RSA boss calls for “inventive collaboration” in industry

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The security industry needs to adapt itself into an ecosystem that matches the criminals attacking it, RSA president Art Coviello told delegates at RSA 2009 in San Francisco.

Speaking at the conference keynote, Coviello told delegates that they were facing a criminal threat that interacted in a unified and highly evolved way, downloading new tricks and malware on a daily basis.

To defeat this the security industry would have to collaborate on an unprecedented level. The industry will need to make common standards, share technology and integrate and embed technology.

“Security cannot be solved by products from a single vendor,” said Coviello.

“It must be solved by the vendor community, what I call 'inventive collaboration'. It's about taking expertise of one technology organisation and interweaving it with another.”

Vendors must work quickly to establish common standards and avoid the long drawn out negotiations that often lead to standards being the lowest common denominator. Companies need to share technology to cut development times and build better systems.

Coviello pledged to make more of RSA's tools publicly available to researchers and competitors to aid this.

“We're reaching a huge inflection point,” said Scott Charney, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing (TwC) Group.

“You are seeing companies getting together to discuss systems at last. You're also seeing the inflection in government. There's a huge opp for a public/private partnership. You see a lot of interest in current administration to build a new partnership that is more operationally focused.”

Overall, Coviello is optimistic for the future of the industry.

“We have a chance not just to change the game but win the game by developing an ecosystem fosters on collaboration,” he said.

“We are competitors, but we must change from feature wars to the ability to work and augment a system. Vendors must take the lead but participants must demand this of us.”

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