Identity & Access Management , Security Operations , Standards, Regulations & Compliance

Cybersecurity Success Hinges on Leadership, Not Just Tech

Afni CISO Brent Deterding on AI, Leadership's Role in Defense, SEC Reporting
Brent Deterding, CISO, Afni, and CyberEdBoard member

Practical measures can often be more effective in significantly enhancing cybersecurity. Rather than relying solely on AI to combat AI threats, Brent Deterding, CISO at global contact center company Afni, recommends implementing solutions such as YubiKeys or security keys that allow organizations to sidestep adversarial activities and focus on using AI for business enablement.

See Also: Why the Future of Security Is Identity

Leadership plays a crucial role in cybersecurity, he said, and success hinges more on executive buy-in and proper communication than on technology or finances. Simple, enforceable security practices, such as requiring physical keys and specific machines for access, can effectively neutralize threats, according to Deterding.

"We faced Scattered Spider in 2022 - they are all about social engineering. They tore up my competitors; we did just fine. Part of the reason that we did just fine is because they required YubiKey as well as my domain or my corporate machine to log on or do anything. When you require a physical key and a specific physical machine, bad guys can't log on that. There's some nuance there," Deterding said.

In this video interview with Information Security Media Group at ISMG's North America Midwest Summit, Deterding also discussed:

  • Why it's important to address the lack of self-awareness among security practitioners;
  • How executive commitment can help overcome the cybersecurity poverty line;
  • The role of CISOs in industrywide improvements and SEC reporting compliance.

Deterding is responsible for enabling Afni through cost avoidance, increasing efficiency, enabling sales and assuring compliance. He has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the IT and cybersecurity sector. Deterding is a CyberEdBoard member.

About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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