2012 infosec review: Focus on crime, not cyberwar

Cyberwar is overhyped. The clear and present danger is the increase in criminal activity. And while mobile devices are vulnerable, they may also represent our chance to get information security right.

This week's Patch Monday podcast reviews the year in information security and, just like last year's episode , our panel hoses down the hype.

There's certainly an increasing militarisation of information security, with terms like "defensive cyber operations" replacing "information assurance." And there's certainly more action, both offensive and defensive, from nation states. But the most immediate cause for concern is the increase in organised criminal activity that's happening right now.

The panel also reflects on some long-term information security issues. Mobile devices, with their more controlled hardware and software environments, could be easier to secure than the once wide-open personal computer platforms.

Supporting that idea is the emergence of near field communication (NFC) protocols and the fact that people already see their mobile devices as more personal, reporting the loss of their smartphone much faster than the loss of their wallet.

The panellists are:

  • Paul Ducklin; Sophos' head of technology for Asia Pacific

  • Chris Gatford; director of penetration testing firm HackLabs

  • Jon Callas; chief technology officer at Entrust, and now also of secure messaging provider Silent Circle

  • Stephen Wilson; managing director of Lockstep Group, which provides advice and analysis on digital identity and privacy technologies.

Other topics discussed include security in the cloud, "big data" approaches to information security, the demise of traditional anti-virus, and the state of hacktivists such as Anonymous and LulzSec following high-profile arrests earlier this year

Patch Monday reviewed the year's non-information security issues in last week's episode .

To leave an audio comment on the program, Skype to stilgherrian, or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.

Running time 49 minutes, 25 seconds