Episode in brief:
• Computer security + Internet of Things
• Safer outcomes sooner with collaboration
• At high risk of hacking—
• Autos, homes, medical devices
• Planes, trains, dams, power plants
• Join The Cavalry to the rescue
What happens when philosophy meets the hacker culture? Josh Corman, that’s what! He has focused on high-consequence digital risks such as organized crime expanding to cyberspace, nation state espionage, the rise of Anonymous and hactivism and concluded that software (Bluetooth, Wi-Fi) is infecting the world and spreading like a plague.
Mr. Corman explained that digital infrastructure is easy to attack, but very difficult to defend. Realizing this, he and some “elder statesmen” of computer security combined efforts to get as high and deep as they could in the government and corridors of power, to find the “adults in the room” who would work on fixing this. They were alarmed to learn it was pointless to hold on until the cavalry arrived, as they found there were no adults in these rooms! After bemoaning this discovery at DefCon 2013 in Las Vegas, they eventually came to grips with the necessity to BE the cavalry, hence embracing the concept “I Am The Cavalry.”
They urged each of those working in computer security to become an ambassador, translator, and teammate to public policy makers, the general public, and the affected industries, working with an open hand, rather than a pointing finger. Empathy, patience, and willingness to build trust have been more important than technical expertise. Their efforts encompass four domains: medical devices, autos, homes, and public infrastructure. As an example of their outreach accomplishments, see the 5 star safety framework as applied to vehicles: https://www.iamthecavalry.org/domains/automotive/5star/ with recommendations for medical device manufacturing under development. (Josh related one of his partners’ experience discovering that his diabetic insulin pump could be hacked to deliver a lethal dose!)
The unifying message: “Our dependence on connected technology is growing much faster than our ability to secure it.”
It was a huge encouragement to learn of a group of skilled, savvy, and passionate computer security professionals willing to put this front and center in their lives. But you do not have to be a programmer to volunteer as a member of this cavalry! See Get Involved to learn how you can help, even to a very modest degree.
You can catch Joshua’s TedX talk on the subject, Swimming with Sharks: Security in the Internet of Things here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZ6xoAtdF3o
On Twitter, follow the group: @iamthecavalry and Josh: @joshcorman
A big Thank You to Joshua Corman, but also to you, our listener and most important guest, for keeping us company on The Social Network Show. Dr. J looks forward to hearing from you through an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or a Tweet to @socialnetshow2
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We hope you’ll listen again soon, In the meantime, please have fun AND be safe, online and off!
Chief Technical Officer (and Founder of “I am The Cavalry”), Sonatype (and “I am The Cavalry”)
Joshua Corman is the Chief Technology Officer for Sonatype. Previously, he served as a security researcher and strategist at Akamai Technologies, The 451 Group, and IBM Internet Security Systems. A respected innovator, he co-founded Rugged Software and IamTheCavalry, to promote new security approaches in response to the world’s increasing dependence on digital infrastructure. His unique approach to security, in the context of human factors, adversary motivations and social impact, has helped position him as one of the most trusted names in security. He is also an adjunct faculty member for Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz College, IANS Research and a Fellow at the Ponemon Institute. He received his bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, graduating summa cum laude, from the University of New Hampshire.