On Point: Q&A with Shivaji Sengupta

Shivaji Sengupta is a member and CEO of MAGNUS Management Group LLC and founder and CEO of NXTKey Corporation. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Cybersecurity at Delaware State University.

How do cybersecurity and innovation intersect, and is this a positive or negative development?

As technology advances, the field of hacking also evolves. When cloud computing and storage were launched, hackers rejoiced because more valuable details were accessible on the internet, making their “job” easier. All of these recent technological innovations have led to the huge increase in attack surface in a relatively short period of time and provided new gateways for hackers to exploit. This cybersecurity activity relies on continuous innovations, both defensively and offensively, to ensure that our information assets continue to be protected.

What should a small business do to implement effective cybersecurity, especially if it serves as a subcontractor to a large prime?

Attackers take advantage of every vulnerability, and we can all agree that 2020 has brought many to our table. The big challenge for small businesses in this environment is the constant assessment of security posture by implementing NIST 800 171 requirements, locking down enterprise information assets, instituting compartmentalized secure storage solutions and ensuring end user computing and connectivity is secure by ensuring team members segregate personal information. /use in business, continuous cybersecurity awareness training and, above all, the securing of any data flow from the prime contractor.

With the supply chain currently under siege, will its cybersecurity go down the drain?

The supply chain has received a lot of attention over the past year with newsworthy breaches at critical infrastructure, automotive companies, and software companies, to name a few. President Biden’s Executive Orders on America’s Supply Chains dated February 24, 2021 and Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity dated May 12, 2021 have challenged our federal agencies to make this a priority. The supply chain is only truly secure when all entities within it implement effective and coordinated security measures to ensure the integrity of supply chain data. For this reason, the term supply chain is quickly becoming synonymous with cybersecurity in the federal marketplace.

What future for cybersecurity?

We are experiencing the peak of cybersecurity technological disruption, and it is expected to last long into the future. The next decade will bring advances in cybersecurity in the areas of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, cloud computing, strategic automation, the Internet of Things, robotic processes and blockchain, among others. Some of the immediate advancements will be in the areas of unsupervised machine learning, artificial intelligence, and process automation to find patterns and detect anomalies, and then spot potential attack attempts. The future of cybersecurity will rely on unsupervised automation to detect and mitigate cyber threats to our networks and environment.

What do you think is the next big trend in information technology?

The next big tech trend will be a solution that enables innovative tools and technologies to be more efficient and provide faster computing for the ever-changing world of cybersecurity. This trend will relate to quantum computing, which will perform tasks faster and more efficiently than the current generation of computing. Quantum computing will take machine learning, process automation and artificial intelligence to new heights, which will have a significant impact on cybersecurity functions. Quantum computing will radically change the face of innovation and will be the next big leap forward in the evolution of information technology.

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