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IBM CEO Leads New Aspen Institute Cybersecurity Group

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty

IBM CEO Ginni Rometty will serve as the chair of a cybersecurity group founded by The Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit think tank.

The Aspen Cyber Group will address a variety of security vulnerabilities on a national scale, according to a prepared statement. It features 35 members from academic, government and private sector organizations, including:

Both IBM and Booz Allen ranked among the Top 100 MSSPs for 2017.

The Aspen Cyber Group will develop cybersecurity curricula to teach organizations how to identify and mitigate cyberattacks, Hurd told Axios. In addition, the group will collaborate with the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to collect and share threat intelligence.

Furthermore, the Aspen Cyber Group will meet several times this year and issue reports on assorted security topics, Axios reported. The group also plans to work with lawmakers to begin congressional hearings in the House Subcommittee on Information Technology, Hurd indicated.

Are Organizations Ready for Data Breaches?

The Aspen Cyber Group may help organizations analyze and resolve cyber threats before they escalate. Meanwhile, many organizations are preparing for cyberattacks, and this trend appears likely to continue in the years to come.

Most organizations are allocating time and resources to prepare for potential data breaches, according to a recent study of 330 IT professionals conducted by forensic security solutions provider Guidance Software.

Key findings from the Guidance study included:

  • In 2016, 65 percent of organizations fell victim to malware-related breaches, and 55 percent experienced phishing-initiated breaches.
  • 54 percent feel "well-prepared" to deal with a data breach.
  • 35 percent named assessing risk as the biggest IT security challenge, and 33 percent ranked managing the complexity of security as the biggest IT security challenge
  • 25 percent suffered significant or minor direct financial losses due to an attack or breach in the past 12 months.

IT professionals should expect cybersecurity challenges to increase in the foreseeable future, Guidance CEO Patrick Dennis said in a prepared statement. However, IT professionals who use managed security services may be better equipped than others to keep pace with a rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape.

How Can MSSPs Help Organizations Address Cyber Threats?

An industry-wide skills gap plagues IT security professionals, according to a recent survey conducted by advanced threat detection solutions provider Tripwire and technology market research firm Dimensional Research.

The survey of 315 IT security professionals revealed 93 percent of respondents said they are concerned about an industry-wide skills gap, Tripwire said. Also, 72 percent noted it is more difficult now to hire adequately skilled security personnel than it was two years ago.

MSSPs empower organizations with security services to address cyberattacks. As such, organizations may increasingly leverage MSSPs to overcome a shortage of IT security talent and limit the impact of advanced cyber threats.

Dan Kobialka

Dan Kobialka is senior contributing editor, MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E. He covers IT security, IT service provider business strategies and partner programs. Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State University. In his free time, Dan enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football.