Mr. Bill Carey is a vice president of Marketing and Business Development at Siber Systems (RoboForm) since last 9 years. Siber Systems is a leading enterprise in making software products planned to give a better and secure experience to users. Recently, I got a chance to sit with him, and we discussed on the subjects like future web security, surveillance, security precautions. Mr. Bill Carey talked about many aspects of web security, hacking and user precautions in this discussion; I would like to present few important questions in this article and hoping that it will be useful for our readers.
Sophie with Mr. Bill Carey During the Interview Session:
Q: Can you please share how you started your journey in the web security industry?
A: In 2005, I came across RoboForm for the first time. I tried the product and immediately saw the potential. Everyone struggles with passwords, but it is so important to create secure passwords for each website and change them frequently. It seems like every week there is another story about a data breach, which underscores the importance of password security. So having software that can remember passwords, ensure the use of strong passwords and log users into websites automatically seemed like a huge opportunity. Luckily, the owner happened to be looking for a VP of Marketing at the time, and the rest is history.
Q: Please share your biggest challenge working in the web security industry. How you overcome from it?
A: For RoboForm, the biggest challenge is getting the word out there that password managers exist and are effective and secure. Everyone could benefit from using a password manager. If you are not struggling to remember your passwords, then the passwords you are using are not strong enough. That said there are still very few people who use password managers, compared to the Internet population as a whole. That is either because they do not even know we exist, or they are skeptical about security. My biggest challenge is to get people to realize that there are tools out there that can help with their password struggles and then convince them that we are an easy and secure solution.
Q: What precautions can a common web user take against hacking activities?
A: The two most important precautions are just to use good judgment and a little common sense. Here are some quick tips:
- Do not open email from people you do not know.
- If you do open that email, definitely do not click on any attachments or run any programs.
- Do not respond to email requests to update any personally identifiable information. Most institutions will not send email requests if they need an update. Instead, call the institution to be sure they sent the email.
- Do not log into financial institutions or any other sites where sensitive data is stored from public computers or Internet cafes.
Cyber criminals are always thinking of new ways to compromise personal data, but by following these tips – and using strong passwords that are frequently changed – the casual user can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to an identity thief.
Q: According to you, which are the best methods to protect our passwords and personal information?
A: My number one recommendation for everyone is to use a unique password for every website. As we have seen in the news, sites do get hacked. Moreover, with more users making financial transactions online, hacking activity will continue to grow. Therefore, users need to take personal responsibility with their passwords. This way, if one site is hacked, the hackers will not have access to other sites. Users can simply change their password and move on.
Q: Which practice is most dangerous for users and enterprises: hacking or surveillance?
A: Both are dangerous, and enterprises should take measures to protect their users. The challenge for the enterprise is that users still value convenience over security. So if an enterprise implements too much security, it will become inconvenient for users, and users may take their business elsewhere. Both users and enterprises need to strike a balance between convenience and security.
Q: Do you think that the cyber threat is the biggest concern for the current and next generation?
A: It will certainly continue to be one of our bigger concerns going forward. There are more people online doing more activities than ever before, and now so much information is stored in the cloud. As long as that information is out there, there will be bad people trying to gain access to it.
Q: Do you think governments should have strict policies, regulations, and penalties for hacking and surveillance? Share your views in details.
A: I do not think it would hurt to have stricter policies, regulations, and penalties. I think a more rigorous approach from law enforcement may help thwart some activities from the less organized groups. However, the larger hacking organizations will most likely continue their hacking activities, no matter how strict the policies various countries enact are. Some hackers are driven by greed, others by ideological goals. In both cases, the motivation to continue is very strong.
Cyber security is a subject that needs major support from government, organizations, and users. All these three pillars are necessary for better implementation and regulation of web security.