Our annual cybersecurity conference at WGBH in Boston was a big hit last week. In times like these, security is on everyone’s mind—and it has become a critical issue in business and society.
A few takeaways from the event (but you really had to be there):
1. Expect a lot more phishing-type attacks after the Equifax breach. That’s because all that personal information is out there waiting to be used against us. Meanwhile, tech companies are trying to improve our defenses, using automation and machine learning.
2. Hacking critical infrastructure could take down a society. Look at the aftermath of Hurricane Maria and Puerto Rico to get a sense of what losing power and communications can do to a population.
3. Beware not only North Korea, China, Iran, and Russia, but also rogue attackers. Cyber defenders in government and companies certainly have their hands full. Attribution is very tricky, and now almost any kind of attack can come from anywhere.
4. The move to cloud computing and storage has changed the security game on a large scale. Big tech companies (Amazon, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook) need to show some serious leadership when it comes to data protection, privacy, and the spread of misinformation.
5. A boom and bust cycle is expected for blockchain and cryptocurrencies—but after that everything changes. That’s because new platforms are being built that could transform all manner of digital transactions, authentication, and data management. And these technologies are moving fast—don’t assume Bitcoin tech will stay the same.
Huge thanks to our co-host WGBH for the great venue and facilities. And to our platinum sponsors, CA Technologies/Veracode, Fish & Richardson, and Sophos; and to our gold sponsor, Fairfax County Economic Development Authority; and to our reception sponsor, Chen PR. We couldn’t do this without you.
Special thanks to Keith Patankar for the photos above. Enjoy, and see you next time.
Xconomy senior editor Jeff Engel contributed to this report.
Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and Editor of Xconomy Boston. E-mail him at gthuang [at] xconomy.com.