In the last 12 months, the threat of compromised smartphone cameras and microphones has taken on bigger real estate in the public consciousness, transforming from a largely abstract fear into a real, widespread and potentially devastating problem. The bad news is that this problem will get worse before it gets better. The good news is that security-centric organizations are looking for ways to proactively defend against this threat. So what will the next 12 months hold in store? Below, I’ve outlined six predictions for the coming year.
The mobile security of political candidates and their staff gets lost in the shuffle when discussing threats to our elections. However, a series of trends point to mobile espionage becoming the next major vehicle for electoral interference. These trends include:
- The smartphone’s rising importance in conducting the day-to-day business of a political campaign
- The increasing use of intrusive smartphone surveillance tools to target political officials
- A growing appetite by malicious outsiders to interfere in elections by any means necessary
In this mobile security blog post, I’ll discuss the reasons why smartphones may be the next electoral hacking target and the potential consequences of such a shift.
Earlier this month, a controversial report in Bloomberg Businessweek ignited a larger conversation about a topic that has long been a concern of security professionals: the hacking of the hardware supply chain. The fear of backdoors built into devices isn’t new (see: the blacklisting of Huawei and ZTE products by the US government), but concrete evidence is rarely made available to the public.
We started Privoro in 2013 not merely as a company, but as a philosophy: that security and privacy need not be casualties of our hyper-connected, sensor-driven, mobile-first world. That we should be able to trust and control our electronic devices. That our information is ours alone, and we should be able to control how it is accessed and shared.
Ten years ago, I would have said that voice was an interface of the past. Yet today, the voice revolution is well underway and it’s becoming clear that voice will, in fact, be the next major interface. Just look at the proliferation and capabilities of virtual assistants and voice-activated devices, whether it’s asking Amazon’s Alexa-enabled Echo to turn down the thermostat, having Google Home recite your schedule for the day, or instructing Apple’s Siri to read your emails out loud. While nearly one in five Americans has access to a smart speaker today, Gartner predicts that 75 percent of households in the U.S. will have smart speakers by 2020.
Pentagon’s smartphone policy costs taxpayers an estimated $2 million per day
On May 22, Pentagon leadership banned smartphones from all secure spaces – effectively every office and meeting room in the largest single office building in the world. The ban even includes government-issued phones given to high-priority personnel and negatively impacts over 26,000 Department of Defense military, civilian and contractor employees.
Over the last couple of years I’ve become much more security- and privacy-focused. Why?
This is the third installment of a three-part series on cybersecurity advice. In part 1, I covered general awareness and protection of personal devices. In part 2, I covered ways to protect yourself in online interactions. In this third and final post, I will focus on ways to practice good digital hygiene such as backing up data, managing passwords, keeping data clean and managing your social media information.
This is the second portion of a three-part series on Cybersecurity advice. In Part 1, I covered general awareness and protection of personal devices. In this post, I will focus on online interactions and provide advice to help ensure you are safe, secure and private in the online world.
When I started my career over 20 years ago, I was issued a corporate laptop with a phone-line dial-up modem and a beeper. For years, the computer was the only device I connected to the corporate network. The computer was provisioned to me complete with corporate standard software and all of the necessary security controls built in. The software was kept up to date by my IT department and the only things I had to do were keep the device physically safe from thieves and avoid losing it. Fast forward to today and things look much different. With the emergence of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), more personal machines are connecting to the private networks of organizations without the oversight of IT. The presence of these devices increase the risk of exploitation from the outside. Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs), who are responsible for securing enterprise networks, face challenges with this new paradigm. The days of relying on the IT department to handle everyone’s cybersecurity needs are gone. It has become imperative for all of us to take a more active role in maintaining the right cybersecurity measures for ourselves. By paying attention and doing work to set things up properly, you can keep yourself and your livelihood safe. After all, like a chain with several links, your corporate security is only as strong as its weakest link. Do you want to be the weak link?