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ValidSoft CEO Talks Privacy Technology

WASHINGTON, August 3, 2011 – U.S. customers may soon begin seeing data security technology involving ATMs and cell phones that would work without tracking people thanks to the efforts of a European security software company.

Patrick Carroll, CEO of ValidSoft Limited, discussed the company’s real-time fraud detection software VALid-POS last week. The program is already in the works to be deployed through a deal with Visa Europe. Carroll believes his firm’s technology answers current privacy issues lawmakers and industry professionals have been trying to tackle for several years.

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WASHINGTON, August 3, 2011 – U.S. customers may soon begin seeing data security technology involving ATMs and cell phones that would work without tracking people thanks to the efforts of a European security software company.

Patrick Carroll, CEO of ValidSoft Limited, discussed the company’s real-time fraud detection software VALid-POS last week. The program is already in the works to be deployed through a deal with Visa Europe. Carroll believes his firm’s technology answers current privacy issues lawmakers and industry professionals have been trying to tackle for several years.

“If you track people, you’re breaking every privacy rule in the book,” said Carroll.

“[Our fraud prevention technology] is based on an explicit opt-out model so that banks can start to work on detecting and preventing fraud from day one when the technology is rolled out,” said Carroll.

Founded in 2003, the company received the European Privacy Seal in 2008. The Seal is a certification of meeting the most stringent privacy laws in the European Union by European Union Commission-backed company, EuroPrise.

“We’re the only security company in the world to have a European Privacy Seal,” said Carroll.

“There are 27 states in the EU. The state that oversees EuroPrise is Germany. Germany has the most stringent data privacy rules in the world, bar none. If we can comply with Germany, we comply ipso-facto with all of the rest of Europe. But we actually have achieved compliance with each state individually as well,” said Carroll.

When a person accesses her ATM account, VALid-POS technology correlates that person’s identity through probability and proximity of a person’s cell phone to that bank’s branch office. It is not, however, a tracking technology, which has made all the difference, according to Carroll.

“To get a European Privacy Seal we’ve had to be able to demonstrate without any ambiguity that we are a totally anonymous system,” said Carroll. “

“We have, in many cases, no idea where the transaction is taking place except through our correlation technology. We can prove demonstrably that we completely protect the privacy of the individual,” said Carroll.

Amid a summer of competing cyber security legislation taking shape on Capitol Hill, geo-location data privacy legislation also made an appearance. The Location Privacy Protection Act of 2011 introduced in June by Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) could require that any company obtaining a customer’s location data from his or her smart phone must first obtain consent.

ValidSoft worked with legal experts around the world to arrive at conclusive legal opinions regarding ValidSoft’s software compliance with privacy laws in the respective countries around the world. As for compliance in the U.S., ValidSoft’s current legal opinion is that the technology is fully compliant with U.S. privacy laws.

“Privacy is a big issue, it’s not going to go away, it’s going to become more stringent,” said Carroll.

“We’re calling on the industry – the network side, governments and organizations – should look for a condition precedent in the existence of a formal certification before privacy related information can be related to any third parties. That is the only way you can prove that you are not abusing the privacy of an individual.”

Josh Peterson is a DC-based journalist with a professional writing portfolio that includes work on US foreign policy and international affairs, telecom policy and cyber security, religion, arts, and music. He is currently a journalism intern at The National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C. and a former tech and social media intern at The Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies & Citizenship. Peterson received his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy and religion with a minor concentration in music from Hillsdale College in 2008. When he is not writing, Peterson lives a double life as a web designer, social media strategist, photographer, musician and mixed martial artist.

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Cybersecurity

CES 2023: Consumers Need to Understand Personal Cybersecurity, Says White House Cyber Official

Consumers must better understand how to weigh risks and protect themselves in the digital world, said Camille Stewart Gloster.

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Photo of John Mitchell, Tobin Richardson, Amit Elazari, and Camille Stewart Gloster (left to right)

LAS VEGAS, January 7, 2023 – In addition to building a more robust cybersecurity workforce, policymakers should consider consumer education, said Camille Stewart Gloster, deputy national cyber director for technology and ecosystem for the White House, speaking Saturday at the Consumer Electronics Show.

CES 2023 has featured numerous discussions of cybersecurity in sectors ranging from transportation to Internet of Things home devices. On Thursday, an official from the Department of Homeland Security argued that manufactures should design and pre-configure devices to be secure, thus reducing the security burden on consumers.

For their own protection, consumers must better understand how to weigh risks and protect themselves in the digital world, Stewart Gloster said Saturday. “The sooner that people understand that their physical security and digital security are inextricably linked the better,” she argued. According to the panel’s moderator, Consumer Technology Association senior manager for government affairs John Mitchell, 82 percent of data breaches in 2021 involved “the human element, stolen credentials, phishing, misuse.”

Stewart Gloster’s team is working on a national cyber-workforce and education strategy, she said, which will address the federal cyber workforce, the national cyber workforce, cyber education, and “digital safety awareness.”

Stewart Gloster said workforce initiatives should promote the participation of “people of a diverse set of backgrounds who are highly skilled and multidisciplinary who can take a look at the problem space, who can apply their lived experiences, apply the things they’ve observed, apply their academic backgrounds to a challenging and ever evolving landscape.”

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Cybersecurity

CES 2023: Cybersecurity for IoT Devices Should be Market-Driven

NIST’s cybersecurity guidelines for IoT prescribe desired outcomes, rather than specific and ‘brittle’ standards.

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Michael Bergman (left) and Katerina Megas

LAS VEGAS, January 6, 2023 – Cybersecurity protocols for Internet of Things devices should be industry-driven, Katerina Megas, program manager of the Cybersecurity for Internet of Things Program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, said Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show 2023.

The popularization of IoT devices gives cyber-criminals increasing opportunities to breach networks, many say. Network-connected household devices – e.g., lightbulbs and home security devices – can be entry-points if security protocols are lacking. On CES panel on Thursday, a cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security argued that manufacturers should design and preset devices to be safe, shifting much of the burden from the consumer.

“For a long-term, sustainable solution, the best approach really is for demand to be market driven,” she said, adding that NIST is “happy” to support the market when called on. To preserve flexibility, NIST’s cybersecurity guidelines for IoT manufacturers in general prescribed desired outcomes, rather than specific and “brittle” standards, Megas said.

“How you achieve those [outcomes] will vary depending on the maturity of your organization, the architecture of your product, perhaps preferences that you might have for you own internal processes,” she explained.

Megas said manufacturers, who well know their devices’ technical capabilities, often lack an understanding of how consumers actually use their devices. Megas said she has examined how to “help a manufacturer who has no insights into the final contextual use of this product, how can we help them…understand, ‘Here are the risks associated with my device.’”

At an American Enterprise Institute panel held in November, Megas endorsed an “ecosystem approach” to cybersecurity, arguing that network security is also indispensable.

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Cybersecurity

CES 2023: Railroad Industry Needs Cybersecurity Update

Shawn Smith advocated heavily tailored, industry-specific approaches that can address to the unique needs of the rail industry.

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Photo of Shawn Smith, vice president of business development of Cylus

LAS VEGAS, January 5, 2023 – To keep pace with today’s technological innovations and cyberthreats, the railway industry must retool its cybersecurity defenses, said Shawn Smith, vice president of business development of rail cybersecurity company Cylus.

The railway industry is working to patch old vulnerabilities as well as the new ones that have been create by developing technologies, Smith told Broadband Breakfast at the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday. The need for enhanced cybersecurity has been a recurring theme at the conference, as have the implications of the ever increasing number of devices and technologies now relying on connectivity.

“We’re really fast-tracking an operator’s ability to keep pace with the change in the digital environment that they’re operating in (and) the interconnectivity that they’re seeing,” Smith said, adding that his team works to provide “visibility, threat detection, and response capability to keep pace with the change in their organizations.”

Smith said that many of the large rail players have developed responses for some cybersecurity risks, but lack the automation and planning tools necessary to maximize their effectiveness. He advocated heavily tailored, industry-specific approaches that can address to the unique needs of the industry.

Governments and industry players worldwide have of late been on high alert for cyberthreats, particularly since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Railways, like other infrastructure, are potential targets for nefarious actors, Smith said.

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