Mike Rothman: Don't Put The (Security) Cart Before The Horse

The fun of coming to a trade show like RSA is to see what’s new and cool. But the reality is that to be successful in security you have to start with the basics that many organizations still haven’t solved.

“One of the dangers we see at RSA is a lot of companies positioning for not tomorrow, not even the day after tomorrow, but ‘two months from now’ problems,” says Mike Rothman, president of Securosis, in our conversation at the 2017 RSA Conference in San Francisco. “I find the most dangerous aspect of many of these big shows is to not focus on what has to get done today.”

Watch the full interview here:


VIDEO: Mike Rothman Interview with Cylance

There’s more of a focus on niche problems, and they’re not doing the basics of blocking and tackling basic security problems.

“I think it’s been very toxic to our business for enterprises to think that a vendor’s going to come in and tell them how they should do their business,” adds Rothman. “That a vendor is going to come in and have all the answers to their security problems and it’s just created a situation where there are unmatched expectations and nobody has really achieved the goal which is to protect our information.”

“Everyone’s looking for a technology solution, but the reality is it’s people and process,” agrees Dwayne Melancon, VP of product at Tripwire.

Rothman believes the issue starts with leadership, and the gap that exists. “We have a scaling problem we’ve never seen before,” he says. He knows that it’s more than just hiring a few people and getting the training done; it’s an issue of continuing to inspire these people to be a part of the solution.

Rothman believes that we overcomplicate how security can be learned. More employees certified doesn’t necessarily make a more secure business. What helps make a business secure is training all employees to understand how certain actions they make positively and inversely impact the organization.

About the Author

David Spark is a veteran tech journalist and founder of Spark Media Solutions. Since 1996, Spark and his articles have appeared in more than 40 media outlets including eWEEK, Wired News, PCWorld, ABC Radio, John C. Dvorak’s “Cranky Geeks,” KQED’s “This Week in Northern California,” and TechTV (formerly ZDTV). Spark is also the author of the book, “Three Feet from Seven Figures: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows.” Today, Spark blogs regularly on the Spark Minute and is a regular contributor for Forbes. Spark is a noted speaker, entertainer, and moderator at tech and marketing events.