Cyber Security Industry Alliance Newsletter • Volume 1, Number 10 • June 2005

Executive Director’s Message

The Paradox of Emerging Technologies

Emerging technologies create an interesting paradox. More than likely, they are an improvement upon existing technologies, making our lives easier, faster and more convenient. However, the advanced nature of new technologies makes it increasingly challenging to secure them, and we are unable to protect the same information that we wish to transmit quickly and efficiently.

This musing set the tone at the VoIP conference CSIA held early in June, where experts in the field gathered to discuss the numerous cyber security issues affecting VoIP, an emerging technology that is rapidly changing the way we make telephone calls. Since VoIP operations depend upon the Internet, the vulnerabilities the Internet faces also threaten the viability of VoIP technology.

But how do we resolve this paradox? Is the private sector solely responsible for security? What is the role of Government in ensuring appropriate security measures are being applied in the fast-paced, high-tech world? Will market forces drive a “shift to the secure,” or will we look to a larger entity, namely the Federal Government, to set and enforce a higher standard of security? The answer may be both.

It is becoming more important than ever to have cyber security measures built in during the development stages of new technologies, not only to reduce vulnerabilities, but also to reinforce consumer confidence in the Internet and in Internet-based technologies. Increased Federal funding for R&D, continued public-private partnerships, and information-sharing are only a few steps that will lead to innovation that builds in security from the ground up.

This month’s newsletter looks at these issues and examines the elements of the technology paradox.

First, we present to you results from a survey of likely voters on the topic of Internet policy. The results reinforce the need for built-in security measures and increased protection of Internet-based technologies. The survey indicated that voters are becoming increasingly insecure about using the Internet, and the fear of identity theft, for example, is keeping consumers from doing business online.

We also return to VoIP this month, recapping the CSIA June conference and the main discussion points from the two-day event, including the vulnerabilities of and potential solutions for securing VoIP, and the roles of industry, government and academia in this undertaking.

Also in this issue, CSIA member company iPass discusses the benefits of telework. Of paramount importance to the success of telework, iPass identifies IT policy measures that can be instituted to secure against vulnerabilities, allowing telework to flourish.

A holistic approach to cyber security is necessary, and coordination among consumer groups, private industry, government, and Congress will aid in this effort. New technologies developed with security as a baseline component, rather than as an afterthought, will reduce vulnerabilities and encourage consumer confidence. Including security protections in the development stages and providing solutions to existing and potential vulnerabilities will continue to make our lives easier, faster and more convenient.