I’m a very keen supporter of research and innovation. Without it, I believe we will face serious problems in the future, as many of our traditional physical and procedural controls will be largely irrelevant in a highly-networked, fully-automated business environment. We need fresh thinking, new approaches and innovative solutions. The problem is that traditional research and development models are not a good fit for today’s fast-changing, short-term business world. The old pipeline process that took an idea from theoretical research, through applied research to implementation broke down a long time ago. We need better, more dynamic approaches to help bridge the gap between business problems and academic solutions. The excellent MIT Media Lab does this by regularly introducing visiting business executives to blue sky researchers, in the serendipitous hope that a spark of left-field scientific thinking will generate a breakthrough solution for a thorny business problem. But it costs a lot to join one of their consortia. And even more to ship your executives over to Boston for tours of the Lab.
UK organizations have provided much of the thought leadership for modern Information Security Management. We have the advantage of a well-connected user community and more than our fair share of top CISOs. But we need stronger links between Industry, Government and Academia. So it’s great to see DTI bringing together security managers and researchers through their Cyber-Security Knowledge Transfer Network. It’s free and it has already introduced many business managers to a new world of academic research. By participating in their programme, I’ve already discovered many new hot-spots of academic excellence in areas such as network security, artificial intelligence, secure coding and behavioral analysis. And a lot of it is directly relevant to many of my current activities. Whether you’re a security manager, a product developer, a researcher or a venture capitalist, it’s well worth getting involved. So make a date in your diary for 12th June to attend the Cyber-Security KTN Conference in London. It’s free and I guarantee that it will give you a fresh perspective on how to develop solutions to your security problems.