The 'Axis of Evil' and Escalation of Destructive Attacks

Tom Kellermann, former cybersecurity adviser to the Obama administration, doesn’t mince words when he describes the nation-state threat to the U.S. as the “axis of evil in cyberspace.” Nor does he hold back about the threat from destructive attacks, 5G deployment and other trends to watch in 2020.

In an interview with Information Security Media Group, Kellermann, currently the head of cybersecurity strategy for VMware, advises defenders to be a bit more subtle in their threat response.

“We’ve been conducting incident response too loudly for too long,” Kellermann says. “In many cases, it’s best that you not turn on the lights and cry out. ‘I’ve got a gun and I’ve called the cops’ metaphorically when conducting incident response. Because they may choose to drop a wiper inside your infrastructure or leverage ransomware NotPetya-style against you without demanding ransom.”

In this installment in a series of “2020 Visions” interviews with thought leaders about trends in the new year (see audio link below photo), Kellermann discusses:

  • Process hollowing and other emerging threats;
  • The escalation of destructive attacks;
  • 5G and the security concerns it brings.

Kellermann, head of cybersecurity strategy at VMware, is the former CEO at Strategic Cyber Ventures. He’s a cyber intelligence expert, author, professor and leader in the field of cybersecurity. He held a seat on the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President of the United States and served as an adviser to the International Cyber Security Protection Alliance. As chief cybersecurity officer for Trend Micro, he was responsible for analysis of emerging cybersecurity threats and relevant defensive technologies.

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