Executives must enforce cybersecurity as part of company culture if they want to have a safer, more protected workplace, McAfee CEO Chris Young told CNBC on Tuesday.
“One of the things that I talk about all the time when I talk to other CEOs is you’ve got to have a culture of security. It’s got to matter,” Young told “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer. “Ten years ago, if I were to ask a CEO about cybersecurity, he might say, ‘Yeah, I’ve got some guy in IT that’s working on this.’ Now everybody cares and I think that’s going to make a big difference.”
High-profile cyberattacks at firms like Equifax and WannaCry rattled consumers in 2017 as the world woke up to the possibility of mass-scale hacks.
And every day, the volume, complexity and speed of cyberattacks are on the rise, Young told Cramer.
“The problem’s getting worse,” the CEO said. “These guys are moving faster than ever.”
McAfee, a privately-held cybersecurity firm that was once owned by Intel, oversees 432 million total endpoints for 103,000 corporate customers and is in many ways on the front lines when it comes to cyberattacks.
Young, who formerly ran end-user computing for VMware, said that one of McAfee’s latest challenges has been in the area of ransomware, a type of cyberattack that holds the victim’s information hostage until a sum of money is paid.
“Ransomware is one of the fastest-growing attacks that we have seen out there right now,” Young said. “You look at some of the big attacks we’ve seen this year like WannaCry or NotPetya. [Hackers are] using those as a way to test where to go next.”
A lot of cyberattackers request that the ransom be paid in bitcoin, the digital currency that’s exploded in popularity and price this year.
Ironically, Young said that blockchain, the digital ledger that tracks all of the transactions made with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, can offer some valuable lessons on cybersecurity.
“I actually think blockchain offers a lot of interesting things that we could do with security,” Young said. “It’s all crypto-based, so in particular, identity is something that blockchain could offer a lot of new solutions around.”