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October 27, 2014

Is The Death Of The Type-In Password Near?

Posted by Jagdish Vasishtha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:57 AM



What does Twitter's `Fabric' tool do for apps? [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKmem1RwheI]

Finally! It took years and several high profile, wide-scale corporate security breaches, but American companies are finally being nudged into issuing credit cards with embedded microchip technology. To Europeans, this technology is nothing new. But the legacy technology characterized by the old magnetic strip put up quite a battle for an extended lifespan in America. We're all glad to see that organizations there are putting it to rest in favor of the technologically superior microchip.

It always seems that cyber-crooks are one step ahead of everyone else, so when consumer-focused organizations take the digital security of its patrons very seriously, it's a positive step for global commerce. In that same spirit I heard the news that Twitter will very soon be offering a new tool for developers that could one day spell the end of the traditional type-in password. I think we can all agree that type-in passwords, like magnetic strips on credit cards, are antiquated. They can also be a pain in the neck. How many times have you visited a Web site only to be forced into clicking on the "Forget Your Password?" link?

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October 9, 2014

Goodbye Doc!

Posted by Jagdish Vasishtha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 11:09 AM



Tim Cook talks about Apple watch [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOvnHEs_SfE]

There has been a huge buzz around the recent announcement of Apple watch in the wearables segment. The watch has nicely packaged social, fitness, home, health and payments into a single device. It has a number of optical sensors, which along with an accelerometer would be able to measure an individual's activity and heart rate in detail. The apple Health app, along with the new developer tool called Healthkit, provides new ways of tracking these vital parameters and promoting a healthy regimen.

There is an interesting correlation between the cost of electronic devices like camera lenses, touch glass and fingerprint readers, once they have been incorporated into a mass market mobile smartphone. Studies have shown that the cost of such devices drop faster than Moore's law once a leading smartphone (e.g. iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, etc. have adopted it). What is studied less is that this price drop could have a huge impact on adjacent markets and spawn a new range of solution offerings, which was not possible before due to the high input cost of these devices.

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September 18, 2014

Apps: Are They Secure?

Posted by Jagdish Vasishtha (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:17 AM



Mobile banking apps are also prone to hacking [Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdO9CQqOuP8]

During my recent coast to coast sojourn in North America, during which I had the good fortune of meeting many of our customers, there was one theme that stood out in all discussions--security of mobile apps. The concern was more around B2C applications, given the increasing penetration of the Android operating system. With its open model and multiple OS versions, Android, in recent times, has shown increasing vulnerability to malware, Trojans, etc. Even iOS is not completely free from these vulnerabilities, although the perception is that a highly controlled and closed ecosystem makes it less susceptible.

Take for instance, the recent hacking of the mobile app of a leading coffee retailer, where it was discovered that the user IDs and passwords were stored in a flat file. The CIO of the company commented that even if someone accesses the app login credential the only thing the person could do is buy coffee. I think this ignores a very important fact--that people may use that very same user ID and password on multiple sites. Keeping the login sequence on a mobile app simple has been the prevailing paradigm so far, in order to not compromise with user experience and increase the app adoption.

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