Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

ABTV //

Malware

End of Bibblio RCM includes -->

Ted Schlein Hates Passwords

He hates user names, too, and thinks we should get rid of them. In a keynote address at Networking the Future in Tampa, Fla., he discussed why.

When hundreds of cybersecurity professionals, academics and students get together, they probably want to know what's happening next. Networking the Future, the annual conference of the University of South Florida's Florida Center for Cybersecurity, brought Ted Schlein, managing director of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to the keynote stage to do just that.

Schlein started with the growing difficulty of cybersecurity posed by what he calls "Schlein's Law" -- The security of a network is inversely proportional to the sum of the number of nodes X number of applications X number of paths onto the network. Stated simply, the more complex a system, the less secure it becomes.

In an hour-long speech that covered a wide variety of topics, Schlein repeatedly touched on two themes. The first is that security is inherently an engineering issue -- it's a result of the way systems are designed and built. The second is that questions of identity and authentication are paramount and inextricably linked together.

The problems begin, Schlein said, in a system where engineers build things while operations people deal with what was built. The security problems exist in what was built but engineers aren't held accountable for security -- they're measured on what they ship. Companies must begin to reward engineers for creating high-quality, secure products and hold them accountable when the products aren't secure, he said. It's an issue made more complex by an agile-development world in which new versions of software are shipped daily, if not hourly.

Identity and authentication is a more difficult problem, Schlein said, but in many ways a more important one. The current system of user name and password presents a static target: Credentials tend not to change for the life of a user on a system. (Yes, passwords will change but user names and the additional information used to identify users tend to be constant.) The static target these bits of information represent are an amost irresistable target for criminals, Schlein said.

Protecting user information is also why Schlein isn't a fan of traditional network security; it's too far, he said, from the asset needing protection. He addressed the importance of identifying what needs protection and actually protecting that thing, rather than protecting systems that are one, two or more steps removed from whatever it is that you actually care about.

Finally, when an audience member asked about the technology that might pull all the pieces of the security puzzle together, Schlein said, "If I had to pick one over-arching technology I'd bring you back to security analytics. The ability to gather data from all over the network, process it in real time using a bunch of machine learning and behavioral modeling techniques, that will be end-point," he said. "You can then get rid of a bunch of other things."

Check back at Security Now for an exclusive interview with Ted Schlein.

Related posts:

— Curtis Franklin is the editor of SecurityNow.com. Follow him on Twitter @kg4gwa.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Edge-DRsplash-10-edge-articles
I Smell a RAT! New Cybersecurity Threats for the Crypto Industry
David Trepp, Partner, IT Assurance with accounting and advisory firm BPM LLP,  7/9/2021
News
Attacks on Kaseya Servers Led to Ransomware in Less Than 2 Hours
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/7/2021
Commentary
It's in the Game (but It Shouldn't Be)
Tal Memran, Cybersecurity Expert, CYE,  7/9/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Improving Enterprise Cybersecurity With XDR
Enterprises are looking at eXtended Detection and Response technologies to improve their abilities to detect, and respond to, threats. While endpoint detection and response is not new to enterprise security, organizations have to improve network visibility, expand data collection and expand threat hunting capabilites if they want their XDR deployments to succeed. This issue of Tech Insights also includes: a market overview for XDR from Omdia, questions to ask before deploying XDR, and an XDR primer.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2017-20109
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
A vulnerability classified as problematic was found in Teleopti WFM up to 7.1.0. Affected by this vulnerability is an unknown functionality of the file /TeleoptiWFM/Administration/GetOneTenant of the component Administration. The manipulation leads to information disclosure (Credentials). The attack...
CVE-2017-20110
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
A vulnerability, which was classified as problematic, has been found in Teleopti WFM up to 7.1.0. Affected by this issue is some unknown functionality of the component Administration. The manipulation as part of JSON leads to information disclosure (Credentials). The attack may be launched remotely....
CVE-2017-20111
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
A vulnerability, which was classified as critical, was found in Teleopti WFM 7.1.0. This affects an unknown part of the component Administration. The manipulation leads to improper privilege management. It is possible to initiate the attack remotely. The exploit has been disclosed to the public and ...
CVE-2017-20112
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
A vulnerability has been found in IVPN Client 2.6.6120.33863 and classified as critical. Affected by this vulnerability is an unknown functionality. The manipulation of the argument --up cmd leads to improper privilege management. The attack needs to be approached locally. The exploit has been discl...
CVE-2017-20108
PUBLISHED: 2022-06-29
A vulnerability classified as problematic has been found in Easy Table Plugin 1.6. This affects an unknown part of the file /wordpress/wp-admin/options-general.php. The manipulation with the input "><script>alert(1)</script> leads to basic cross site scripting. It is possible to ...