Niels Burnet (Kingston): ‘‘Thinking you’re safe, is arguably the most dangerous scenario to find yourself in.’’

20 October 2023
5 min
Kingston Technology is one of the exhibitors at Cybersec Netherlands on November 1st and 2nd in Utrecht. Niels Burnet, Business Development Manager, tells us why he’s looking forward to this Dutch Cybersecurity event. He also explains the pressing threats, recent trends, and how their organization addresses these challenges in cybersecurity.

Why are events like Cybersec Netherlands important?

Events like Cybersec have played a crucial role in advancing the cybersecurity industry and raising awareness about the critical need for strong digital defences. These events bring together experts, professionals, and enthusiasts to share knowledge, discuss emerging threats, and demonstrate innovative solutions. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, they inspire industry growth, drive technological advancements, and empower individuals and organizations to stay ahead of cyber threats. Cybersecurity events not only educate but also serve as a catalyst for the industry’s evolution, contributing significantly to our collective cybersecurity resilience.

In-person networking and knowledge sharing hold immense value in today’s digital age. While technology connects us across distances, there’s a unique magic in face-to-face interactions. It’s an opportunity to build authentic connections, exchange ideas, and gain insights that transcend the virtual realm. The subtleties of body language, tone, and shared experiences foster a deeper understanding, often leading to meaningful collaborations and personal growth. In a world increasingly reliant on screens, the power of in-person interactions remains unparalleled, enabling us to truly connect, learn, and grow together.

What, in your opinion, are the most urgent threats in cybersecurity?

The most prominent risk about cybersecurity is that it’s evolving and ever changing, as they grow with the development of technology itself. When it comes to cybersecurity however, companies often put measures such as software encryption in place to prevent the most common security threats. Once done and in line with general requirements, cybersecurity often blends into the background, where it can become outdated. Outdated cyber security opens gateways to new threats. Thinking you’re safe, is arguably the most dangerous scenario to find yourself in.

Through hardware security, encryption directly on the drive or processor, a company is optimally protected. When you access your device protected with hardware security, such as a USB drive, you need to enter a password. If the password is entered incorrectly too many times, it erases all the data on the device. So, if your device falls into the wrong hands, your data remains protected. Additionally, with hardware security no updates are required as they are for software security. Moreover, hardware security is always enabled, and can’t be turned off such as with software security.

Hardware security is less commonly known than software security. This may be because many threats are currently software-related such as: viruses, malicious malware and ransomware. However, there are examples of companies losing devices with important data in public spaces. If this falls into the wrong hands, it can lead to a data breach. Another example is when hackers try to gain access to your device via bad USB’s. This is a trick where hackers leave a USB with malware on it in a public place. People connect the USB to their computer to find out who it belongs to and want to return it to the righteous owner. The moment they plug the USB into their computer, the hacker gains access to the laptop and the damage is done.

What trends do you observe in cybersecurity?

We see that people are working more frequently in public spaces. When you work outside the office, such as at airports, hotels or cafes, you’re using public internet and cloud services. You must then rely on an unknown provider to protect your sensitive data and store it on their servers. Hackers often have already established themselves in such public spaces and are waiting to steal data and ransom files through encryption ransomware, or erase documents entirely. Therefore, data storage needs to be quick and convenient. With hardware encryption, you can carry the cloud in your pocket and use it in places with a trusted internet connection, such as the office or via a VPN. Hardware-encrypted USB drives, thanks to their integrated processors directly on the drive, offer maximum data security against both cold boot attacks and brute force attacks.

How does your organization address these challenges and/or opportunities in the field of cybersecurity?

We are fully secured in both hardware and software. This combination is crucial. Additionally, we pay a lot of attention to educating our employees. We educate employees on how to identify threats. We provide employees with the following tips: (1) Check your emails carefully for urgency, spelling, and requests for money. (2) Use hard-to-crack passwords: include capital letters, numbers, and special characters (perhaps a sentence shortened into the first letters of each word). (3) Stay secure and alert on social media: remember that openly posting the names of your pets, partner, or children may give away password hints to hackers.

What are specific strategies, technologies, or best practices employed by your company?

We are a world leader in memory and technology products and offer hardware-encrypted storage solutions. In today’s age of cyberattacks, storing data on encrypted hardware enables users and businesses to manage threats and reduce the risk of data leaks.

An example of such hardware-encrypted storage solutions is the Kingston IronKey line, which allows sensitive data to be stored and protected with complete confidence. As an additional security measure, all Kingston IronKey drives can enable the secure use of USB ports and prevent the use of insecure workarounds. This is achieved through custom product identification, allowing companies to whitelist approved drives to ensure that employees only use authorized USBs.

Furthermore, we offer the Kingston IronKey Keypad 200C, which provides certified military-grade security with an OS-independent alphanumeric keypad. It incorporates hardware-based encryption with protection against brute force password attacks and bad USB protection with digitally signed firmware, ensuring an unparalleled level of safeguarding for your valuable data.

Lastly, our ‘Ask an Expert’ service can help companies stay up to date with the latest developments and not only acquire but also maintain cybersecurity.

Register for free for Cybersec Netherlands 2023

Cyber attacks are an ever-growing threat in today’s tech environment. Cybersec Netherlands 2023 is the platform for experienced cyber security professionals, to share knowledge with their peers for jointly coping with cybersecurity challenges. Businesses and institutions from all sectors learn how to improve cyber resilience and protect their core. Don’t miss out to learn how to enhance cyber resilience and shield your core. You can register for free via the button below.


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