Dave Robbins– BigFix CEO, on Top Priorities for Protecting U.S. Critical Infrastructure

Last Thursday I moderated a panel on the implications of America’s Innovation Crisis for Cybersecurity at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The full transcript of the slides integrated with my prepared remarks is now posted at www.levp.com .  This event was sponsored by the non-profit Security Innovation Network.

logo_subAt the end of the panel I asked each of the panelists, Bob Ackerman of Allegis Capital, Professor Randy Katz of Berkeley, and Dave Robbins of BigFix, to answer the following question:

“In closing, I would like each of our panelists to comment on the most important change that they would like to see implemented in order to promote the protection of our nation’s critical infrastructure.”

Dave Robbins’ answer follows:

First, I would like to see all federal IT groups focus on building a stronger foundation within their core network.  Often, an IT organization gets caught up in the purchase and implementation of a myriad of tools that don’t really solve key and basic problems.  In order to be more secure, you have to have better real time situational awareness: how many assets do we have; where are the assets located; where in the world are those assets now; what applications are running on the asset; what non-approved applications are on the asset; what is the patch level; is AV running.  Secure your core configuration and the rest of the task of security becomes much easier.

Second, make the entire process of selling to the U.S. government easier.  I find it sad and ironic that it is easier to sell governments throughout the world compared to my own. Far too many complicated buying processes and far to many acronyms and archaic terms (skivvy-skree is actually patch management!?!) create an impenetrable wall between young innovative companies and selling to the government.   Dealing direct with the government would make it easier instead of being forced to work through resellers and integrators that have little real knowledge of what makes an innovative company special.

You have to remember, if you want access to new innovative technology, you must find ways to work with smaller companies. Large companies don’t innovate, they increment, which is the antithesis of innovation.   Patents don’t equal innovation…products equal innovation.


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