German

SXSW: Three Cybersecurity, Remote Access Takeaways from Austin

vpn_blank13

Image via Creative Commons/John Chandler (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

by VPNHaus | 03/30/2015 |Endpoint Management, Industry Commentary

 

The South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Festival wrapped up last week in Austin, Texas, where 65,000 industry movers and shakers learned about some of the most innovative technology expected to hit the market over the next few years. What was on the minds of presenters, panelists, and attendees alike? "The Future" – all of its possibilities and its promise.

Given all of these technology advancements, it makes sense that some of the panels and conversations happening in Austin took on a more cautious tone and focused on the surrounding cybersecurity concerns. We've identified three panels from SXSW that addressed cybersecurity directly – or brought to light security issues that weren't on the agenda – and provide these lessons for each.

1. 'Everything is Connected, Everything is Vulnerable'

Marc Goodman is hardly the first network security expert to predict that cyberthreats will become increasingly pervasive and damaging in the coming years. But few people have gone into such detail about these threats, as Goodman did during his SXSW panel, "Future Crimes of the Digital Underworld."

Goodman, the author of "Future Crimes: Everything Is Connected, Everyone Is Vulnerable," brought with him to Austin a laundry list of possible new targets for hackers, including but not limited to Internet of Things devices like pacemakers, baby monitors, insulin dispensers, and even drone aircraft. He warned, "We're not going to solve these problems by burying our heads and pretending they don't exist."

For network administrators, that means acknowledging that these devices could enter their workplace, and then taking steps to neutralize any threat they may pose. As we've written before when discussing the Internet of Things, there's no such thing as too much network security. At a minimum, enterprises should make sure that all devices connected to their network have up-to-date firmware and that they're all protected by a shield of interconnected network security technologies, including VPNs, firewalls and intrusion prevention systems.

2. Yahoo Reveals Encrypted, Password-less Email

Since launching in 1997, Yahoo Mail has been a market leader, and now, two decades later, the service is again evolving – this time, to become more secure. During SXSW, CIO Alex Stamos gave the first public demo of Yahoo's new encrypted email service, which would make users' messages more private. Stamos said the service would be available to users before the end of the year.

Network security advocates should also be encouraged by another announcement Yahoo made during SXSW – that Yahoo Mail users are now able to forego traditional passwords in favor of one-time passwords sent to their mobile devices each time they want to access their email.

Chris Stoner, Yahoo's Director of Product Management, wrote on Yahoo's Tumblr page that the on-demand password feature is intended to make logging into email "less anxiety-inducing." This new feature also better protects Yahoo Mail accounts, even though it doesn't go quite as far as the more secure two-factor authentication option.

3. Gladwell, Gurley Spar over Driverless Cars

In February, supporters of connected cars had to tap the brakes on their enthusiasm, following a report by German researchers that found more than 2 million BMWs were vulnerable to remote access hacks. The reason the security community was startled by this news is that there's growing momentum not only behind connected vehicles – those with network access capabilities – but also those that are completely autonomous.

The topic came up at SXSW during a spirited conversation between author Malcolm Gladwell and prominent venture capitalist Bill Gurley. Gurley said he was skeptical of driverless cars, because the public would be "less tolerant of a machine error causing a death than a human error causing a death." Gladwell came down on the other side, claiming that the number of lives saved by driverless cars – since drunk driving would be reduced – justifies their existence.

What their discussion reveals is that we're not quite ready for fully autonomous vehicles yet. As a society, we first need to make sure we fully understand cybersecurity and secure machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, before these vehicles take over the nation's highways.

Innovation and Caution Can Co-Exist

It’s encouraging that despite all the excitement in Austin around new technology and other advancements, the SXSW crowd still got a good sense of the necessary steps to ensure cybersecurity is not jeopardized by new innovations. There’s no reason not to exercise a bit of caution while boldly stepping into the future.

 

Managing Secure Communications in M2M Environments</em>, we cover:

- How to choose a connection method that’s right for your application.
- How to configure end devices so they can perform authentication steps.
- How to manage VPN configurations and updates without human interaction.

Download Now

Managing Secure Communications in M2M Environments</em>, we cover:

- How to choose a connection method that’s right for your application.
- How to configure end devices so they can perform authentication steps.
- How to manage VPN configurations and updates without human interaction.

Download Now

This website uses cookies

We use cookies to personalize content and analyze access to our website. You can find further information in our data protection policy.

OK