High-capacity network bandwidth has become more widely available, and we have quickly tapped into every last inch of its capacity. More devices are built with wi-fi capabilities, the costs of mobile devices are going down and smartphones are in the hands of more people than ever before. In fact, Apple might have already exhausted the market and is seeing drastically lower sales forecasts for the iPhone.
We are moving into an era in which virtually any device will connect to the Internet. Phones, fitness trackers, dishwashers, televisions, espresso machines, home security systems, cars. The list goes on. Analyst firm Gartner estimates that over 20 billion connectable devices will exist worldwide by 2020. Welcome to IoT—the Internet of Things. A giant network of connectable things.
With the advancements of both cloud and mobile technologies, security remains a hot topic for every company. The number of reported instances of security backdoors due to faulty code or hardware continues to stagger. A recent article by Wired has brought forth another one of these unfortunate issues for a big player: Juniper. This technology giant has been providing networking and firewall solutions to companies, corporations, and the government for a number of years.
As a leader in networking technology, the last thing you want to hear is that a tech powerhouse like Juniper has found an application security problem. Two security issues were identified after a code review session outside of the company’s normal evaluation cycle. Security continues to remain a primary concern as more companies, government agencies, and even individuals rely on technology providers to manage data or maintain smooth operations.
As reported in a recent article by InfoWorld, a high profile privacy driven smartphone provider located a security hole capable of exposing their devices to attacks. Blackphone is a specially designed smartphone developed by SGP Technologies, who operates as a subsidiary of Silent Circle. The phone uses VPN for Internet access and runs on a modified Android version titled “SilentOS”. A third-party component Silent Circle used as part of the device design was capable of exposing the secure smartphone to outside attacks.
What Was the Security Issue?
The vulnerability made it possible for an attacker to control the modem functions of the phone. Researchers brought this problem forth when they identified an open socket accessible on the phone during a reverse engineering exercise. Currently, Blackphone is one of the most secure phones on the market because it uses built-in encryption to deliver secure:
IT leaders from throughout the federal government discussed the value of how software measurement can positively impact their development process at CAST’s recent Cyber Risk Measurement Workshop in Arlington, VA – just outside of the Washington, D.C. area. The event brought together more than 40 IT leaders from several governmental agencies, including the Department of Defense and Department of State, system integrators and other related organizations. The group shared their experiences in how their respective organizations are driving value to end users and taxpayers.
Measuring and managing software quality is not just about compliance with government mandates, but rather around the proposition that strong software quality, security and sustainability are paramount. However, compliance remains essential. Three primary points around software compliance voiced by attendees were:
In 2014, the IT infrastructure at the Federal government’s Office of Personnel Management (OPM) was upgraded from a security rating of “material weakness” to one of “significant deficiency,” according to The Wall Street Journal’s CIO Report. Which means that the OPM, even after upgrading to mitigate software risk, wasn’t up to snuff. That is – to put simply – unacceptable. It is also both a dismal and infuriating fact to learn – especially for those who were among the 21 million present and past Federal employees, revealed last week, to have had their Social Security numbers and other personal information stolen in the recent data breach.
The events of last Wednesday proved that things often do come in threes. The “rule of three” reared its ugly head, as technical failures occurred at three large American organizations: the New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines, and The Wall Street Journal. United Airlines grounded all flights nationwide, wasn’t able to conduct background checks of passengers, and left flight attendants handwriting tickets (many of which were not accepted by TSA agents). Then, the NYSE suspended trading for almost four hours, the first time in a decade that trading was halted during regular business hours. The Wall Street Journal’s homepage also faced difficulties and was offline for almost an hour.
When Electronic Health Records were first installed into hospitals and networks, it was seen as a great innovation. However, an important step in their implementation was glazed over: ensuring their security. According to Politico, hacks related to security lapses have cost the healthcare industry around $6 billion a year.