Richard Puckett Keynote on Collaborative Defense: Transforming cloud vendors into strategic partners

November 16, 2016

“It’s not being eaten by an alligator. It’s being pecked to death by a 1,000 chickens.”—Richard Puckett,  VP -- Cybersecurity, Product and Commercial Security, GE Digital, on the state of the current cybersecurity environment

GE has taken a new approach to collaborative defense and the cloud, according to Richard Puckett, VP of Cybersecurity, Product and Commercial Security at GE Digital. Puckett gave a keynote address at the November 3 Advanced Cyber Security Conference at the Boston Federal Reserve Bank, delving into details on how GE engaged its cloud vendors to create partnerships for information sharing and joint projects to provide more a better sense of mutual understanding and with it, cyber defense.

Puckett touched on several key themes in explaining the proactive approach GE took in collaborating with its cloud vendors:

The emergence of “shadow IT” has created the imperative that it must be better understood and managed.
“The cloud, software as a service, is helping create a new form of shadow IT in all of your organizations.” Almost every organization has outsourced a significant amount of its data management to outside vendors, the need for establishing more trust and knowledge.

GE met with providers individually at first and then brought them back as a collective.
“We asked them, How should we sensor your environments?” These activities led to a cooperative approach.

GE is eager to share its cloud sensoring work with others.
“With Amazon specifically, we’ve developed virtualized sensor functionality and integration into security and event management systems for the cloud. We actually are choosing to give it away as a company. We’d like to see this problem move faster and we need others to come along for the ride rather than have to relearn what we know.” Puckett invited the audience to see him for more information about sharing what GE has learned.

Swapping operational teams with cloud providers to learn from each other has yielded positive results.
“It’s fascinating the speed of those teams when they began to work together to solve common problems. Because once they had line of sight to it, they had great ideas.”

At GE, a new attitude has emerged about cloud providers.
“We stopped treating them like a vendor. We knew they were crucial to our survial.  So we came up with the concept of a common scorecard. And the idea was they get to measure us just as much we we measure them.”