Bio & Life Sciences Security & Privacy

How Microbes Could Help Track Criminals

Image courtesy Shutterstock/Couperfield

In the not-distant future, crime scene analysts will be gathering a lot more than DNA. The microbiome, or the universe of bacteria and other microbes that live in and on us, is the latest target in forensics. DNA evidence can be hard to find at a crime scene, but criminals (and all of us) have trouble keeping microbes to themselves.   More

Internet of Things Security & Privacy

Why We Can’t Use Things to Secure the Internet of Things

Hardware doesn't work to secure digital mobile transactions. Photo: Danai Khampiranon via Shutterstock

Marc Andreessen first famously wrote “software is eating the world” five years ago, and now software is transforming entire industries. But when it comes to securing digital transactions, the world mostly still relies on hardware. But as we we all transact more and more through connected devices, this hardware way of securing mobile commerce simply won't suffice.   More

Healthcare Security & Privacy

Can We Stop Cybercrime in Healthcare?

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New digital health technologies offer seemingly boundless promise to extend and improve our lives. Yet they also expose us to a growing array of security risks that require urgent attention from companies, consumers, and regulators everywhere. Data theft is one of the biggest risks. As data bursts from the seams of healthcare IT systems and consumer health apps, cybercriminals are having a field day.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

Welcome to the Splinternet

Donald Trump has referred to "closing" the Internet in areas where the U.S. has enemies, while China's president, Xi Jinping, reasserted last week that each state has a sovereign right to control what its citizens can and can't do in cyberspace. Russia believes a state should control "its" Internet. A European Union regulation determines how non-EU companies can market to or monitor EU individuals. That four such distinct political cultures could all reach the same conclusion suggests that the days of a universal Internet are numbered.   More

Opinion Security & Privacy Society

Are We Ready for Techno-Social Engineering?

The future of our personal data is in the hands of companies that author Morrison worries we cannot trust. (image courtesy Shutterstock)

Companies like Facebook and Google are developing new technologies to mine our data, to assess who we are and what we want, and – to hear the Internet giants tell it – deliver elegantly tailored experiences that help us better understand and interact with the world around us. David Lazer, an authority on social networks at Northeastern University, refers to it as the rise of the social algorithm and says it's an epic paradigm shift fraught with social and policy implications. Cardozo School of Law’s Brett Frischmann calls it techno-social engineering.   More

Analytics & Data Internet of Things Security & Privacy

How Good Guys Can Win the Cyberwars

Cybersecurity session at Techonomy 2015– moderator Michael Patsalos-Fox far right. Others, from left: Rowan Trollope of Cisco,
Victoria A. Espinel of the Business Software Alliance,
Nicole Eagan of Darktrace,
Special Agent David Johnson of the FB,I
Brian Kelly of Rackspace, and Elena Kvochko of Barclays.

When it comes to the cyberwars, are good guys or bad guys winning? I moderated a panel at Techonomy 2015 that explored this question. The answer isn’t a simple yes or no – and in light of the recent events in Paris, the question of our security feels even more critical. The industrialization of cybercrime is upon us. Today’s criminals are networked and well equipped. All organizations must prepare themselves for a series of battles.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

How to Battle Breathtakingly Sophisticated Cybercriminals

(photo courtesy Shutterstock)

The Internet is the new frontier for crime. The hacking ecosystem is breathtaking in its breadth and sophistication. And nation-states are stockpiling cyber weapons capable of disrupting power grids and banking systems, among other targets. There's lots more to worry about. But one of the most promising ways to improve proactive security, and one which merits much greater use, is information sharing of security incidents.   More

Business Finance Security & Privacy

Attacked by Cyber Criminals? There’s Insurance For That

Insurance is emerging to protect against cyber crime, but the industry remains immature (as do company attitudes about protecting themselves).

Few threats are more on the minds of business leaders than cyber attacks and data breaches. Companies that have been attacked range from Barnes & Noble to Home Depot to J.P. Morgan to Staples, Sony and Target. Now a variety of big insurers have created policies and services to cover this new set of threats.   More

Government Security & Privacy Society Techonomy Events

The Mind-Boggling Challenges of a Private and Secure Net

Digital privacy isn’t simple for anyone–consumers, the companies that hold data, or the government. In this high-profile session at Techonomy Policy in June 2015, leaders from AT&T and Microsoft joined venture capitalist Brad Burnham and FCC Commissioner Julie Brill in a probing conversation that underscored the many challenges. Brill worries that consumers do not understand […]   More

Security & Privacy

Despite Controversy, Creative Startups Seek Completely Secure Communications

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The market for secure private communications—encrypted messaging—is exploding. And with an estimated 70 trillion consumer and business messages expected globally by 2018, a bunch of New York startups want to “manage” the messaging process—to find ways to make messages secure and private. Federal agencies want secure networks to prevent the massive cyber attacks they have been plagued by. Large corporations embarrassed by disclosures such as Sony’s want enterprise-wide security. But they also want access to individual communications as part of their overall plan to mine and monetize user data. Meanwhile, and controversially, the NSA wants “back door” access to all communications, ostensibly to monitor terrorism and oversee national security.   More

Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

Government Lacks Strategy for Cyber Attack Response, Say Techonomy Policy Panelists

From left, Michael Cote, Alan Marcus, Craig Mundie, Shane Harris, and Cory Bennett. (Photo by Rebecca Greenfield)

As the Internet spreads its tentacles into every nook of society, attacks are rapidly increasing against individuals, companies, governments, and the very Net infrastructure upon which they all rely. The attackers range from cyber criminals to non-state actors like ISIS and nation-states. But law enforcement, government regulation, and an established military response are not even close to keeping up, said a group of experts at the Techonomy Policy conference in Washington on June 9. Before the advent of the Internet, there were four accepted domains of warfare: land, water, air, and space. Cyber is the fifth, and newest, domain, and by the far the hardest one to patrol, the panelists on a session devoted to "The Militarization of the Internet" agreed.   More

Analytics & Data Security & Privacy

Say It Ain’t So, Joe: Has Hacking Come to the Nation’s Pastime?

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On Tuesday, The New York Times first reported that the FBI and the Justice Department are involved in a formal investigation of the St. Louis Cardinals’ front office, members of whom had been accused of hacking a Houston Astros’ internal database. The Cardinals (with 11 World Series titles, second only to the New York Yankees) are by most considered a model MLB franchise. The notion that they’d be involved in something as nefarious as cyberhacking an opponent to gain a competitive advantage seems unsavory to many; the notion they’d be hacking an opponent with as downtrodden a history as the Houston Astros seems ironic to many others. But times, as they say, are a-changing and baseball teams (and individuals) have long balanced the tightrope between bending the rules and breaking them.   More

Security & Privacy

Making Data Storage Safer: The MaidSafe Network

(Image via Shutterstock)

As our personal and business data migrates online, lack of online security is increasingly a source of worry for both businesses and individuals worldwide. Risks, including malicious hacking, vandalism, and data theft, are numerous. Today's Internet is vulnerable in part because data typically resides on networks managed and controlled entirely by individual companies. MaidSafe, a startup based in Troon, Scotland, has what it believes is a way to eliminate that kind of reliance and improve the safety of data.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

Rhetoric Eases, but Troubles Remain in Alibaba Piracy Spat

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After reaching a fever pitch last week, rhetoric in the high-profile spat over piracy between e-commerce giant Alibaba and one of China’s main business regulators appears to be softening as the two sides move towards a compromise. The latest headlines say Alibaba and the State Administration For Industry And Commerce (SAIC) have joined hands to fight piracy, marking a sharp toning down of the angry rhetoric that was flying for much of last week.   More

Davos 2015 Security & Privacy

Davos 2015: CloudFlare’s Matthew Prince on Growing Cyberthreats

CloudFlare Co-Founder and CEO Matthew Prince visits Hub Culture at the World Economic Forum Davos 2015. Prince discusses the multitude of security breaches in 2014, a trend likely to continue in 2015. With its large game division, says Prince, Sony remains a target of cyberattacks.   More

Keen On Security & Privacy

KeenON: Journalist and NSA Expert Barton Gellman

It isn’t surprising that Edward Snowden chose then Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman as one of the earliest recipients of his leaked NSA documents. Gellman is the author of a best-selling book about Dick Cheney as well as many influential articles about the war on terror, and thus was a natural choice for Snowden when he sought a trustworthy journalist to publicize the PRISM materials. So was Snowden a hero? Not surprisingly, Gellman won’t be drawn into such a clichéd analysis.   More

Analytics & Data Security & Privacy

Is Fighting Evil with Google a Good Thing?

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Google's code of conduct famously instructs its staff, board members, and contractors, "Don't be evil." Those who fail to follow the code are subject to disciplinary action and termination. Can the company extend the code to Gmail users? It already has. CBS News reports this week that Google informed the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that a Gmail account holder in Texas "was allegedly sending explicit images of a young girl to a friend."   More

Security & Privacy

Former Intelligence Chief McConnell on Digital Vulnerability

The shift from analog to digital trade means global commerce is increasingly vulnerable to digital attack, says former National Intelligence Director Adm. Mike McConnell. McConnell, now with Booz Allen Hamilton, is concerned that cyber attack tools—which nation states are building by the thousands in the name of mutual deterrence—will get into the hands of extremist or terrorist groups. At our recent Data Security Lab, Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick spoke with McConnell about how the digital revolution is transforming security and intelligence.   More

Security & Privacy

Ex-Intelligence Chief McConnell Fears Major Cyber Attack

Former National Intelligence Director Adm. Mike McConnell (now at Booz Allen Hamilton) notes in this interview at Techonomy's recent Data Security Lab that our democracy has traditionally made decisions and developed legislation in reaction to events. That is unwise now, though, he says, if we wait until a major cyber event before imposing regulations to demand good cyber practices from business. Sadly, though, he suspects that we won't act until such an event happens.   More

Security & Privacy

Techonomy and EMC Look at the State of Data Security

At our March 19 Data Security Lab, sponsored by EMC, Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick spoke with RSA’s Art Coviello and former National Intelligence Director Adm. Mike McConnell (now at Booz Allen Hamilton) about emerging cybertrends. Coviello and McConnell kicked off the discussion by sharing their thoughts about why companies are increasingly at risk, and what they can do to deter cyberthreats.   More