Staying secure in the connected world

Staying secure in the connected world

The idea that the smartphone will become the remote control for modern living is not a new one. It’s expected that millions will soon be using their phone to pay for groceries and adjust the heating. At first, the idea that your central heating system could be hacked if it was connected seems amusing, but it becomes a whole lot less funny when you consider that it could provide a route to your bank details.

‘As we’ve seen the consumer going towards the connected world of IOT (Internet of Things) and wearables, new challenges in relation to security have arisen’ said AVG Technologies CTO Yuval Ben-Itzhak. ‘What we do goes beyond security – it’s about safety and control.’

AVG Technologies started as a computer anti-virus software business, but after seeing the opportunities in the smartphone market, began developing products specifically for mobile. Now the company believes that the Internet of Things and wearables markets present the next step. The existing level of complexity and diversity of operating systems means that approaching the security aspects of the world of IOT and wearables can often be a daunting task.

The US firm is hoping that it can provide the platform on which these different complexities can be securely understood through their products. AVG’s Zen software is designed to manage the protection of multiple connected devices through one portal. Ben-Itzhak continues: ‘We introduced AVG Zen focusing on the device itself, it acts as protection performance. The new version has more functionality and allows the user to assess the whole family’s devices. It also has information on the home. It’s about making use of the different devices too, the wearable can be used to get the user’s attention and then the action taken on the phone itself. We are trying to take all the complexity, tie it up, and put it together for the consumer.’

One area that has developed rapidly in the last few years has been cloud computing. Despite frequent reassurances that the technology was safe, a number of security issues have made some businesses question whether they need to assess just how secure these systems are.

Ben-Itzhak believes that many individuals and businesses have also been far too quick to place their trust in cloud-based services: ‘As businesses moved to the cloud they took the control away from their day-to-day operations. The big problem is that you shift the trust and there is a blind trust, an illusion of trust. You are handing over control to an outside party. These day’s malware can get into an office system through the cloud from a device.’


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