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Google Cloud CISO Phil Venables On Cybersecurity, Cloud Adoption And The Boardroom | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Here’s an excerpt from this week’s CIO Newsletter. To get it to your inbox, sign up here.

From chief information security officer (CISO) to chief digital and technology officer (CDTO) and more, tech leaders know the C-suite can be a bit of, well, alphabet soup. (Our CIO Next List knows this well.) One recruiter even called the CIO title a “little dated, even though it’s still very important.”

In many cases, the adapting titles reflect increasing and changing responsibilities. For CISOs, there is increasingly greater emphasis on cybersecurity due to advancements in cloud adoption, artificial intelligence, geopolitical risks, ransomware and cyberattacks. As a result, according to a survey of 262 global CISOs by executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles, cybersecurity is increasingly being embedded in companies’ core software development and business processes.

With recently proposed SEC guidance to require public companies to describe the board’s oversight of cybersecurity risk, cybersecurity is increasingly a discussion topic in the boardroom—making it a focus for not just security teams but entire companies. The share of CISOs with seats on corporate boards more than doubled in 2023, the Heidrick & Struggles report found.

For this week’s newsletter, I spoke with Google Cloud CISO Phil Venables, whose team released its latest recommendations on security for corporate boards today. “The message for boards to drive more modern infrastructure is to not just solve your security challenges but also increase agility efficiency and drive IT security as part of your digital transformation.”

New innovations in AI with tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Bard have played new parts in companies’ digital transformations. Venables says Google’s approach to AI is bold yet responsible. “We’re driving innovation, but at the same time we’re being highly focused on the trust, safety and responsible use of AI.”

Boards must be able to understand risks and be ready to respond, Venables says. Google Cloud’s Perspectives on Security for the Board report outlines the boardroom’s role in cloud adoption, threat trends and three principles for effective risk oversight: get educated, be engaged and stay informed.

As AI and new technologies are increasingly being used across companies—and not just tech companies—Venables says it is important to ensure data is protected, private and secure.

“A big part of security is modernizing away from old legacy infrastructure onto a new, more modern infrastructure,” Venables says, “where security is built in—not bolted on after the fact.” And that infrastructure is typically a cloud system, he says.

At IBM, the tech giant is also focused on the cloud, recently announcing it will extend its cloud management capabilities via its $4.6 billion acquisition of software company Apptio. Read on for the latest tech news like this, big-name features and Forbes’ inside scoops.


Claude 2.0, Anthropic’s Latest ChatGPT Rival, Is Here—And This Time, You Can Try It: AI startup Anthropic has released its next major model: Claude 2.0. CEO Dario Amodei says it’s better at coding, math and reasoning and that the new model represented more of a “bigger jump” than a “gargantuan leap” over its predecessor. And unlike its predecessor, it’s available for general consumer use.

IBM Extends FinOps And Cloud Management Capabilities With $4.6B Apptio Acquisition: As cloud technologies continue to remain at the forefront, IBM announced it will acquire Apptio, a hybrid-cloud management and FinOps software company, for $4.6 billion cash.

Threads, Meta’s New Social App: Meta released the new social platform, with new features, last week, and it may be Twitter’s killer. And as users flock to the microblogging app in the millions, content creators are excited about testing it out—but they’re wary that the newest Twitter competitor won’t stick around.

The U.S. Used Potent Global Surveillance Power To Track Russians In $4 Billion Crypto Exchange Investigation: Four men accused of laundering funds from the epic Mt. Gox crypto hack of 2014 were watched for over a year in an unprecedented use of a U.S. surveillance power.

Typeface Raises $100 Million To Set Up AI ‘Content Factories’ For Enterprises: The unicorn, now with $165 million in total funding, is putting AI content creation tools in the hands of enterprise users.


Billionaire Brawl: Now Who’s Winning The Fight Between Musk And Zuckerberg?: Musk and Zuckerberg continue to deal blows to each other, even if the cage fight is still metaphorical—for now. Between Meta’s new platform, Threads, a direct competitor to Musk’s Twitter, threatened legal action and more, Forbes’ Phoebe Liu looks at the battle that’s been brewing for years.

Why Bill Gates Isn’t Worried About AI Models Making Stuff Up: Making AI models more “self-aware” and “conscious” of their biases and factual errors could potentially prevent them from producing more false information in the future, the Microsoft cofounder wrote on his blog, GatesNotes.

Money Wisdom And Life Lessons From Billionaire Investors: How do you build enough wealth to reach the ranks of the Forbes 400 Richest Americans? Eight of the greatest investors of all time share strategies and life lessons that have guided them.

Satoshi Or Not, Here He Comes: It may not matter if Craig Wright created Bitcoin. The real question, Forbes’ Michael del Castillo explores, is whether the nearly 4,000 patents he controls or has pending will force computer programmers around the world to stop using open-source software as they now do—or pay for the privilege.

Kickstarter’s New Finance Chief Boosts The Ranks Of Black Female CFOs: Kickstarter named Sindy Wilson finance chief, boosting the ranks of Black female CFOs and creating one of the few pairs of Black CEOs and CFOs among high-profile brands.


How The End Of Affirmative Action Reroutes The Talent Pipeline:

The Supreme Court’s decision on affirmative action doesn’t just affect students applying to colleges and universities seeking to shape their student bodies. Business leaders must change how their companies recruit, hire and retain top talent. Contributors take a look at the implications of the decision on DEI efforts and the talent pipeline.

Tracking The Latest Layoffs: Microsoft looks to slash another 276 jobs following its layoff of about 10,000 employees earlier this year. Walgreens said it plans to cut up to 400 and close an e-commerce distribution center in Illinois. And more.

AI’s Impact On Work: Contributor Tracy Brower has advice for responding to the change.

The Labor Market Cools: Layoffs appear to be slowing. Quit rates are down. And, according to last week’s jobs report, the U.S. added 209,000 jobs last month, which fell short of economist estimates.

Immigration Agency Adds New STEM OPT Fields For Students: Looking for new talent with practical work experience? The U.S. is adding eight new fields of study, including linguistics and computer science, geospatial intelligence and composite materials technology, for international students.


The Hartford CIO Deepa Soni Sets Her Sights On Business Agility

At the helm of the 213-year-old insurance and financial services firm, The Hartford CIO Deepa Soni is focused on consolidating IT projects, bettering customer experience and automating key processes. Her efforts also include building fluency around the cloud, data analytics and AI across the company. Contributor Steven Norton speaks with Soni about her business agility plans and the urgency.

“The stakes are much higher now. It’s not about just enhancements, it’s really about transforming, digitizing our processes, and providing digital solutions to our customers and employees.”


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