Privacy Across Borders

EU Security Leaders Explore Privacy Risks, Controls
As data protection regulations continue to be refined, organizations throughout Europe are more sensitive to privacy restrictions in individual countries, says Dwayne Melancon, CTO of Tripwire.

In Europe especially, Melancon says, organizations are increasingly concerned about whether security practices in one country might violate privacy protections in another.

"A lot of the businesses here do businesses globally, and they have to understand, 'How do I manage my information, how do I keep it secure, how do I keep tabs on it as I cross country boundaries?'" Melancon says. "What's OK in the UK might not be OK in Germany, and there might be totally different rules in Eastern Europe."

And while organizations focus increasingly on how their applications handle and secure data, new privacy and security threats continue to emerge. Among the newest: The risks posed to individuals and organizations by smart meters that collect data on utility usage.

"When you think about it from a privacy perspective, people may be able to target and monitor your energy usage by tapping into your meter. They can tell when you're not home and potentially break into your house," Melancon says. For organizations such as healthcare entities, there is the greater risk of denial-of-service attacks against power and air conditioning systems, he adds.

"Now is the time to start looking at how are we going to monitor these systems from a security perspective, how are we going to understand what their vulnerabilities are, and how do we implement controls to prevent those bad things from happening," he says.

In an interview conducted at the Infosecurity Europe conference, Melancon discusses:

  • Unique privacy concerns in Europe;
  • Emerging risks;
  • How organizations approach security metrics.

Melancon joined Tripwire, an information security company, in 2000 and serves as its chief technology officer. He formerly served as vice president of corporate and business development as well as vice president of professional services and support, information systems and marketing. Melancon is certified on IT management and audit processes, possessing ITIL Foundations and CISA certifications.

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