MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., March 29, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Frankie… who? No April Fool’s joke: Francis (“Frankie”) Archibald Keyes, Esquire, a fictitious figure still unknown to most people outside IT, enjoys significantly higher trust among industry professionals than most real-life cybersecurity vendors or experts, according to new survey results from this year’s RSA Conference in San Francisco.

The “Cybersecurity Approval Poll” was conducted by Silicon Valley based Authentic8, maker of the Silo cloud browser. Of those surveyed by the company at the RSA trade show, a total of 88% stated that they trusted the made-up Mr. Keyes “much more”, “slightly more” or “about the same” as “other cybersecurity vendors and experts.”

If these results don’t instill much confidence in the industry’s ability to protect its customers from data breaches, malware attacks and online election meddling, that is the whole point.

Frankie Keyes, a self-proclaimed Mr. Fix-it played by a professional actor, served as the face of F.A.K.E. Security, a make-believe company - on the web: fakesecurity.com -  set up by Authentic8 to highlight what the company views as “industry-wide self-delusion.”

F.A.K.E. Security boasted its own booth at the industry’s annual gathering (for the second year in a row), where Frankie Keyes continued his meteoric rise to geek fame by peddling his Ultimate Cybersecurity Toolkit: Duct tape and WD-40.

Nerd jokes aside, this tongue-in-cheek take on the industry’s internal and external credibility problem hit a nerve, as the results of the survey conducted at the F.A.K.E Security booth prove.

The company points to three data points in particular that it thinks are symptomatic for what co-founder and CEO Scott Petry calls the “reactive approach to cybersecurity”:

  • Asked which statement most accurately describes how they feel about the security of their enterprise, the most selected answer was: “We know we are vulnerable in key areas, but we respond quickly to close the gaps as they become known.”

  • While the vast majority of cybersecurity solutions have not stopped data breaches and web-borne exploits, 48% of respondents would expect a real “ultimate cybersecurity toolkit” to prevent most attacks, threats, and malware from ever reaching their endpoints or network in the first place.

  • Asked which applications put their organization most at risk, web browsers came in first (34%), followed by email clients (32%).

Authentic8’s Scott Petry calls it “positive and encouraging” that the web browser is ranking now as the application least trusted by IT security professionals. According to Petry, the industry’s attempts to compensate for the browser’s inherent vulnerabilities have been “as effective as Fankie Keyes’ approach to cybersecurity.”

For the Authentic8 CEO, point solutions such as antivirus software or AI-based threat detection have become modern IT’s version of Duct tape. “For decades now, there has been an unhealthy cycle of web-borne exploits and data breaches, solutions promised, technologies purchased,   leading to more incidents,” says Petry, “yet it hasn’t lowered the breach volume.”

He emphasizes that the survey and its results were “100 percent not made up, surreal - but still real.”

Market research shows the cybersecurity industry grew at roughly 10% last year, surpassing $114 billion. “The FAKE Security booth at RSA was our way of poking fun at the absurdity of repeating the failed approach over and over again and expecting different results,” says Petry. “The survey responses suggest that many IT security professionals feel the same way.” 

About Authentic8
Founded in 2010 by principals from Postini, Authentic8 is redefining how the browser is used to access web data. Its flagship product, Silo, is a cloud-based secure browser. Silo creates a perfect insulation layer between the user and the web, keeping all web code isolated in a contained environment but delivering an encrypted display of the browser session.  Silo also helps manage login credentials, access controls and data use policies. The Silo browser is built fresh at session start, and destroyed at session end, ensuring that users remain secure, compliant, and anonymous online. Try Silo risk free at www.authentic8.com.

Mia Damiano
damiano@merrittgrp.com
(703) 390-1502