News
4/15/2008
08:53 PM
Terry Sweeney
Terry Sweeney
Commentary
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Data in Motion, And At Rest

As an IT professional, which one worries you more? And what do you do about a technology like RFID that splits the difference between those two conditions -- stationary, yet traveling across the airwaves, and god knows where else?

As an IT professional, which one worries you more? And what do you do about a technology like RFID that splits the difference between those two conditions -- stationary, yet traveling across the airwaves, and god knows where else?Earlier this week, I wrote a short piece about American Apparel's adoption of radio frequency identification, from its manufacturing plants to its cash registers.

I can't think of another emerging technology that provokes readers like this one -- digital rights management, maybe, or the iPhone. But after tracking RFID for a couple years as both a reporter and an editor, the "Big Brother" and personal privacy issues inevitably rear their heads.

In fairness, I didn't help the debate along much by suggesting in the first paragraph of my story that American Apparel was embedding RFID tags directly in its clothing. It's not.

One alert reader correctly took me to task for this misstatement. "Retailers either use a paper hangtag or a reusable 'hard' tag (typically encased in plastic). The vast majority, including Marks & Spencer (which is tagging over 100 million garments per year), use paper hangtags. American Apparel is similarly using a paper hangtag," he wrote in an e-mail.

The reader and his colleagues are all too aware of how this issue inflames privacy advocates. "I take the issue of consumer privacy seriously. So too do my retail clients. Together we work hard to ensure that consumers receive the opportunity to evaluate RFID solely on its merits," he said. "I trust you'll appreciate why it was important that I draw these facts to your attention."

Indeed I do. But I wonder where this leaves data center professionals, who oversee daily terabyte volumes of personal information, whether it's stored in an archive or getting pushed around between departmental servers. I don't discount the privacy issues of RFID; I just think of TJX exposing the credit card numbers of 94 million customers. There's practically no outrage there, maybe because it's more impersonal -- a big corporation, strings of numbers. With RFID, you're in my home or on my person. Yet which of these vulnerabilities is the more probable, and the more potentially damaging?

Maybe it's a micro-macro issue, a question of data volume. Either way, we're a long way from resolving the many issues that RFID raises.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
10 Recommendations for Outsourcing Security
Enterprises today have a wide range of third-party options to help improve their defenses, including MSSPs, auditing and penetration testing, and DDoS protection. But are there situations in which a service provider might actually increase risk?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2013-3304
Published: 2014-10-30
Directory traversal vulnerability in Dell EqualLogic PS4000 with firmware 6.0 allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via a .. (dot dot) in the default URI.

CVE-2013-7409
Published: 2014-10-30
Buffer overflow in ALLPlayer 5.6.2 through 5.8.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (crash) and possibly execute arbitrary code via a long string in a .m3u (playlist) file.

CVE-2014-3446
Published: 2014-10-30
SQL injection vulnerability in wcm/system/pages/admin/getnode.aspx in BSS Continuity CMS 4.2.22640.0 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the nodeid parameter.

CVE-2014-3584
Published: 2014-10-30
The SamlHeaderInHandler in Apache CXF before 2.6.11, 2.7.x before 2.7.8, and 3.0.x before 3.0.1 allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (infinite loop) via a crafted SAML token in the authorization header of a request to a JAX-RS service.

CVE-2014-3623
Published: 2014-10-30
Apache WSS4J before 1.6.17 and 2.x before 2.0.2, as used in Apache CXF 2.7.x before 2.7.13 and 3.0.x before 3.0.2, when using TransportBinding, does properly enforce the SAML SubjectConfirmation method security semantics, which allows remote attackers to conduct spoofing attacks via unspecified vect...

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.