Future security: big data or Big Brother?

Summary:Security is a "big data" problem, says RSA executive chairman Art Coviello. More data provides more context, making anomalies easier to spot. But isn't that Big Brother?

Security is a "big data" problem, says RSA executive chairman Art Coviello. More data provides more context, making anomalies easier to spot. But isn't that Big Brother?

In his keynote speech to the RSA Conference on information security last month, Coviello said that current security models are failing to keep up with the rapid growth of our online lives.

Privacy laws in some countries are hideously outdated. Politicians around the world are partisan and slow to move. He wants the media's help to send the right messages. Information security is a serious issue and it needs to be addressed by politicians and corporation boards alike.

But is that the media's role?

Coviello was in Sydney last week to brief a handful of Australian journalists about his world view, and in this week's Patch Monday podcast you'll hear the highlights of that lunchtime conversation.

As well as discussing the boundaries between reasonable data analysis and unreasonable surveillance, he gives the media a serve for failing to report the good news following RSA's security breach last year, when the loss of information on their SecurID log-in tokens was later used in an attack on defence contractor Lockheed Martin.

"No one's covered the fact that there hasn't been a single breach that resulted in a loss, not a single one. OK? I'd like you to cover that now," said Coviello.

"There was only one publicly disclosed breach [where] it was even suggested that information stolen from us was used, and that attack was defeated."

Coviello also lashed out at the media for quoting bloggers as authoritative sources and "every Tom, Dick and start-up security company that wants to get their name in the paper".

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian or phone (02) 8011 3733.

Running time: 40 minutes, 50 seconds

Btn402 sound by junggle via Freesound.org, CC3.0

Topics: Security

About

Stilgherrian is a freelance journalist, commentator and podcaster interested in big-picture internet issues, especially security, cybercrime and hoovering up bulldust. He studied computing science and linguistics before a wide-ranging media career and a stint at running an IT business. He can write iptables firewall rules, set a rabbit tr... Full Bio

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