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#RSAC: Accenture Launches Free Security Index Tool for Organizations to Benchmark Security Posture

At the RSA Conference in San Francisco, on February 16 2017, Infosecurity spoke to Kelly Bissell, managing director of Accenture Security, about Accenture’s new security index tool, the maturity of artificial intelligence, and the progress that the information security industry is – or isn’t – making.

How mature is the AI market?

With every technology innovation there’s a threat around security. So we’re seeing great advances in blockchain and artificial intelligence. It’s not that mature but it’s emerging fast. We need machine learning to be even better and faster than technology innovations to combat the threats.

A year on from the last RSA, is the industry in a better or worse position that it was 12 months ago?

We’re in a better position but a worse position at the same time. Innovation in the market around the world has been fantastic, but the threat landscape has also evolved at perhaps an even better pace. You see a race for who can innovate and get better faster – our industry or the bad guys. Sometimes it’s easier to make a lot of money if you’re a bad guy. You have to make it difficult for the bad guys to make money, and make it more risky for them. We also need to train our people better at university and even in school.  

Accenture has just released the Accenture Security Index. Tell us about that.

While organizations have improved their security over the last few years, progress has not kept pace with the sophistication of highly motivated attackers. A new approach is clearly needed, one that protects the organization from the inside out and across the entire industry value chain. This needs to begin with a new, more comprehensive definition of what constitutes cybersecurity success based on impact to the business.

To gauge the effectiveness of current enterprise security efforts and the adequacy of their existing investments, Accenture surveyed 2,000 top enterprise security practitioners representing companies with annual revenues of $1 billion or more. The results of this survey were analyzed in collaboration with Oxford Economics to develop the Accenture Security Index, which aggregates scores across 15 countries and 12 industries, providing the ability to compare the relative strength of all organizations to protect themselves from cyberattacks.

The Index provides a new benchmark to determine what high performance security looks like and what it takes for organizations to establish cybersecurity success. 

What are the main information security challenges facing organizations in 2017?

There are a lot, and there’s no silver bullet. What we need to do is secure the entire industry value chain.

The full video interview with Kelly Bissell will be available shortly. 

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