“There is no industry standard body that evaluates the level of security of internet connected devices, and it is not easy to know which device manufacturers take security measures and respect consumers’ privacy.

Consumers should be more conscious to security and not automatically opt for the best deal or the lowest device price”

says Asaf Ashkenazi, Chief Strategy Officer, Verimatrix

The world has embraced mobile payments as the widely used payment mode pushing the customer security issues on high alert. How has Verimatrix empowered consumers with mobile payment options mitigating security barriers?

Mobile payments initiatives initially focused on turning the mobile phone into a payment device – as early as 2012, Visa was showcasing replacing your wallet with your smartphone at the London Olympics. The acceptance device (aka “the card machine”) was seen as off limits – it needed the security of dedicated hardware. As software security, like Verimatrix’s Code Protection, has been proven in the wild, technologies like Tap-to-Phone and PIN-on-Glass has seen the emergence of mobile phones being used by merchants to accept payments replacing the dedicated hardware. This is why Juniper predicts $1.9 TRILLION of payments to processed using mPOS by 2024.

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Verimatrix provides secure mobile payments applications and backend services for retailers and banks building their own mobile payments wallets. These solutions are certified and approved by Visa and Mastercard, as well as independent security testing labs. Verimatrix also provides technology that protects mobile apps and code running on IoT devices. This technology is used to protect mobile payments, and variety of other apps, from automotive smart key apps, to gaming and video streaming apps.

IoT devices are everywhere and growing. How do homeowners protect their data sitting in these smart devices from data piracy?

Unfortunately, there is no industry standard body that evaluates the level of security of internet connected devices, and it is not easy to know which device manufacturers take security measures and respect consumers’ privacy. Consumers should be more conscious to security and not automatically opt for the best deal or the lowest device price. As a general rule, it is best to stick to known brands that have a track record of taking security seriously, and respecting consumers’ privacy.

Companies that do not prioritize security and privacy of their user’s data should be punished by consumers, avoiding their products.

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What risks are associated with low-cost IoT widgets and open mobile devices? How can firms assure that the applications are self-defending?

Protect mobile apps and IoT code with self-protect and app shielding technologies. These technologies are easy to deploy and are quite cost effective. It is the perfect solution for low-cost IoT widgets that cannot afford costly security hardware.

Which industry is exposed to a maximum cybersecurity threat today, and why?

Any industry can yield profit to hackers through data theft, fraud and ransom. For years the financial industry was the big target, but nowadays we see attacks targeting healthcare, municipalities, and any service that can be extorted by hackers or can reveal users’ private data that is valuable in the dark web illegal markets.

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With the automotive industry fast coming under the purview of IoT embedded software, what risks do you see?

Cars are no longer just mechanical machines. Modern cars run millions line of code, running on many microcontrollers, supervising any operation of the car. This huge amount of code is what hackers look for, as often it only takes one mistake or bug for hackers to gain unauthorized access to the car’s systems. As more and more vehicles are connected to the internet, hackers potentially can access the car code remotely from anywhere in the world.

“Consumers should be more conscious to security and not automatically opt for the best deal or the lowest device price. As a general rule, it is best to stick to known brands that have a track record of taking security seriously, and respecting consumers’ privacy.”

Asaf Ashkenazi, Chief Strategy Officer, at Verimatrix

Asaf Ashkenazi is Verimatrix’s Chief Strategy Officer, responsible for developing and communicating the organization strategic plans, initiatives and future goals. Asaf is also responsible for analyzing market dynamics, building strategic partnerships and identifying potential M&A targets. He has more than 15 years of security experience, spanning product management, business development and a variety of engineering roles throughout his career. Asaf has served as board member of the FIDO Alliance, he holds a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and has been granted 10 U.S. patents for security architectures and solutions.