• Sebastian H.

Continuous Innovation: fueling the Zero Trust journey

Here is a third and arguably most important installment on the future of Zero Trust computing.


The first installment, From Hero to Zero: navigating the Zero Trust journey, stressed the value in human terms of fostering a learn-it-all security mindset and a persona akin to an old-world navigator as opposed to the more typical know-it-all attitude channeling the small town sheriff.


The second, Zero Trust: a better mousetrap for the 21st Century, defined the three most important areas for Zero Trust innovation as user/device identification, authorization, and communication.


This post presents a compelling research area anchored by a scalable R&D pattern tailor-made to produce a continuous stream of breakthrough technologies and services to ensure the ongoing safety, productivity, and resilience of both private and public systems and operations.


Einstein versus Marco Polo: Scaling innovation through translation


The archetypal genius of Einstein is simply not scalable. Einstein’s are scarce and cannot be relied upon to consistently produce commercially viable work. Conversely, imagine a 13th century Marco Polo confronted with thousands of years of Chinese culture prudently thinking to himself “gun powder, not just for New Year’s” or “paper money, my friends in Venice could make something out of that.”


Transplanting inventions from one context/culture to another to create a wholly new value proposition IS a scalable innovation pattern. Innovation by transplantation is not to be confused with standard import/export where there is an existing demand by the receiving party (like for cars or gas). In the 13th century, geographic isolation led to equally isolated cultures and inventions, ideal for this kind of creative cross-pollination. Today’s isolation is not geographic, it is rooted in academic and professional silos across specialized fields of study.


Identify, Authorize, and Communicate


As the number of connected devices continue to grow exponentially and as the behaviors of the resulting intelligent systems threaten to outpace the current generation of monitoring and management controls, is it possible that there is an untapped reservoir of transplantable research and technology to be harvested, curated, refactored, extended (as needed), and deployed?


Analog versus Digital; Physical versus Virtual


Attempts to “fingerprint” devices by looking at their physical profiles is not a new concept but, in spite of some considerable R&D investments, proposed solutions have never been able to meet all of the necessary standards for sensitivity, reliability, generality, and performance. Nevertheless, it is tantalizing to imagine a hack-proof means of identifying a unique device/instrument, its make/model, assess its health/integrity, and then connect all of that to its digital context, e.g. ownership, past behavior, authorization, etc. – all in real-time.


Now THAT is a Zero Trust information source we could do something with!


Neuroimaging and quantum physics: from neurons and nebulas to connected devices and networks


Even the most aggressive forecasts of mobile and IoT device growth do not come close to the number and complexity of the networked electric and magnetic signals in the brain that biophysicists model and analyze. As noisy as wireless networks may be, it is nothing compared to the noise, unknown variables and the possible nonlinear relationships between them that astrophysicists have had to grapple with as they scan and dissect the multitudes of stars across time and space. The specifics of their respective math and technologies are obviously well beyond the scope of a blog post, but I think it is enough to say that what we need is a modern-day Marco Polo to say something like “extremely-weak signal amplification, detection, and clustering/sorting – not just for studying brain dynamics” or “recurrence analysis in high-dimensional phase space to detect an individual star – my friends in mobile and IoT security could make something out of that.”


This. Is. Not. Hypothetical. Interested in learning a little more about how neuroimaging and quantum mechanics can offer a more practical means of securing your mobile banking transactions or your factory floor? Shoot me an email and perhaps we will have something more to talk about.

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