Buzz, computer security, computing, cryptography, mass surveillance, national security, National Security Agency, security, TC, TechCrunch, TechCrunch Disrupt SF

A Google security chief considers the NSA a state-sponsored threat


Today at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2017 Google’s Manager of Information Security Heather Adkins sat down for a fireside chat. Among the varying topics discussed, she spoke about what’s like to have the NSA tap the company’s lines and how she views state sponsored threats.

Moderator and TechCrunch Senior Editor Frederic Lardinois asked Adkins if she thinks of the NSA as a state-sponsored threat in the same way as China and Russia. She confirmed, yes, she considers the US’ National Security Agency in that way. Does she worry about the NSA? Yes, she does and it’s good to worry about them because if they can attack, other organizations can do attack too.

She goes on to say that she thinks less about individual threats and rather focuses on the techniques available to be used and the surface available to be attacked.

“A technique the NSA can use can easily be used by a Mexican cartel against our users,” she said. “All of these actors have these tools available to them.”

Heather Adkins has worked at Google for more than a decade, building the company’s Security Team and acting now as the Manager of Information Security. It’s probably one of the most difficult jobs in the whole joint and she has a unique viewpoint from her posting.



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