In this week’s episode, #150: Microsoft cloud evangelist Tanya Janca joins us to talk about securing Azure and the challenges of pushing security left. Also: we continue our series on life after passwords as we speak with Nick Buchanan, CTO of Armor Scientific joins us to talk about the imminent demise of the password and what might replace it.
Microsoft dominated the 1980s, 90s and 2000s as the pre-eminent supplier of desktop and server operating systems and the maker of the most popular office productivity suite, web browser, email client – you name it.
But in 2019, the days of the desktop computer are numbered and Microsoft’s future – like that of every other technology company – is intimately linked to the cloud – specifically: Azure, Microsoft’s massive cloud platform.
Secure and Azure
But how do you get a population of tens of millions of developers who are used to Windows and Windows applications to start developing for the cloud? That’s part of the job of our first guest: Tanya Janca, a senior cloud advocate at Microsoft.
Where Microsoft grew in the 1980s and 90s by putting Windows, Office and Internet Explorer on every desktop and laptop PC (thus pushing out smaller rivals), Microsoft can’t hope to dominate the new era of cloud computing so completely, especially since its chief rival, Amazon, largely invented the space.
That requires a different take and a different touch, says Janca, who writes and Tweets) with the handle @shehackspurple. Among other things, it means playing nice with other “not developed here” clouds and technologies and making sure that the sheer complexity of multi cloud environments doesn’t cause customers are accidentally leaving data and assets exposed.
In our first segment this week, Tanya and I talk about her work as an Azure evangelist and how to promote security in the age of cloud and DEVOPS.
Life after the Password with Armor Scientific
Up Next: as much as people complain about the weak security offered by alphanumeric passwords, they’re still plenty popular. Possibly that’s because so many otherwise unsophisticated technology users are familiar with them – and because they’re easy.
After all, the last 10 years has brought an explosion of password alternatives into common use: fingerprint biometrics, face biometrics, hard second factors, soft second factors and so on.
Each new layer of authentication in theory adds to the security of your system: raising the bar for attackers. But it also adds work and complexity for your users. That, in turn, can hamper productivity or – even worse – drive users to look for shortcuts.
In our second segment, we continue our Life After Passwords series by speaking with Nick Buchanan, CTO of Armor Scientific, which emerged from stealth mode in March with a product called “Air Armor,” a wearable digital identity token that includes fingerprint biometrics and ultra-low-power GPS tracking. In this conversation, Nick and I talk about the challenge of balancing strong authentication with user experience and about the imminent demise of the alphanumeric password.
As always, you can check our full conversation in our latest Security Ledger podcast at Blubrry. You can also listen to it on iTunes and check us out on SoundCloud, Stitcher, Radio Public and more. Also: if you enjoy this podcast, consider signing up to receive it in your email. Just point your web browser to securityledger.com/subscribe to get notified whenever a new podcast is posted.