The importance of cybersecurity in today’s digital world cannot be overstated. Every click, swipe, and keystroke we make opens up a world of possibilities, both positive and negative. With new developments in cyberspace happening daily, it can be challenging to distinguish between the good guys and the bad guys. That’s why it is crucial for companies and average users alike to find ways to protect their sensitive information from those with ulterior motives.
To help us understand the intricacies of cybersecurity and the future of the digital universe, I had the opportunity to interview Chase Cunningham, G2’s VP of Security Market Research. In our conversation, Chase shares insights about his journey in the cybersecurity industry, what he has learned from his first job, and why he believes companies are not looking at AI in the right way. You can watch the full interview in the embedded video below.
This interview is part of G2’s Professional Spotlight series, where we dive deep into the expertise of industry professionals. If you want to stay updated with similar content, make sure to subscribe to G2 Tea, our monthly newsletter filled with SaaS news and entertainment.
Before we delve into the interview, let’s warm up with some questions for Chase:
1. What’s your favorite beverage?
Chase: I’m a big coffee fan snob. I probably drink way too much Death Wish Coffee.
2. When do you enjoy it?
Chase: I love having coffee on the deck behind my house in the mornings when no one else is awake. It’s just me, the deer, the turkeys, and a cup of coffee. Life is good.
3. What was your first job?
Chase: My very first job was hauling bales of hay for my dad on our ranch. I made a whopping 10 cents a bale. It taught me a lot about the economic value of hard work.
4. What are some of your best time management hacks?
Chase: Owning your calendar is crucial. Dedicate time to things that matter outside of just sitting at your desk. It’s essential to be a well-rounded individual, not just a worker.
5. What’s your favorite software in your current tech stack?
Chase: I’m a big fan of Grammarly for writing. It helps me with my grammar, which I always need assistance with.
Now, let’s dive deeper into the interview with Chase Cunningham:
Alexandra Vazquez: Can you tell us about your background and how your experiences working with government agencies like the CIA and the FBI have shaped your understanding of cybersecurity?
Chase Cunningham: As a retired military professional, I had the opportunity to work with several three-letter agencies. One of the most significant lessons I learned is that no matter how well-designed a system is, it is never completely unhackable. This understanding led me to G2, where I was referred by a friend. I’ve always valued G2 for its data and insights on software, which aligns with my work in analysis and market research.
Alexandra Vazquez: You are known as Dr. Zero Trust in the cybersecurity industry. Can you tell us more about the Zero Trust Extended Framework you created and how it has been received?
Chase Cunningham: When I was at Forrester Research, we were trying to map the value of a zero trust model into the vendor space. To do that, we developed the Zero Trust Extended Framework from an academic perspective. This framework has been well-received in the market, as it provides a way to solve big problems by working off a defined structure.
Alexandra Vazquez: Your podcast, Dr. Zero Trust, provides insights into cybersecurity. What are the top concerns in the cybersecurity industry right now?
Chase Cunningham: One of the most pressing concerns is understanding the role of AI, or more accurately, machine learning, in cybersecurity. Both adversaries and defenders are exploring its potential applications. However, there is no easy solution to this problem yet, and it will continue to be a focus in the industry for the next few years.
Alexandra Vazquez: Many companies are prioritizing AI in their cybersecurity defenses. How can organizations effectively leverage AI and machine learning to enhance their security?
Chase Cunningham: It’s essential to understand what AI systems are genuinely good at. They are not magical solutions that work on their own. Organizations must focus on collecting and utilizing good data for automation and analytics. AI can provide valuable insights, but only when implemented correctly and with the right data.
Alexandra Vazquez: Looking ahead, how do you envision the evolution of cyber threats in the next 5-10 years, and what should organizations prepare for?
Chase Cunningham: As with any technology, AI can be both a blessing and a curse. It will continue to fuel different tactics and methodologies used by both adversaries and defenders. Organizations must be prepared for the democratization of threat vectors and the spread of cyber threats. The speed and scale of these threats will increase rapidly, requiring organizations to stay vigilant and adapt their security posture accordingly.
To wrap up our conversation, here are some important takeaways for viewers to improve cybersecurity awareness and education:
1. Focus on the basics: There is no magic solution to cybersecurity. Ensuring a strong foundation is key to protecting your organization. Don’t ignore the low-hanging fruit and be aware that compromise is always a possibility in the digital space.
2. Understand the adversaries: Familiarize yourself with the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by cybercriminals. This knowledge will help you develop effective defense strategies.
For more insights from Chase Cunningham, you can watch the full interview on YouTube. Make sure to follow Chase on LinkedIn for continued learning about cybersecurity and online safety.