Cloud Security Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @ThingsExpo, Cloud Security, WebRTC Summit

@ThingsExpo: Article

The ‘Post-Password Era’ with @IdentivIoT | @ThingsExpo [#IoT]

In the Boardroom with...Mr. Jason Hart, CEO of Identiv

Jason Hart was appointed Identiv CEO and Director in September 2013. He is a 25-year veteran of the technology industry with a substantial track record of innovation and success, including more than 20 years leading security companies.

Mr. Hart joined Identiv in 2011 with the acquisition of idOnDemand, a company he co-founded that pioneered the delivery of smart card-based identity solutions via a cloud service. Prior to idOnDemand, he was CEO and a director of ActivIdentity, a publicly traded provider of identity assurance and strong authentication solutions, where he earlier held a variety of sales and marketing senior management positions. Hart joined ActivIdentity (then ActivCard) in 2005 through the acquisition of Protocom Development Systems, Inc., an identity management software security business that he founded and led as CEO.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thank you for joining us today, Jason. Since taking over as CEO approximately one year ago, and congratulations on that appointment, cyber breaches and threats continue to make daily headlines. Before discussing the security landscape and Identiv solutions in greater detail, please tell us about your background.

Jason Hart: Thank you. Yes, I was appointed Identiv CEO and Director in September 2013. I have been in the technology industry for over 25 years, including more than 20 years leading security companies.

I joined Identiv in 2011 with the acquisition of idOnDemand, a company I co-founded that pioneered the delivery of smart card-based identity solutions via a cloud service. Prior to idOnDemand, I was CEO and a director of ActivIdentity, a publicly traded provider of identity assurance and strong authentication solutions, where I earlier held a variety of sales and marketing senior management positions. I joined ActivIdentity (then ActivCard) in 2005 through the acquisition of Protocom Development Systems, Inc., an identity management software security business that I founded and led as CEO.

I am a native of Australia now living in Northern California. Beyond my passion for security, I also work as a volunteer search and rescue helicopter pilot for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Breaches at Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan, UPS, and the recent theft of over one billion passwords by Russian hackers have raised concerns about authentication and cybersecurity as never before. What is your perspective, Jason, regarding these recent cyberattacks and breaches? Are we seeing the prediction of Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, a prediction he made several years ago, coming true regarding the "death-of-the-password"?

Jason Hart: Exploiting weak identity credentials is one of the most common elements of most attacks. Even attacks that seem unrelated to users, such as recent point of sale (POS) attacks at well-known retailers like the ones you have mentioned, can be traced to insecure passwords. Often, the same password is repeated for all organizations managed by the POS vendor, and once it is stolen, it essentially becomes a default password and the attackers can gain knowledge of the customer base.

One of the main challenges with passwords is that the methods used to compromise them are continually evolving, while the core defensive strength and tactics used to secure them remain the same. Best practice policies emphasize using longer passwords to counter the effectiveness of brute force attacks - forcing users to write them down or store them in even less secure places. The other impact of longer and more complex passwords are the increasing costs of the growing number of help desk calls attributed to forgotten passwords. While passwords are always cheap in the beginning, in the long term, the significant risks of a data breach make them an expensive proposition with diminishing returns.

So yes - Bill Gates' prediction about passwords over 10 years ago is absolutely true today. The truth is that passwords are well beyond their use-by date and we are entering the "Post-Password Era" - we cannot continue to accept the continual breaches and corresponding business impact.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: One will read on Identiv.com that, "Our trust solutions allow people to gain access to buildings, networks, information, systems, and services, while ensuring that the physical facilities and digital assets of the organizations they interact with are protected. Our solutions are implemented using standards-driven technology, such as digital certificates, trusted authentication, mobility, and cloud services. The foundation of Identiv's trust solutions is a single universal identity credential that can be used to trust or securely access any resource - premises, information, or even everyday items. Cloud-based Identiv Trust Services (ITS) provide a secure web portal to issue, manage, or revoke credentials, without the complexity and cost of internal deployments." Please give us an overview of the products and Identity as a Service solutions Identiv brings to the table.

Jason Hart: Sure. Identiv's uTrust products enable business executives and security leaders to make the paradigm shift from patchworked identity systems to a unified, simple, efficient identity solution that delivers higher security and resistance to obsolescence, for both premises and information access. Our uTrust products are unique in the marketplace as they are designed, tested, and supported to work together. No matter where a customer starts, Identiv provides the confidence that they can build a complete system in which everything works together.

Identiv's idOnDemand service is a turn-key cloud-based platform that makes establishing a trusted ecosystem across all lines of business, geographic locations, devices, and people simple and convenient. Central to the idOnDemand service is the certification authority that issues PKI certificates - the standard for secure communications through the internet, banks, and high-security cryptographic applications within and outside the U.S. government for the last 20 years. By combining PKI with purpose-built secure hardware such as a smart card, USB token, or other devices, like mobile, the certificate's private key is not only protected in a high state of security, but is also portable across devices and services, enabling pervasive use of strong identity whenever (and wherever) required.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Public and private sector customers are facing unprecedented challenges today... tight budgets and legacy systems on the one hand and unrelenting threats on the other. What is Identiv's value proposition in this environment? Why Identiv?

Jason Hart: As the world transforms itself to consolidate toward a digital infrastructure - connecting applications, devices, and people - it is no longer acceptable to CISOs, CSOs, and information and corporate security professionals to invest in legacy systems that can't provide the resistance to threats and attacks that are reasonably required while enabling them to achieve compliance mandates and protect trade secrets. Even roles outside of traditional IT are affected, as evidenced by the departure of the Target CEO after a security breach that affected 40 million customers in December 2013.

The only rational answer is to move to a universal, standards-based system involving more than a password. Multi-factor authentication significantly strengthens the authentication process because it removes the password and eliminates many pervasive methods attackers commonly and successfully execute.

This is where Identiv's value proposition comes into play. Until recently, if an enterprise wished to implement a multi-factor authentication solution to include a smart card, the only option was to aggregate, install, integrate, and manage the smart card environment in-house.

Identiv offers a service that already has the infrastructure setup and ready to use, audits completed, and lifecycle features built. This helps organizations avoid customizations, a great deal of time, complexity, cost, and resource overhead when issuing and managing identity credentials.

Using Identiv's idOnDemand-managed identity service, organizations can simply and cost effectively grant trusted access for employees, customers and partners to information and assets such as IT systems, remote access, data encryption, secure email, and buildings.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Congratulations also the announcement regarding the launch of the uTrust Technology Partnership Program with Viscount Systems as first member. Care to elaborate?

Jason Hart: Sure. By working with Identiv, OEMs such as Viscount Systems can quickly and cost effectively replace outdated and insecure security systems with trusted, high-security access control solutions, and help customers move to converged access solutions. The foundation of Identiv's trust solutions is a single universal identity credential that can be used to trust or securely access any resource - premises, information, or even everyday items - and is issued from our cloud-based Identiv Trust Services (ITS). Our OEM partners are able to gain the benefits of these systems by embedding them into their own solutions and selling to their respective markets.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: It is truly a validation of Identiv positioning to have won the Security Products 2014 Product of the Year Award for Near Field Communication Devices and the Government Security News Award for Premises Solution at San Diego International Airport. Please tell us more.

Jason Hart: Sure. The Security Products New Product of the Year Award honors the outstanding product development achievements of security equipment manufacturers whose products are considered to be particularly noteworthy in their ability to improve security. Identiv was proudly awarded the New Product of the Year Award for Near Field Communication (NFC) Devices for our Giant NFC tag, which measures 5.1 by 7.1 inches, and delivers consistent detection over the entire surface area by any NFC-enabled device.

As the adoption of NFC-enabled mobile devices continues, solution designers are demanding a broader range of NFC form factors. We are seeing an increasing demand from multiple industries to extend their Internet of Things strategy to include NFC. These solutions offer new sources of information and interactivity for customers and manufacturers to better understand their world, including electronic toys, healthcare, government, and consumer items.

We were also honored to be recognized for providing the high-assurance integrated premises access and security solution for San Diego International Airport's new Terminal 2. Airport security is obviously critical and entry points are a key area of attack. Identiv's premises solution provides high security with strong levels of identity verification to controlled and restricted areas, as evidenced by our extensive government customer list, including airports, federal and state agencies, courthouses, as well as San Diego International Airport.

A distinguished panel of judges selected Identiv's program with SDIA as an example of a partnership that provides invaluable security technology to an airport. Identiv and SDIA have partnered for nearly 16 years, with the Identiv access control system growing with the airport to meet its evolving security needs. The access control system complies with all relevant federal requirements and technology standards and supports pre-hire clearance of airport workers.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What are your key target markets?

Jason Hart: With nearly 100 patents granted and pending, 100,000,000 licenses, and over 5,000 customers worldwide, Identiv is trusted by the U.S. government, global governments, universities and research facilities, telecommunication groups, mobile phone producers, transit and automobile companies, healthcare providers and pharmaceutical companies, museums, airports, gas and oil companies, retail establishments, international banks, technology corporations, and more.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Is our federal government doing enough to protect our critical infrastructure? Is FIPS 201 part of the solution?

Jason Hart: The U.S. government has implemented a standard known as FIPS 201 that mandates strong two-factor authentication for both buildings and information/network access. Users have a single strong credential known as a personal identity verification (PIV) card - essentially, a smart card. These cards contain credentials known as digital certificates, generated from a public key infrastructure (PKI) system - a standard that has existed for over 20 years and is used to secure millions of objects today from computers and networks to passports and mobile devices.

From a security standpoint, PKI completely removes the password on both the endpoint and the back-end, leaving an attacker with no passwords to attack. In fact, PKI and digital certificates are used in every browser to secure the connections - when you see "https:" or a padlock icon to indicate secure.

Every organization should be embracing what the U.S. federal government does to protect their critical infrastructure. The good news is that it's relatively easy to get up-and-running with a pilot, because PKI and digital certificates are standards - nearly all operating systems and cloud/applications software support their use. Identiv helps companies deploy PKI solutions as a turnkey cloud service, so they can get up-and-running even quicker.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Jason, can we discuss the Internet of Things for a moment? The benefits of IoT are clear... in seconds with our mobile devices we can pay a bill, send a gift, make a dinner reservation, check the stock market, and much more, but are we more vulnerable? Are our mobile devices a weak link the bad guys can exploit to get into the network?

Jason Hart: Sure. I have a sneaking suspicion that people have realized the Internet of Things (or as I prefer to call it, the Internet of EVERYTHING) is one of my favorite subjects to discuss. Analysts predict that there will be over 50 billion connected objects by 2020. I believe that number will grow even higher than that.

The good news is that digital technologies exist today that protect the underlying threats of device attack. It will, however, be necessary for the industry to provide trust in the devices at their core with technology, such as digital certificates, and provide solutions that can be certified against published criteria so customers can decide the policy for their device use. Like BYOD, it is inevitable that companies will struggle to actually control the use of many IoT devices in the workplace and therefore, policy and vendor adoption of inherit trust into the devices is required.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: What about Support & Training for Identiv solutions?

Jason Hart: Identiv's Support and Maintenance Programs provide our customers with the services and support they need to keep their software and hardware environment running optimally. Identiv support is available 24/7 and our customers can be confident to get the support their organization needs.

The Identiv Learning Center trains end users and certifies Identiv Channel Alliance Network (ICAN) partners. We offer self-paced online learning, immersive instructor-led courses, private training, and an online technical library.

SecuritySolutionsWatch.com: Thanks again for joining us today, Jason.

Jason Hart: Thank you.

This interview originally appeared in SecuritySolutionsWatch.com. Republished with permission.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, discussed how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team at D...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
Nicolas Fierro is CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions. He is a programmer, technologist, and operations dev who has worked with Ethereum and blockchain since 2014. His knowledge in blockchain dates to when he performed dev ops services to the Ethereum Foundation as one the privileged few developers to work with the original core team in Switzerland.
Whenever a new technology hits the high points of hype, everyone starts talking about it like it will solve all their business problems. Blockchain is one of those technologies. According to Gartner's latest report on the hype cycle of emerging technologies, blockchain has just passed the peak of their hype cycle curve. If you read the news articles about it, one would think it has taken over the technology world. No disruptive technology is without its challenges and potential impediments t...
If a machine can invent, does this mean the end of the patent system as we know it? The patent system, both in the US and Europe, allows companies to protect their inventions and helps foster innovation. However, Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be set to disrupt the patent system as we know it. This talk will examine how AI may change the patent landscape in the years to come. Furthermore, ways in which companies can best protect their AI related inventions will be examined from both a US and...
Bill Schmarzo, Tech Chair of "Big Data | Analytics" of upcoming CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York (November 12-13, 2018, New York City) today announced the outline and schedule of the track. "The track has been designed in experience/degree order," said Schmarzo. "So, that folks who attend the entire track can leave the conference with some of the skills necessary to get their work done when they get back to their offices. It actually ties back to some work that I'm doing at the University of San...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...
Bill Schmarzo, author of "Big Data: Understanding How Data Powers Big Business" and "Big Data MBA: Driving Business Strategies with Data Science," is responsible for setting the strategy and defining the Big Data service offerings and capabilities for EMC Global Services Big Data Practice. As the CTO for the Big Data Practice, he is responsible for working with organizations to help them identify where and how to start their big data journeys. He's written several white papers, is an avid blogge...