South by South Security: Blockchain, IoT, cyber legislation and more

Posted on by RSAC Editorial Team

Q1 can be an interesting time for many members of our community. Kicking off a new year typically means starting new budgets, new campaigns for various products/services and visiting tradeshows across the globe to meet with prospective customers. We appreciate the time our community spends in our halls, knowing many of them also have events like HiMSS, Mobile World Congress and SXSW on their annual itinerary. We pride ourselves on being the place where the world talks security and knowing that the conversations started at our events spill into other venues throughout the year. 

(Source: SXSW)

Austin’s SXSW may be primarily known for its content focused on music, film and consumer technology, but with the explosion of IoT, cybersecurity has become a larger portion of its Interactive session track. A member of our editorial team was onsite and noticed roughly 40 sessions dedicated to familiar topics such as blockchain, updates on cybersecurity legislation, data privacy and threats specific to connected devices/homes. What he loved hearing from speakers was the consistent drumbeat of affirmations such as “If you attended RSA Conference you may have heard…” or “For those that went to RSA Conference you already know this…”  

Many of the questions from attendees to security industry speakers at SXSW were high-level, as you might expect at an event that covers a broad spectrum of technologies. Attendees were eager to learn the basics of blockchain, the breakdown of IoT “threats vs. hypes” of specific devices and many were curious about the amount of access government truly had on individuals’ social accounts and mobile devices.
Of course, to many of you, these questions are similar to those you hear from members of your company who are not tied as closely to security as you are. For that reason, we pulled together a short list of video presentations from RSA Conference 2017 that may be educational for those looking to ramp up on these topics. 
  • Hacking Blockchain: Speaker Konstantinos Karagiannis, Chief Technology Officer, Security Consulting, BT Americas

Overview: Bitcoin has exploded in popularity and skyrocketed in value. Proponents of blockchain, the technology that makes cryptocurrency possible, now want to apply it to a wide range of other applications like identity management, verifiable records and digital assets such as stocks. Is the industry building new systems on a cryptographically weak foundation? What threats does blockchain face? 

  • The Blockchain Identity Crisis: Speaker Uri Rivner, Head of Cyber Strategy, BioCatch

Overview: Blockchain is an ingenious mechanism with immense potential in payments, logistics and trade. But stripped off its Bitcoin mining context, a Blockchain is wide open to fraud and identity theft. How can a system built on trust work when you don’t trust anyone? Hear all about distributed ledgers, why they are totally exposed and what defense doctrine might resolve the Blockchain identity crisis. 

  • IoT End of Days: Speaker Charles Henderson, Global Head of X-Force Red, IBM Corporation

Overview: In the mad rush to sling electronics into the hands of consumers, developers and manufacturers are making it easier than ever to get enrolled into their IoT ecosystems. The time from sale to access is shorter than ever. The question is: Where do we go from there? This talk will analyze responsibly disclosed vulnerabilities in the next steps of identity management and access control in IoT. 

  • Regulating the Internet of Things: Speaker Bruce Schneier, CTO IBM Resilient and Special Advisor to IBM Security, IBM Resilient

Overview: Computers and the Internet now affect the world in a direct physical manner. This transforms our industry from one that was largely benign to one that can cause great harm. Uniformly, harmful things are regulated, and the Internet will be no exception. Licenses, certifications, approvals and liabilities are all coming. We need to think about smart regulations now, before a disaster, or stupid regulations will be foisted on us. 

  • The Future of Privacy: Speaker J. Trevor Hughes, President and CEO, International Association of Privacy Professionals

Overview: This session will explore the changing privacy policy landscape and what is next for technology and privacy. Understanding how one affects the other is of critical importance to ensure the industry stays compliant while still allowing innovation. 

Remember, as you attend our events around the globe (or others), if a security idea sparks or a conversation turns into something you’d like to present – please submit to RSA Conference. We would love to have you on our stage or post your thoughts here on the blog!

RSAC Editorial Team

Editorial, RSA Conference

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