Responsible for security? Now is your time.

No one believes a single event would solve the significant security challenges we all face, but it bodes well for everyone involved in information security to see momentum building in the national and international arenas.

The attendees at the White House Cybersecurity and Consumer Protection Summit at Stanford University, including President Obama, were a diverse group of leaders responsible for managing security at corporations, leaders in the security technology industry, government officials, students, and business people.

Security is finally at a point where even individuals with the most tangential involvement in data and systems protection know its significance to government and business operations.

This is a great thing for those of us charged with keeping precious data safe and critical systems functioning. Security is now a core part of doing business for every organisation. It’s an executive staff– and board-level conversation.

If you or your organisation are responsible for security, this growing focus is giving you an opportunity to:

  1. Ask for what you need: Leadership is listening. They are looking to you to tell them what is needed to implement and demonstrate that your organisation is doing everything within its power to protect sensitive data. There is no better time to make a case for the budget and the resources you need.
  2. Find new solutions for new problems: More than any other time in the last 20 years, there is a recognition that the security solutions that worked in the past - when environments were more static, when the cloud was not ubiquitous - are not keeping up with today’s challenges. This is an opportunity for you to source newer, more advanced security solutions that support your dynamic computing environment and enable you to materially show how you are improving your organization's security posture.
  3. Educate and collaborate: “This has to be a shared mission,” said President Obama. The president was referring to the executive order he signed at the event, which called for the private sector to share critical cybersecurity information to increase everyone’s ability to protect against future attacks. This shared mission philosophy that the White House is championing can and should be applied within your organisation. This collaboration “call to arms” is an opportunity for you to take the lead to educate your organization’s leadership team about how a security framework and persistent focus on improving company-wide security practices not only protects the organisation, but also provides a competitive advantage with customers who want to know every possible safeguard is being applied to their data.

I know it can be daunting when you think of what’s ahead when it comes to security. At the same time, all the focus on the need for better approaches makes right now an incredible opportunity for you to make a difference.

Andrew Rubin, Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Illumio.