FireEye CTO Discusses Changes In The Cybersecurity Industry: 'We're Now Responsible For A Customer's Security Infrastructure'

“The way we deliver security has changed a lot,” FireEye Inc (NASDAQ: FEYE)’s chief technology officer Grady Summers told Benzinga in a recent interview. “It used to be ship an appliance and your responsibility in a sense as far as keeping it up and running was done.”

“With the clouddelivering so many products we’re now responsible for a customer’s security infrastructure,” he continued. “So the first orders are completely in the cloud.”

Responding to the question of what keeps him up at night, the exec declared, “Now we’re responsible for maintaining that [security infrastructure], and we’ve got to make sure we bring every bit as much focus to operating it as we did to writing good software to begin with. We’re prepared to do that, but it’s a weight of responsibility.”

Today’s Vulnerabilities

Benzinga moved on to ask about our greatest cybersecurity vulnerabilities. People often worry about credit card information, and, more recently, about hackers getting into every kind of devices, from St. Jude Medical, Inc. (NYSE: STJ)’s heart monitors to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (NYSE: FCAU), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) and Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA)’s vehicles. But, which threats are real and significant?

“I don’t worry so much about credit cards and car hacking as much as I do large about scale industrial control systems,” Summers assured. “Industrial control systems are just not well protected; they weren’t designed with security in mind; they haven’t been updated with security in mind. So, we’ll routinely find when we go to analyze a power plant’s network, for example, or an electrical grid [...] we’re fortunate that many times these are kept air-gapped, like they are kept separate, not touching the internet, but I worry a lot about sort of that connection arcing over because once you get on the inside they’re fairly fragile systems.”

Summers elaborated, “One thing that I think every one of your readers should care about is, we see, next year it’s a very different type of destructive attack. You’re familiar with ransomware,” he continued. “We’re now just in the last few months seeing ransomware attacks where they’re not just sending you a spear phish and hoping you click an email. They’re coming in in one fell swoop hitting 3,000 machines in the enterprise and encrypting them all. So, we anticipate a lot of broader scale destructive attacks like that.”

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