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Google security engineer offers tips on better internet security

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November 17, 2016

Google senior security engineer Darren Bilby has offered the public to lessen effort on tools like antivirus and intrusion detection to instead research more meaningful security defenses such as whitelisting applications as an example.

Bilby is the incident responder from Google's Sydney office, who is charged with researching very advanced attacks including the 2009 Operation Aurora campaign that decried many existing tools as ineffective that engineers are forced to install for the sake of compliance but at the expense of real security attacks.

Bilby spoke at the Kiwicon Hacking Conference in Wellington, New Zealand this week. "We need to stop investing in those things such as antivirus software that we have clearly demonstrated all these years that they simply don't work," he asserted.

"And you are going to have to spend some time on things like intrusion detection systems because that's what the industry has decided is the plan, but you should also allocate some time to working on elements that will actually genuinely help the public."

Bilby wants the security community to focus on tools such as whitelisting, hardware security keys and dynamic access rights efforts like Google's Beyond Corp internal project.

Bilby also argued that corporate networks are not a security defense either because users are so easily able to use mobile networks to upload data to cloud services, bypassing all traditional barriers.

Various advice on secure internet utilization is "horrible", he added. Simply telling users not to click on phishing links, no to click on attachments from unknown email senders and to download strange executables effectively shifts the blame to them and away from those who manufactured hardware and software that is not secure enough to be used online.

"We are simply giving people systems that are not safe for the internet and we are blaming the user," he warned the conference attendees.

Source: Google.

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