Podcast: Cylons and the Cloud Connectivity Cybersecurity Conundrum

The Google Cloud Next conference is underway this week, presenting new and upcoming developments in cloud computing, including but not limited to innovations in AI, apps, and data. While exhibitors show off tech and services to tempt potential customers, the threat of bad actors exploiting the increasing connectivity of the world continues to escalate.

For its part, Google Cloud talked up the availability and expansion of its Duet AI, which offers summaries of threat intelligence, simplified data analysis, and analysis of potential attacks. This is an example of AI being put to work in the cybersecurity space, this time on the side of defenders.

An ongoing concern tied to the boom of generative AI is the potential for hackers to use it in phishing schemes and other forms of cyber-attack. Another security risk is the potential that some generative AI retains data it trains on, which could include sensitive information and open the door for breaches and data theft.

One of the tradeoffs of a digitally connected world is the flow of information meant for legitimate commerce and communication can be infiltrated to cause exponential harm. This is why financial institutions and other organizations under regulatory scrutiny have been rather guarded historically when it comes to determining which data can make its way to the cloud and what remains under lock and key on-prem.

The choice to keep some data isolated from the public cloud might do more than thwart money-hungry hackers. It could have interstellar implications.

In 2004, a revamped and reimagined “Battlestar Galactica” television series debuted with a new take on the short-lived show from 1978. The core plot from the original series, humanity fleeing across space from a robotic menace, largely remained intact though the reimagined series made numerous tonal and technical changes.

A crucial aspect of the conflict in the reimagined series was the enemy’s — called Cylons — ability to infiltrate humanity’s network of computer systems, especially military resources. They remotely switched off weapons and other defense elements before humans even had a chance to retaliate. Obviously, that left the Twelve Colonies of Kobol extremely exposed and nuclear decimation ensued.

What saved the hero ship of the series, the Galactica, from suffering a similar fate was a simple, old school IT strategy that had been abandoned by newer, more advanced ships in the fleet — a difference that played a role in deciding the fate of humanity out among the stars.

Climb into your cockpits, Viper pilots, as we launch into the retro-tech approach behind “Battlestar Galactica” and navigate its relevance to cybersecurity in an increasingly cloud-first world.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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