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OpenGov speaks to Michael Sentonas, APAC CTO, Intel Security

OpenGov speaks to Michael Sentonas

Mr. Michael Sentonas, Vice President and APAC Chief Technology Officer of Intel Security, provided OpenGov with his perspective on what his thoughts are on the current threat landscape. His 17 years experience with developing security software and research has given him great insights. Initiating a dialogue with Sentonas during his time in Singapore, allowed us to pick his brain on trending security topics.

The realm of security news and technology development in the Asean region is fascinating. Sentonas expressed his gratitude for being in such a position as CTO while there aren’t many others in the geographic region. Sentonas talked at length about his development and work in the area of the Internet of Things (IoT).

On Security Protection and Education

Cloud is going to be the future of network services. Many government institutions are still working to make the shift to the cloud as its capabilities provide more than a direct-access server could.  Behavior is now aiming to virtualize more traditional security software, such as firewalls within the cloud environment. Sentonas works closely with many sectors within governments in providing new technologies to combat threats in these areas.

Protection, prevention and countermeasure technologies have historically been the forefront products used by government. Sentonas  reflects on how the playing field for utilising security measures has changed and stated, “More recently, what we have been trying to do is educate our users. Getting them to understand that the architecture of the environment is far more critical to successful security. Keeping people out is not enough. More focus should be on architectures, identifying the user, their access rights and the data being used is appropriate to their roles and security settings. Based on that information, taking the appropriate action which, in turn provides a high value to the management tool.”

The security landscape is challenging for a government organization. This brings back a debate about government cyber security practices. He discussed the recent Office of Personnel Management (OPM) cyber attack with the USA. US President Barack Obama announced this attack in June. This event has led people to question if governments are doing enough to protect sensitive data. It may be speculated if governments are taking these situations seriously. These types of situations are complex and Sentonas argues that more attention should be paid.

“Budget is required to provide the necessary education and tools to get the true value,” Sentonas proposed that with the introduction of recasting to the cloud this has increased our cyber threat. Sentonas believes information sharing between the public and private sector should not be a “hard one-way street”, people within the government need to be educated on how to secure their networks, enabling more communication and mitigation of security risks. He calls on the vendor community to help provide the tools and education to enable further information sharing and dialogue. This will then better enable a "two-way street in sharing data". Only then, the community will be able to work together in an effort to combat security threats using combined knowledge and intelligence sharing.

On Biometrics

Biometrics and forming a large part of the future in the cyber security industry and its incorporation within its hardware and software solutions. This will have a major impact to the way we work and live. Providing the ability to unlock, not only our laptops, but our front door with the image of our face.

Biometrics to be a massive focus within the industry because of what it allows us to do. Sentonas provided us with an example of biometrics being built into a mobile AVA platform. This would give people access to cloud storage through voice recognition. Research into other biometrics solutions, such as the cornea of the eye, are areas being explored as well. Biometrics is beginning to move us away from the tradition of using passwords.

 In some cases, people are digitizing their log of passwords which could be found through intrusion. Biometrics has the potential to provide clear and resistant security measures to users.

Currently, biometrics technology caters itself to the consumer market. "We are close to not requiring a password", Sentonas stated that it would require several identification factors relating to government type environments and deployments. This is required in order to be launched within the public sector. These identification factors would also be required before introducing biometrics software to physical security organizations or enterprise. Sentonas is aiming to eliminate the use of passwords with the introduction of advanced biometrics, it provides less error rates, increasing the security posture of an organisation dramatically, paving the way to passwordless logins and securities.

On Smart City environments and the future

With Smart Nations and Cities, comes a wave of the Internet of Things or IoT. IoT introduces new technologies, capabilities, efficiencies, and threats to government networks. As machine to machine activity and cyber security information sharing has limited support. IoT is described as an area that we are still exploring and learning more about everyday. He states,“what makes this space interesting, is the amount of innovation, data, and the rate at which it is produced.”

IoT devices are enabled with IP and can connect to networks instantly. Yet, Sentonas is afraid that most of these IP enabled devices do not have security software in place. People may rely on the infrastructure of Smart Cities to provide the infrastructure to security for IoT devices. For example, a lot of personal data can be generated with wearables. As people connect to the cloud and upload their data looms a threat of intrusion. 

The Internet of Things (IoT) gateway is a key project being focused on right now. This project aims to provide hardware and build solutions for IoT devices, with security in mind. This project also creates a platform for legacy technologies so that it is possible to connect them to the IoT space or the internet itself. The IoT gateway has incorporated systems which can run in a scalable, sustainable, and secure development environment. It allows for development and deployment of IoT gateways.

New worldwide  partners and developments must come together to provide more innovative in his application of networks and educating to ensure secure activity. Sentonas tells us that in June, a new IoT Ignition Lab was launched in Ireland. This lab is located within the technology area of Ireland that is often recalled for its breeding ground for collaboration between organizations.

Ireland tech organizations are known for their traditional IoT, healthcare for smart cities, among other high tech innovations. Similar IoT labs have been launched within various locations such as Israel, Sweden, Germany, England, and Turkey. They has derived many interesting smart solutions which have been created through collaboration.

Sentonas works hard to differentiate himself from other key figures from the IoT space Now, he is able to provide advanced infrastructure with embedded security. He is making great headway in advancing biometrics advancement, securing IoT, and providing smart solutions for Smart City developments. In bringing key insights, he is a key player in the IT world. 

PARTNER

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.

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As a Titanium Black Partner of Dell Technologies, CTC Global Singapore boasts unparalleled access to resources.

Established in 1972, we bring 52 years of experience to the table, solidifying our position as a leading IT solutions provider in Singapore. With over 300 qualified IT professionals, we are dedicated to delivering integrated solutions that empower your organization in key areas such as Automation & AI, Cyber Security, App Modernization & Data Analytics, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Renowned for our consulting expertise and delivering expert IT solutions, CTC Global Singapore has become the preferred IT outsourcing partner for businesses across Singapore.

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Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit www.planview.com.

SUPPORTING ORGANISATION

SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.

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HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 

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IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.