider threat. As a result, we are bringing machine learning to secure data sharing, tackling the single greatest cause of security breaches.

Day Three: Egress winners

Changes were afoot on the Egress stand with the introduction of the Light Chaser Challenge (replacing the Egress Buzz Wire Challenge of previous years). Delegates were encouraged to try their hand at the game, which put their reflexes to the test in order to win a Fitbit Charge HR at the end of each day.

There was steady competition throughout each of the three days, however an hour before close, the competition would always get more intense, with delegates battling it out to win the top spot. We are delighted to confirm our winners as:

Day One: George Ellams – 60 points

Day Two: Stefan Ivanov – 56 points

Day Three: Nick Ward – 54 points

Further congratulations go to Mark Nicholls, who took part in the @EgressSwitch Twitter competition to win a portable speaker.

Filled with demos, delegates and discussion, Infosec 16 provided Egress with a great opportunity to talk with attendees about changes in the market, listening to their views and the needs they see for encryption solutions to better protect the data they share. And now that we’ve been able to rest our feet for a couple of days, we’re already looking forward to next year again!

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