Industry Experts Share DSPM, Automation and AI Data Security Insights

4 min read
(November 15, 2023)

On November 9th, 2023, Cyber Security Tribe hosted a thought-provoking Fireside Chat that delved into the fascinating realms of data security and how automation and generative AI have made a significant impact to cloud data security.

Industry experts Emily Heath, Former CISO for United Airlines, and Mike Towers, Former Chief Digital Trust Officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, joined the host Dorene Rettas, Co-Founder of Cyber Security Tribe, bringing their extensive knowledge and insights to the table.

This article provides an in-depth exploration of the key takeaways from the discussion, shedding light on the insights and ideas shared by Emily Heath and Mike Towers.

Evolving Data Security: A Constant Battle

Both Heath and Towers stressed the constantly evolving nature of data security and the need for organizations to stay ahead of emerging threats. Heath, drawing from her experience as a former CISO for United Airlines, highlighted that as enterprises increasingly rely on digital platforms and data-driven processes, proactive measures need to be taken to safeguard valuable information. She emphasized the importance of robust security measures that continuously adapt to tackle new threats.

Towers echoed these sentiments, underlining the significance of remaining vigilant in the face of evolving cyber threats. Drawing from his role as a former Chief Digital Trust Officer at Takeda Pharmaceuticals, he emphasized the importance of investing in data protection strategies and maintaining compliance with industry regulations. The experts acknowledged that data security is a constant battle that demands dedication and a proactive approach.

Data Security Posture Management (DSPM): Ensuring Protection and Compliance

The conversation also brought into focus the critical role that Data Security Posture Management (DSPM) play in protecting crucial data assets and ensuring regulatory compliance. Both guest speakers stressed that DSPM is an essential component of any organization's cybersecurity strategy and reflected on the painstaking, manual processes that were the only option when they were practicing CISOs. They both remarked on how critical the need to automate those processes are now. 

Heath stressed the importance of aligning data security practices with organizational goals and creating a culture of data protection across all levels of an organization. As a former CISO, she highlighted the need to build a solid foundation by integrating security into every aspect of an organization's operations, from initial design to end-of-life processes.

Towers emphasized the importance of creating a robust governance structure for DSPM and stating that organizations should invest in comprehensive risk assessments, vulnerability management frameworks, and up-to-date incident response plans. By doing so, businesses can proactively identify and mitigate potential risks to data security while adhering to industry regulations.

The Power of Generative AI

The fireside chat discussion highlighted the power of generative AI, and the incredible business opportunities that Large Language Models (LLMs) represent. Both industry experts shared that while AI has been around for some time, its capabilities have exponentially evolved, allowing it to mimic human thought processes and replicate what we see and hear. This puts security leaders in a unique position to act as business enablers, championing the safe use of data and encouraging educating around data privacy concerns.

AI's ability to generate realistic and relevant information poses both opportunities and challenges for data security. On one hand, the potential business value of generative AI is immense, particularly in areas where occasional mistakes or inaccuracies are acceptable. AI can enhance efficiency, automate processes, and improve decision-making.

However, the integrity of data emerged as a critical concern. As AI's generative capabilities advance, the need to verify the authenticity and trustworthiness of generated content becomes paramount. Trusting AI-driven outputs and ensuring the accuracy of the data it processes will be a significant focus in the coming years.

The experts urged the audience to appreciate the extent to which generative AI can be employed and encouraged them to explore the possibilities it presents. By delving into the ChatGPT technology, individuals can gain insights into how this tool can enhance various aspects of cybersecurity, bridging the gap between human and machine intelligence.

Overall, the discussion focused on the immense potential for AI in the field of cybersecurity, but emphasized that establishing the integrity of data and gaining trust in AI-generated content are crucial aspects that need to be addressed moving forward.

Automating the Future: Benefits and Challenges

The Fireside Chat also explored the future of automation in the realm of cybersecurity. Heath and Towers shared their insights on the benefits and challenges associated with automating security processes. They agreed that automation has the potential to enhance threat detection, response times, and overall operational efficiency.

However, both experts cautioned against relying solely on automation. They emphasized that automation should support human decision-making and not replace it entirely. Heath discussed the importance of human supervision and intervention to assess automated systems' accuracy and mitigate potential risks.

Industry-Specific Challenges and Solutions

Throughout the discussion, both experts acknowledged that different industries face unique challenges when it comes to data security. Heath highlighted that the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, in particular, faces distinct vulnerabilities due to the sensitive nature of patient data. She stressed the importance of risk assessments, employee education, and collaboration across industry sectors to enhance overall cybersecurity posture.

Towers shared his insights on the challenges faced by the pharmaceutical industry, including intellectual property protection and the need for secure collaboration with external partners. He drew attention to the importance of developing strong partnerships and collaborating with industry peers to address these challenges effectively.

Collaboration and Partnerships: Strengthening Cybersecurity Resilience

The Fireside Chat spotlighted the significance of collaboration and partnerships in establishing effective cybersecurity practices. The two guest speakers were in almost constant agreement with each other regarding what had been discussed so far, and again, both Heath and Towers underscored the ineed to bring together diverse experts, organizations, and stakeholders to create a unified front against cyber threats.

They highlighted the value of information sharing, joint initiatives, and the use of collective knowledge within the cybersecurity community. Both experts emphasized that collaboration and partnerships not only enhance cybersecurity resilience but also foster innovation.


The event provided attendees with deep insights into the world of data security and the future of automation. Emily Heath and Mike Towers shared their expertise, offering guidance and lessons learned from their years of experience in the field.

Their discussions on the evolving nature of data security, the importance of DSPM frameworks and automation, industry-specific challenges, and the significance of collaboration highlighted the key areas businesses and organizations need to focus on to protect their data assets effectively.

You can still watch the insightful discussion here: Data Security Unraveled: Automating the Future, simply register and gain instant access to the recording.