Security & Privacy

RSA’s Coviello: Opportunities for Cyberattack Multiplying

On top of the more than 2.4 billion people using smartphones, tablets, and PCs, another 1 billion devices—including sensors, card readers, and vending machines—currently access the Internet. But by the end of this decade some 200 billion items will be connected to the Internet and digitally controlled, predicts Art Coviello, executive chairman of RSA, the security division of EMC. The attack "surface," as Coviello calls it—meaning the range of potential points of entry for cyber criminals—will grow vast. At our recent Data Security Lab Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick talked to security veteran Coviello about changes in the industry, emerging risks, and what kind of leadership and governance we need to address them.   More

Business Security & Privacy

BlackBerry CEO Chen: Security Is Key to Comeback

BlackBerry CEO John Chen, who's been at the helm for just four months, has a looming task ahead of him—bring the once-booming brand back to its glory days. At Techonomy's recent San Francisco dinner salon, Chen talked with us about the future of BlackBerry, citing its security systems as one key way the company can turn itself around. "It's the most secure mobile environment," Chen said. "Today in this world of security complexity, people are not only stealing the data but they're modifying the data. It's an enormous opportunity."   More

Security & Privacy

A Privacy Bill Should Impose Consequences

Lamenting a fast-approaching privacy crisis in the U.S., New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera this week reports what experts say should be included in a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights, should Congress be so inclined to draft and pass one. Nocera suggests that not just consumers, but also companies in the business of collecting their data—including Google, Facebook, and Acxiom—stand to benefit from regulation; after all, he writes, credit card companies objected to the 1967 Truth in Lending Act that turned out to be to their advantage because it "showed consumers, for the first time, that they had some protection from fraud or shady practices." Nocera's conclusion: "Sometimes, government has to save business from itself."   More

Cities Security & Privacy

Techonomic Top 5: Web Fightback, #BangkokShutdown, Sochi Tech, and More

Every week we spotlight techonomic happenings on the Web and beyond, picking people, companies, and trends that exemplify tech’s ever-growing role in business and society. Here’s what’s got our attention. The Day We Fight Back, Tuesday’s anti-spying Web protest, rallied more than 6,000 websites against government surveillance—among them, Internet heavyweights Google, Mozilla, Reddit, and Tumblr. Protest participants hosted a banner on their sites, linking visitors to legislators to encourage them to take action. “Dear internet, we’re sick of complaining about the NSA,” the banner read. “We want new laws that curtail online surveillance.”   More

Security & Privacy

Could Privacy Become a New Form of Currency?

It's becoming increasingly clear that the latest digital technology is killing privacy. As Robert Scoble said at our latest Ericsson and AT&T hosted FutureCast event at the AT&T Foundry in Palo Alto, the future will be dominated by surveillance technologies like sensors, wearable computing, and location data. So, I asked California's Lieutenant Governor, Gavin Newsom what, exactly, does the end of privacy mean from the perspective of a politician? Newsom was refreshingly blunt. "We never had it," he replied. "So it's like welcome to my world."   More

Security & Privacy

Report: Internet Is Faster, More Susceptible to Attack

Internet speeds around the world are up, but so are cyber-attacks, says Akamai in its latest “State of the Internet” report. Released quarterly by the Massachusetts-based content delivery network Akamai Technologies, the report analyzes global statistics on key indicators of Internet connectivity. Findings from 2013’s third quarter disclosed some good news, showing upward trends in both global connection speeds and broadband adoption rates, but also warned of long-term growth in attack traffic—a majority of it coming from China, Indonesia, and the United States.   More

Business Learning Security & Privacy

This Week’s Techonomic 5

Welcome to the first installment of our Techonomic 5, a brand-new series spotlighting techonomic happenings from around the Web and beyond. Every two weeks, our editorial team shares its picks of the top people, companies, and trends that exemplify tech's ever-growing role in business and society. Here's what's grabbing our attention: tech curriculums, Canadian data security, apps for mindfulness, the rise of Netflix, and Kayaanisquatsi director Godfrey Reggio.   More

Government Security & Privacy

Investigate NSA to Avert Police State, Privacy Consultant Warns

Cyber-security expert Jody Westby calls “for the facts to be found out and the truth to be determined” about the NSA surveillance program in order for the nation’s leaders to make “informed decisions about how this country should be operating and the values it should be upholding in the digital age—before it turns into a full police state.” Under the headline, "It Is a Scandal That No One is Investigating the NSA," Westby, who is CEO of Global Cyber Risk, a fellow at the Carnegie Mellon CyLab, and adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as a frequent Techonomy participant, proclaims in a Forbes essay this week that she is stunned that no one but she has called for a full investigation.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Cybersecurity Startups Aim to Anticipate Attacks

In the cybersecurity world, the term "antivirus" is out of favor. ("McAfee" is even more so, thanks to its namesake's behavior, but that's another story.) Software and firewalls designed to detect and eradicate viruses on your system or business network—such as what Symantec, McAfee (now known as Intel Security), Cisco, and Check Point provide—still leave customers vulnerable to attacks, according to Nicole Perlroth's report in the New York Times.   More

Security & Privacy

Is Snapchat a Security Sieve?

A New Year’s Eve leak that exposed the usernames and phone numbers of 4.6 million Snapchatters confirmed what researchers had been forewarning since August—Snapchat is a security sieve. Hackers used a public security report, issued by researchers at the Australian-based Gibson Security in August 2013, to download the database of Snapchat user information and publish it as “SnapchatDB.” According to the hackers, their aim was to force fixes and send a message. Message received? With Snapchat’s slow response and so-slow-it-may-never-come apology, it’s hard to say.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Kirkpatrick: Privacy Lawsuit Won’t Slow Facebook’s Momentum

Two California Facebook users have sued the social network for violating their right to privacy—and profiting from it. Plaintiffs argue Facebook is secretly intercepting users’ private messages and scanning them for links to third-party websites, then selling that data to advertisers and marketers seeking to better target consumers. Facebook denied the allegations, saying they are “without merit.” David Kirkpatrick, Techonomy CEO and Bloomberg contributing editor, appeared on Bloomberg West last Thursday to talk about the privacy lawsuit and what ramifications it could have for the popular social media platform.   More

Security & Privacy

Ray Kelly’s Tech-Centric War on NY Crime

In the waning days of Bloomberg's New York, I threaded my way past multiple checkpoints and up a private elevator in Police headquarters to visit Ray Kelly, who leaves office December 31 along with the mayor. I wanted to understand how he'd used tech during his 12 years as Commissioner of Police, during which city crime dropped 40%. "When the administration came in, this department was the world's largest user of carbon paper and whiteout," is the first thing Kelly said. His apocryphal claim foreshadowed the rest of the interview.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Business Internet of Things Security & Privacy

People, Companies, and Trends: Techonomy’s 2013 Top Ten

As 2013 winds down, Techonomy takes a moment to look back on highlights from the year, especially those that portend—we think—the future. Our Top Ten list recognizes the people, companies, and ideas that embodied how technology is catalyzing change in business and society. Some of the individuals and organizations here were represented at our 2013 conferences, labs, and dinners, where we convene leaders to explore the biggest tech-driven challenges and opportunities. Some were featured in our expanding online editorial content.   More

Security & Privacy Techonomy Events

Why Microsoft’s Craig Mundie Worries About Weapons of Mass Disruption

All the evils that can be done in the cyberworld fall into five categories, according to Craig Mundie: malicious mischief, crime, espionage, warfare, and terrorism. And there are three kinds of actors committing them: amateurs, pros, and governments. It’s a taxonomy that he says the industry only invented in recent months to give clarity to discussions about how to deter and defend against attacks. Techonomy’s David Kirkpatrick interviewed Mundie on stage at Techonomy 2013 in Tucson this week about cyber-insecurity and its impact on business.   More

Techonomy 13 Security & Privacy Techonomy Events Video

Cyber-insecurity and Its Impact on Business

U.S. companies are losing client confidence and trust as news of ongoing surveillance programs and continued security breaches dominate headlines and water-cooler conversations. What can they do, what must they do, to combat customer and public skepticism while strengthening protections and security for users and themselves? Microsoft's Craig Mundie and Techonomy's David Kirkpatrick discuss. Watch video and read the full transcript here.   More

Techonomy 13 Security & Privacy Techonomy Events Video

Is the Internet for or Against You?

The data you generate on- and off-line about what you watch and look at, buy, borrow, even what ails you, is tracked, quantified, packaged and sold. Your virtual self and your reputation are being qualified, commoditized and monetized. The dystopian critique is gaining adherence, from novelists to heads of state worldwide. If someone is making money from this info, shouldn’t you? James Cham of Bloomberg Beta, Accenture's Dan Elron, Reputation.com's Michael Fertik, Andrew Keen of Digital Vertigo, and shopkick's Cyriac Roeding discuss. Watch video and read the complete transcript here.   More

Business Security & Privacy

Why a Drone-Dominated World Will Demand Interdisciplinary Policymaking

Global headlines this week are focused on U.S. military drone attacks in Pakistan. But a conference in New York last weekend addressed the myriad additional policy implications of a consumer-drone-dominated world. Wish you could have been a fly on the wall for the first-ever Drones and Aerial Robotics Conference (DARC)? In a podcast broadcast by Drone U on Slate, meeting co-chair Christopher Wong, executive director of the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law & Policy at the New York University School of Law, recaps the top issues on the table there.   More

E-Commerce Security & Privacy

The Hidden Secrets of the Deep Web

Early this month, U.S. officials seized and shut down a hidden but sprawling online marketplace called Silk Road, known as the eBay of illegal goods and services. More than 1.2 million transactions had been completed on the site, earning its owner some $80 million in commissions. How did a site that allegedly allowed users to buy illicit drugs, deal black market weapons, and even hire hit men stay above water long enough to handle that much revenue over its two-and-a-half years of operation? The answer lies in what’s called the “Deep Web” or the “Dark Web”—hidden corners of the Internet that can’t be reached by Google and require connecting to an anonymous network called TOR that was originally developed by the U.S. Navy.   More

Global Tech Security & Privacy

“Good Hackers” Gather in Washington to Help Besieged Journalists

Developers, activists, and journalists gathered in a Washington startup incubator on a recent weekend for “FreedomHack,” to build digital products to aid citizen journalists in Mexico. Reporters Without Borders reports that a skyrocketing number of them have been killed, attacked, or threatened in Mexico since 2010.   More

Internet of Things Security & Privacy

More Connected Worlds May Threaten Personal Security

What will happen when hackers break into the “Internet of Things”? A growing number of Internet-connected home devices are hitting the market, but two security researchers are warning consumers of potential security breaches, according to MIT Technology Review. These new remotely-managed devices offer convenience and potential energy savings—but are they worth it?   More