Google Tells RSA Show Audience How it Secures a Billion Android Users

Here are your top news stories from eWEEK. Today's topics include Google's presentation at the RSA Conference on how the company maintains the security of its Android mobile operating system, Amazon’s move into teleconferencing with its new Chime service, a former NSA chief’s explains why he believes the cloud help bolster security for all organizations, and Microsoft’s launch of a shared viewing platform for HoloLens users.

Speaking at the RSA Conference here, Adrian Ludwig, director of Android security at Google, detailed the methods used by Google to keep its mobile platform and its billions of users secure.

Android provides not only encryption now, but also application isolation, device integrity and exploit mitigation capabilities directly as part of the operating system.

In addition to the operating system security features, having security services on the platform is also necessary, Ludwig said. Google has multiple security services, including Verify Apps, an anti-malware scanning service that looks for malware on devices.

Google also has a sensor network that looks for potential compromises across the Android landscape. Google has device management services such as device locking and remote wiping, as well as APIs that enable Enterprise Mobility Management applications to provide even more services.

Speaking at the Cloud Security Alliance Summit that is co-located with the RSA Conference here, Gen. Keith Alexander explained why he sees the cloud as the way to help secure organizations of all sizes. Alexander, formerly head of the National Security Agency, is now the CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity.

At this year's RSA conference, Alexander spent the first part of his talk going over some of the history of recent nation-state cyber-attacks, much as he did during his 2015 appearance at RSA.

Now in 2017, Alexander said he believes the cloud can provide significantly better security than what many organizations have today, where organizations often attempt to manage everything on their own. Among the big benefits of cloud security is the shared defensive posture that it can provide. is getting into the unified communications business to compete with the likes of Cisco Systems, Polycom, Avaya, Microsoft, Mitel and several others.

The Seattle-based web services and retail megacompany on Feb. 14 launched Amazon Chime, a new, unified communications service that it claims delivers "frustration-free meetings with exceptional video and audio quality."

Using this service, customers can start video and audio meetings with a single click, so they can host or join a meeting, chat and share content and screens with a synchronized experience across desktops, iOS, and Android devices, the company said.

Microsoft is making it easier for HoloLens users to share their mixed reality experiences with a group. The HoloLens headset can layer interactive 3D imagery on top of the physical world, but by its very nature, it's somewhat of a solitary affair.

While the company's Mixed Reality Capture technology can be used to record what the user is seeing from a first-person perspective, the resulting video may be unsteady and contain jittery head movements that make it tough to watch.

Instead of issuing a HoloLens augmented reality headset to each onlooker—a pricey proposition considering that it costs $3,000 a piece—Microsoft has devised a spectator view camera system that works in tandem with the device to show audiences what the wearer is seeing from another vantage point. Schematics and instructions on building one are available at GitHub.