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Security Highlights from Defcon 26
Defcon 26, a high-profile hacking conference that recently took place in Las Vegas, offered a multitude of predictions and implications regarding changes and trends in the field of cyber security. Although Defcon is an event that is mainly attended by ethical hackers who are aiming to learn how to better protect the systems they are responsible for, everyone can gain knowledge from the experts who spoke and the activities and contests that took place at Defcon 26. With cyber threats becoming increasingly prevalent and dangerous, cyber security is an issue that affects all individuals and organizations. According to CSO, cyber crime damage costs are expected to hit $6 trillion annually by 2021 (CSO Online). Email is an extremely popular attack vector used by cyber criminals, so effectively securing email accounts is becoming increasingly important. Here are two highlights from Defcon 26 and a summary of what they suggest in the context of today’s cyber threat landscape:
1. NSA Brings Nation-State Details to Defcon: “Spot the Fed” has been a longstanding tradition at Defcon, but the task was extremely easy this year. Rob Joyce, senior advisor for cybersecurity strategy at the NSA, discussed the latest details on nation-state hacking and defense. He suggested that there are four actors that are most concerning in regard to nation-state hacking: Russia, China, Iran and North Korea. In terms of defense strategies, Joyce emphasized that the transparency provided by public hacking is critical in finding and fixing flaws that nation-state hackers could exploit. He also referred to cybersecurity as a “team sport”, suggesting that the government and private enterprises should share information on vulnerabilities and attacks. Finally, Joyce reminded the audience that basic security measures, such as software patching and multifactor authentication, should not be overlooked. (DarkReading)
2. Tesla Plans to Open-source Security Software: Following Defcon 26, CEO of Tesla Elon Musk announced that Tesla is planning to open-source its security software to other automakers for free. Musk feels that doing this will decrease the risk of cyber criminals hacking self-driving vehicles. Tesla has a good relationship with security researchers and whitehat hackers, whose work has led to the rapid fixing of various vulnerabilities in the past. Open-sourcing security software will likely encourage more security researchers to search for and identify vulnerabilities, making Tesla cars even more secure. (Electric)
These are just two of many security-related highlights of Defcon 26. The schedule was packed with speeches from experts in the field of security, hacking-related activities and contests and Q & A sessions. As expected, Defcon 26 proved to be a hub for innovation in the field cyber security and advancement in the practice of ethical hacking. With the evolution of cyber crime and email-related threats, it is crucial that businesses and individuals stay informed and implement the latest and most advanced defenses and protection strategies.