As the Bay Area gears up for Super Bowl 50, the security industry is getting ready for its own Super Bowl of sorts. The RSA Conference — which marks its 25th year — kicks off in San Francisco on Feb. 29.
Top of mind for industry insiders is how companies can best protect themselves against an increasingly sophisticated enemy intent on attacking bigger and more lucrative targets.
Crimes in cyberspace will cost the global economy $445 billion in 2016 — more than the market cap of Microsoft ($411 billion), Facebook ($314 billion) or ExxonMobil ($332 billion) — according to an estimate from the World Economic Forum's 2016 Global Risks Report.
The threat of state-sponsored attacks aimed at taking down critical infrastructure continues to plague experts, but many believe the bigger threat is posed toward U.S. business interests.
"U.S. companies are definitely under pressure, and I think it's related in large part to nation-state attacks," said John Haller, a cybersecurity researcher in the CERT division of the Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute.
The 2014 Sony hack is the poster child for what happens when an isolated nation-state goes after a North American enterprise. (U.S. government officials have hinted that North Korea was behind the attack.)