Modern field guide to security and privacy

Podcast: Yahoo's Alex Stamos on e-mail encryption and keeping 1 billion customers secure

Yahoo's chief information security officer joins Passcode and New America for their monthly podcast about cybersecurity.

Courtesy of Yahoo
Alex Stamos is Yahoo's chief information security officer.

What's it like to be the person at your company charged with protecting more than 1 billion global users from a range of online threats?

Alex Stamos, Yahoo's chief information security officer, talks about this on a new monthly podcast cohosted by think tank New America and Passcode, The Christian Science Monitor's new site on security and privacy. When big companies are hacked, those who hold his position across the industry are in the spotlight – and many of them are pretty stressed out.

"Being a CISO is a tough job," Mr. Stamos says. "I have the end responsibility for the personal information of over a billion people." While Stamos has the backing of his organization, other CISOs across the private sector may not feel like the people in their organizations take their jobs as seriously as the cyberthreats demand. "That's changing but it's changing slowly," he says. 

On the podcast, Stamos talks about his company's new end-to-end e-mail encryption rollout, meant to be an easier way to provide advanced security for users, and what it's like to lead a team of so-called "paranoids" keeping the company secure and developing new security solutions. He also talks about how bug bounties (rewards for finding security flaws) are opening up pipelines of talent across the world.   

Heather West of Internet performance and security company CloudFlare joins the podcast to talk about why startups need good security solutions – and why hackers want to target some of the world's newest companies. The panel also discusses the recent special feature from Passcode on how states and regions are vying to become the Silicon Valley of cybersecurity.

This episode was sponsored by The University of Texas at Austin's Center for Identity.

The Cybersecurity Podcast is a new monthly program featuring key leaders and thinkers in this space. Cybersecurity is not just computers and digital processes. Whether it's the threat or the response, the most important, and most interesting, part of the story is the people behind the keyboard. 

That’s why New America and Passcode launched The Cybersecurity Podcast, a monthly program featuring key leaders and thinkers in this space. The half-hour podcast will go beyond the headlines to discuss some of the most pressing issues and newest ideas in cybersecurity.

The podcast's first episode featured Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon, the Army's top cyber commander, who talked about how the Army is beefing up its cyberforces, competition for talent with the private sector, and what role the military should play when a nation-state attacks a private company. Shane Harris, reporter at The Daily Beast and author of '@War, The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex' talked about tensions between the East and West Coasts in a post-Snowden era.

The podcast hosted by Peter W. Singer, strategist at the New America think tank and author of "Cybersecurity and Cyberwar: What Everyone Needs to Know," and Sara Sorcher, deputy editor of Passcode.

You can find more information about the podcast on Passcode's long-form storytelling platform. Bookmark New America's SoundCloud page for new episodes, available for download also on iTunes, or sign up for Passcode below. 


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