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RSA upbeat about future in Dell Technologies

RSA to maintain its independence, but will benefit from being part of Dell Technologies, says RSA president Amit Yoran

RSA president Amit Yoran is positive about the future of the firm as part of the newly formed Dell Technologies after the completion of Dell’s acquisition of EMC.

While the former security division of EMC will retain its autonomy, it will benefit from being part of the world’s largest privately controlled technology company, he said in a call with journalists.

“RSA is now part of the broader Dell Technologies – a much broader platform that allows us to make decisions along private company timelines and horizons for a more strategic perspective, and less maniacally focused on the 90-day public company window,” he said.

“There is a natural upside [for enterprises] of having the broader ecosystem of Dell Technologies from a leveraging relationships standpoint.”

Yoran emphasised that RSA will remain in control of its own destiny and reiterated that the company’s mission remains unchanged for its more than 30,000 customers.

But he indicated that RSA will benefit from Dell Technologies reach to customers, routes to market and new opportunities for product development.

“We have support from Dell Technologies to drive forward and create leverage in the federation, as well as drive forward with our own ecosystem that we have developed over decades,” said Yoran.

He described the merger as a “fantastic opportunity” and a “great building block” for expanding RSA’s capabilities in future.

Asked how much RSA will benefit from the $4.5bn Dell Technologies research and development (R&D) budget, Yoran said while RSA does not detail its R&D spend, it will be unaffected by the merger.

“I expect the R&D spend to continue to be fairly consistent, with adjustments as needs arise,” he told Computer Weekly.

Read more about Dell/EMC

However, Yoran was willing to give some insight into the key areas of focus for R&D at the company.

“In a world where there is no longer any perimeter, being able to identify who is where on what and provide them the appropriate access with strong multi-factor authentication and an elegant user experience is front and centre to the future of IT and IT transformation, and that is a key area where RSA has great capability and we will continue to invest aggressively in R&D in that area,” he said.

Another key area of R&D for RSA is “advanced security operations” in the light of the fact that protective measures such as firewalls, antivirus, sand boxes and intrusion detection systems will fail in the face of a persistent adversary.

“In that new world, it is important to be able to monitor differently and to be able to use various AI [artificial intelligence] techniques, various analytic methods, and machine-learning techniques, and to innovate there to more rapidly have visibility and then more rapidly identify these new attack techniques – which perhaps have never been seen before, as is so frequently the case,” said Yoran.

For this reason, he added, RSA is investing heavily in this area, which includes RSA’s endpoint threat detection and response product Ecat, the NetWitness suite, and all the analytics around those.

“Ultimately, context matters most to the organisation. What is mission-critical, what is business-critical, what is required from a compliance and regulatory perspective, and ensuring that the limited security resources are being spent on the most impactful and critical things for the enterprise,” said Yoran.

Authentication and identity, advanced security operations and analytics, and the business context and business drivers around those, he added, will continue to be the three key areas that RSA is focusing on.

Read more on Hackers and cybercrime prevention

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