Security & Technology – How Secure is Your Data? Silicon Valley

With the recent news that big name corporations such as Target, Home Depot, and even the cloud have been hacked, it makes you wonder, “How secure is my information”? Tech in Motion Silicon Valley recently hosted Security & Technology: Tech Talk at the Microsoft Campus. Guest speakers included Alok Shukla, Consumer Mobile Security, Product Manager at Intel Security (a part of McAfee), Jason Kehl, VP of Engineering at Vectra Networks, and Steve Van Lare, VP of Engineering at 41st Parameter. Topics presented ranged from user security, fraud and identity solutions to real time threat detection.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley

Intel Security led quite the informative discussion on mobile security, kicking off with free vs. paid apps in the app store. The majority of app developers can earn revenue through sponsorships and advertisements – among other alternative routes – and with this runs the risk of compromising user security. This risk comes from unsafe development practices, embedding risky URL’s, weak implementation, and encroaching user security along with other risks. The future of mobile security lies within implementing safer apps. This is done by informing, consenting and controlling user information submitted through the app, as well as checking for URL reputation and following privacy development practices.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley

The next company to speak up, Vectra Networks, is known as the security that thinks smarter. There are three key areas within the cyber-attack life cycle they specialize in; Targeted Opportunistic with Cyber Threats, Intuitive UX Simplicity of Use through IT Consumerization, and Data Analytics Machine Learning through Technology Inflections. The presentation covered how attackers invade perimeter security systems from your laptop, tablet, phone, and even BYOD devices, and what they do once inside. The way that Vectra Networks, they give businesses the opportunity to process the attack and quickly make decisions on where to focus their attention on.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley

41st Parameter informed the audience that the future of security is at an ultimate breaking point right now. With technology advancing, security has to constantly fight to be one step ahead of the curve. The most important thing someone can do is to inform themselves about where their information is going, and learn the most they can about what they are using such as apps, websites etc.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley

We would like to thank our gracious sponsors Workbridge Associates, Jobspring Partners, our Social sponsor, Vectra Networks, and our Headline sponsor, Appvance for helping fund our September event.

Tech in Motion Silicon Valley is thrilled to have had our hottest event of the year last November – Rise of the Robots: Interactive Tech Talk. Want to catch up on the hottest Robots in the industry? Not miss out on the next great event? Join Tech in Motion here.   

Mobile Security and Scalability: The Future (From Chicago)

Tech In Motion Chicago hosted a panel this summer to discuss the future of mobile in regards to security. A recent Cisco study showed that “by the end of 2014, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2018 there will be nearly 1.4 mobile devices per capita.” With all this growth, companies are taking larger strides in determining how to make sure their mobile sites and applications are both secure and scalable in order to meet demand. Tech in Motion members in Chicago got to hear about the topic from some top mobile security experts in their field:

  • Richard Rushing is the Chief Information Security Officer of Motorola Mobility.
  • Andrew Hoog is CEO/co-founder of viaForensics, a mobile security firm whose mission is to advance mobile security worldwide.
  • Amit Shah is the Co-Founder and CTO at Vaporstream.
  • John Storozuk is a Senior Security Product Manager for Product Security at BlackBerry.

To kick the event off, Andrew with viaForensics did a live cell phone hack of an iphone where he was able to go into the phone’s pictures, contacts, emails, etc. He essentially downloaded a corrupt RSS feed and gained access to that secure data through it. According to Andrew “Your phone knows you better than your spouse. How well do you know your phone?” Because of this, it becomes all the more necessary to take precautions to guard yourself against an attack.

photo 5One of the attendees asked our panel the pertinent question of how, as a mobile user, you can best secure your data. Our panelists answered “iOS (iPhone) encrypts by default. Always make sure you use a passcode – this is just a basic precaution. For Android, turn the encryption on in the settings. Only about 1-3% of Android users use this feature.”

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According to Richard, there is a general lack of concern about security in some sectors. The devices that we use know us so well and if someone is a hacker, it’s a dream that all of the info that we cherish is kept in one spot that goes with you from place to place. Take a look at security – even with PCs – they have had the same problems forever. Mobile has better platforms for security than PCs ever did.

photo 2Another topic that seems to be a buzzword right now in mobile is the idea of BYOD (bring your own device). According to John, BYOD allows users to choose their own device but in order to implement this in the most secure fashion, the best practice is for the corporation to tell its employees which devices are more “secure” and more easily managed by the IT department. Andrew suggested that companies take BYOD one step further and implement BYOS (bring your own security) which allows companies to turn their employees and customers into the first line of defense. He feels that BYOS is a game changer.

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Amit was able to give his opinion regarding security from a startup perspective. Basically, startups look at the security dilemma as “I need security but I need money.” Most startups aren’t evaluated on security until it’s too late. They have real decisions that have to be made as an app developer, and these decisions need to be made based on a balance between security and functionality. His advice was to be sure to at least protect yourself (your app) against the most basic attacks.

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After the panel discussion wrapped, there was some great Q&A from our attendees and the event ended with additional networking. Thank you to everyone who came out to our mobile event! Please check out what Tech In Motion was up to in August while exploring the ed tech field in Chicago.

As always, a huge thank you to our sponsors Workbridge AssociatesJobspring PartnersChicago SmallBizDev Hackathon and headline sponsors Microsoft and BlackBerry for their generous financial support. Also thank you to Bonfire Wines who was onsite sampling.

The Future of Mobile in Boston

On Tuesday, June 17th, the Boston chapter of Tech in Motion held an exciting tech talk that was all about mobile at the Microsoft NERD Center in Cambridge. The panel included some great mobile representatives from the Boston community, including Yoni Samlan, Head of Mobile at LevelUp, Dan Bricklin, Chief Technology Officer at Alpha Software, Greg Raiz, Founder and CEO of Raizlabs and Manny Elawar, a BlackBerry Developer Evangelist.

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The evening started with some food and networking before the panel convened to to discuss the topic at hand. To kick it off, the moderator Mark Eisenberg faced the panelists with the simple, but fitting question – where does the panel see the future of mobile going?

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The entire panel was in agreement that mobile phones are everywhere and they have become a common part of the average person’s everyday life. To illustrate the impact of mobile tech, Greg prompted the audience to raise their hands if they had a smart phone – and almost everyone had a hand in the air. Greg also mentioned how if you have a great idea, mobile apps make it easier to reach an entire population. Yoni spoke about being excited about wearable technology, predicting that they will seem as normal as a smart phone in the upcoming years.

From there, our moderator dove into other topics. There was the popular question of bringing your own device to work as opposed to having one supplied by the company. Many of the panel agreed that as smartphones advance, people would prefer to work on their own device due to the comfort and convenience of it being their own, personal device.  However, there is also the complication of security when dealing with high profile companies and projects.

Greg pulled from his own personal experience to say that “it’s important that my employers have the devices that they need in order to get their jobs done; [we want] to empower them to have the choice on what device they use”.

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Our panel then went into the discussion of creating mobile apps across various platforms; with the emergence of not only smartphones, but tablets as well. Several developers have to think of ways for the apps that they are creating to be supportive over all kinds of devices. Dan Bricklin spoke highly of using HTML5 to create apps.

“If you try to program an iOS without HTML5, you have to be a really good iOS developer,” Dan said. “It’s really good at a lot of business stuff, so you can build for a lot of different platforms.”

“For every enterprise you run into, you have a different legacy system and you have to put all the pieces together, which is the hardest part,” Manny chimed in. “So when we have a solution that allows developers to bring everything together, that is a great thing.”

Things got a little heated, however, when Greg wanted to mention that HTML5 isn’t the only way to go when creating applications. It is simply up to the reference of the developer.

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At the end of the discussion, Manny reflected again on how he feels mobile is going to be shaped.

“Everything is going to be connected, and there is going to be a new definition of mobile,” Manny commented.

Mobile will be defined differently in the sense that phones will still be the most important part – but new technological advances will change the way that we connect to stationary objects that we use every day. They are what will help redefine mobile. Manny gave an example that he hopes one day when he can get into a car, connect his phone, be able to adjust things like his radio preferences or whether he wants the windows open, all based on the information given from his mobile device.

Following the panel discussion, the speakers took questions from the audience.  Inspired by what had been discussed, the audience came up with some amazing questions that sparked further conversation between the panelists. Once the official panel discussion concluded, a large number of audience members pushed their way to the front of the room to see if they could get one-on-one time with our speakers. This panel definitely left the audience thinking about the future.

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We want to send out a big thank you to all of our speakers for their participation, Mark for moderating, the NERD Center for hosting us, and our monthly sponsors Workbridge Associates and Jobspring Partners as well as Fisku and Blackberry. Please join Tech in Motion: Boston to hear about our upcoming events!