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SIGNAL Executive Video: Cyber Threats and Software Solutions

While hackers and other adversarial forces look to steal important information, intelligence agencies and communication companies are developing ways to pass along critical information safely and securely.  

Some hackers still can heist companies’ classified notes, but the technology in the cryptographic industry has improved drastically. 

Gregory Rudy, general manager, U.S. Cyber Business at Ultra, joined the SIGNAL Media Executive Video Series to talk about the technological advancements in the cybersecurity industry, and he explained the three main threats that the government and companies face.  

“It really comes down to defending against sniffing, spoofing and code injection,” Rudy said. “Sniffing is looking and seeing what data is going in and out of that product either through a network interface or some other system and trying to get some information as a result of what is coming in and out. Spoofing is pretending like I am a valid user and then being able to control a particular box to do some functionality that it is not authorized to do.”  

Rudy goes on to explain how those two threats can lead to the third threat, one that can leave someone completely vulnerable. "Code injection is kind of that third level where you are finding that hole in the software, maybe it is a zero-day attack, and being able to inject code that opens up all these back doors that completely gets around any of the encryption or authentication designs that you put in there to get you full access.” 

 

 

 

 

 

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U.S. soldiers with 2nd Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve, and members of the NATO Mission Iraq-German contingent, conducting the Schützenschnur, at Sully Memorial Range, Baghdad, Iraq. CJTF-OIR is the military component of a Global Coalition of 77 nations and five international organizations, who remain committed to the enduring defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Army Video by Sgt. Julio Hernandez)

To alleviate worries about these threats, there are multiple software options available that anyone can use, most notably open source and proprietary.  

Both software options have benefits and drawbacks; however, open source has one benefit more important than any other for most users.  

“The obvious answer is price,” Rudy said. “Open source certainly has a price advantage and a lot of support when it comes to different platforms. If you are an application developer, and you do not really need to know a lot about security and you are just trying to get the product out, then an open source platform is a viable option depending on what threats you are designing to or what environment that product is being put in to.”  

The future of encryption and embedding software looks promising as technology evolves, Rudy said during the interview hosted by SIGNAL Media’s Director of Digital News Media Kimberly Underwood. As better technology is invented and accessible, people can feel less vulnerable to the dangers of the outside world and feel more secure while online and launching their platforms. Rudy thinks there is reason to have a positive outlook on the future of cryptography.  

"I am very optimistic,” Rudy said. “What we are seeing though, is the number of devices that are out there has grown substantially, and I think that we are starting to respond, and we are getting knowledge out there. It used to be just ‘change the default password of your backdoor login’ to now really putting some design in the crypto modules and the certifications and making sure that keys are protected in the supply chains. That is probably [all] within the past 10 years.”

 

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Gregory Rudy, General Manager of U.S. Cyber Business, Ultra
It really comes down to defending against sniffing, spoofing and code injection.
Gregory Rudy
General Manager, U.S. Cyber Business at Ultra