Security threats are varied and often unpredictable. We are faced with an expanding attack surface. Adversaries abound, spanning organized crime, nation-states and malicious insiders.

It is against this backdrop that the IT solutions lifecycle may appear to be an “unharnessable” security beast: the value chain. Many hypothesize that IT solutions with security “built in” are as rare as the mythological unicorn.  I propose quashing such a hypothesis and making security “built in” a reality.  And…the very place to do it is across the value chain.

Together, we cannot only harness the value chain beast but create a foundation for building security into our IT solutions.

I have the privilege of presenting on this critical challenge at the RSA Conference 2016. In my session, I will clarify just what the IT value chain is and discuss feasible, effective techniques to “build security in,” architecturally and flexibly.


This session falls within RSA 2016’s C-Suite View track, which is fitting. Understanding the Value Chain and the security risks that lie within it is key for today’s C-level executives. It is these leaders who now bear responsibility for their enterprises’ security successes and failures.

In a time when many might suggest that inward focus and fortress building are the right responses to security threats, my view is quite the opposite.  Collaboration and transparency form the path to building trust. And that trust is the fuel for an important transition – a transition from security as simply “limiting damage” to security affirmatively enabling our businesses.

A collaborative approach to security across our value chain ecosystem will serve to weave integrity into the very fabric of our IT solutions. If we do this well, we can, and will, raise the level of trust for our industry, our customers and our global citizenry.

Attending RSAC 2016?  Please join me for this discussion. Want to hear more on collaborative value chain security? See my previous blog post.

To learn more about our commitment to earning trust through transparency, accountability and security innovation, please visit the Cisco Trust and Transparency Center.


Edna Conway

Chief Security Officer

Chief Security Officer, Global Value Chain