2013 SXSWi Security Trends in Technology

South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies. The event, which takes place every March, features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology, scores of exciting networking events hosted by industry leaders, and an unbeatable lineup of special programs showcasing the best new websites, video games and startup ideas the community has to offer.

At the SXSWi conference this year, mobile was a big deal—which meant mobile applications and their security are high on developers’ radars.

Mobile Security

Access Point states, “Developers need to make sure they cover one other major concern when creating a mobile app: security. Consumers need to feel and know that their information is secure at all times, and developers need to lead the charge before they ask for additional measures. Creating simple but effective security checkpoints is a must—just make sure they are not so obtrusive that your users get annoyed and are resistant to adopting your application.”

Another point of interest at this year’s SXSWi was authentication. With all the data breaches over the last decade, the conversation to eliminate the username/password as a simple access point has begun. One painfully overlooked authenticator is the driver’s license. Gemalto presented a compelling program on why the simple plastic license needs a makeover.

Driver’s Licenses

Technology impacts our lives daily, but one item is not advancing—your driver’s license. A simple card made of plastic with a few bar codes, a magnetic stripe and a photo is all it is. By finding or even simply viewing one, someone can immediately access your personal information to use for fraudulent purposes. Stealing someone’s identity is way too easy. Most industries have already gone digital; now it’s time to tackle the DMV.

A new method of identification is needed: an electronic driver’s license (eDL). One simple chip (or smart card) could revolutionize decades of using the same technology—paper and plastic. EDLs stand to increase security and offer more privacy. The adoption of eDLs also lays the groundwork for a truly mobile wallet solution.

Robert Siciliano, is a personal security expert contributor to Just Ask Gemalto and author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Mobile was Hacked! . Disclosures

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