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Dr. Alastair MacWillson's picture

Dr. Alastair MacWillson

Dr. Alastair MacWillson is the global managing director of Accenture’s global security practice. Prior to joining Accenture in 2002, Dr. MacWillson was the global leader of the technology consulting practice in PricewaterhouseCoopers. Dr MacWillson has acted as an adviser to a number of governments on technology strategy critical infrastructure protection, cyber security and counter terrorism and has sat on related committees for the US and UK governments, the European Commission and the United Nations.

Dr. MacWillson has a B.Sc. in Physics, postgraduate diplomas in Computer Science and Digital Imaging, a Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics, and a D.Phil in Cryptographic Integrity.

Recent articles by Dr. Alastair MacWillson

  • Organizations must think differently in order to protect sensitive data and critical infrastructures. It’s no longer a case of simply securing the perimeter by purchasing better security products.
  • With utility companies powering so much of the critical infrastructure – from transportation, water and telecommunications to financial services – a disruption to the supply and distribution of electricity would affect virtually everything.
  • Enterprises need to shift the focus of their security operations from a small group of individuals with a set of tactical objectives, to a virtual organization that provides strategic value and has the ability to improve outcomes for the organization, its customers and employees.
  • Most organizations generate and collect three types of sensitive information, each with different value and vulnerabilities to the enterprise. A balanced information protection approach should consider what corporate assets matter most.
  • Historically, SCADA systems were kept separate from other corporate systems. More recently, third parties are being given direct access to SCADA networks via the Internet to manage them and/or to do diagnosis. These connections to the outside world create a massive challenge from a security perspective.
  • Organizations worry about theft, loss or legal noncompliance as they put data in the public cloud. The cloud is a fast-moving target that continues to evolve. At what moment will the security and controls be enough? If we get locked in now, will we be locked out of future progress?
  • Mobile devices offer well-established benefits in terms of productivity and efficiency gains for employees and enhanced services for consumers. But there’s a catch: The ways smart phones, laptops and tablets interconnect work life and personal life raise serious security challenges for organizations—and the stakes are high.
  • As utilities transform from simple one-way power grids to complex, bidirectional smart grids, they will soon be passing sensitive consumer information about identity and usage patterns over their networks. They must undergo a significant transformation in order to secure such a network from attacks.