An Interview with TWiT’s Leo Laporte

By September 26, 2019 Product Updates No Comments

The This Week In Tech podcast network, otherwise known as TWiT, is today’s highest rated technology podcast led by cybersecurity industry veteran Leo Laporte. We are a big fan of all of TWiT.tv’s podcasts, and are incredibly excited to have Leo on our panel of cybersecurity experts in our upcoming event Cybersecurity & Identity Trends, Unlocked at the Boston Intercontinental Hotel on October 3rd.  

We’re so excited for Cybersecurity & Identity Trends, Unlocked that we sat down with Leo in preparation for his cybersecurity leaders panel to get his thoughts on what cybersecurity topics we can expect from the panel, what the key trends will be moving forward, and of course what he’s most excited to do while in Boston.    

Here’s the recap of our conversation: 

LastPass: Thanks for speaking with us Leo. To kick our conversation off, tell us a little bit about yourself and podcast. 

Leo: Thanks for having me. I was one of the first podcasters in the world – dating all the way back to September 2004. We started in technology news, but slowly over time built up a network. When Steve Gibson and I first started doing the Security Now podcast it was 20 minutes long, and we worried we would run out of material after a few months. Fifteen years later we have trouble getting all the security news into two hours a week! 

LastPass: What are the most common questions you receive from listeners? What security topics interest your audience the most? 

Leo: TWIT.tv has a very broad range of listeners on our podcasts who are struggling with and interested a wide range of cybersecurity topics. Our more technical listeners tend to ask more questions around privacy and ransomware. What’s their footprint on the internet, and what can they do to protect their exposure? In general, our listener’s biggest questions are tied to the recent news headlines and what our take is on the subject. One particularly relevant to you at LastPass is passwords. Many listeners are concerned with the security of their passwords and what the alternative options are. 

LastPass: Speaking of passwords, we know you’ve been using LastPass for a while now. How are you using LastPass today? 

Leo: I have a LastPass Families account – I need to share my cable company login with my wife! I use the password generation feature, how LastPass remembers my new passwords and using my YubiKey for two-factor authentication. We also use LastPass Enterprise here at TWiT.tv which gives us complete control and visibility into how corporate passwords are being used, allows us to add strict password rules and enforce two-factor authentication. The security that I have at home I also have at work, and that’s critical to the security of our business. 

LastPass: What’s your point of view on the future of passwords? Are they dying or are they here to stay? 

Leo: This question is really around the broader notion of authentication: how can you prove you are who you say you are? Passwords are the obvious first solution to that, but they are also many problems with passwords which forces teams to wonder: is there a better way? I don’t think passwords are going away, but it’s around complimenting passwords with other technologies. For example, authentication, specifically authenticating using data from a mobile device, are proving to be very effective and popular. Single sign-on technologies are also another way businesses are eliminating passwords. It’s not a question on whether passwords are staying or going away, but it’s how do we make proving you are who you say you are more efficient and secure? This is definitely a topic we will discuss in the upcoming panel. 

LastPass: You mention authentication – what’s the biggest misconception about authentication that you see today?  

Leo: I think the biggest misconception is that people underestimate how important authentication is and that you don’t really have to think about it. For example, SMS messages are not the most secure form of authentication, yet one of the most common. Why is this the reality when so many other forms of authentication mechanisms exist? What it comes down to is that authentication is a topic that needs to be top of mind. I always say, understanding bad security practices is the best start to finding a better way. 

LastPass: Biometrics are becoming a more common form of authentication. Where do you see biometric authentication fitting in? 

Leo: Biometrics like face ID and touch ID are becoming increasingly common and that’s because of companies like Apple paving the way. A fingerprint is a much easier way, and much more effective way, to prove you are who you say you are. But it’s like I said before, passwords aren’t going away, the authentication trend will increasingly be a combination of factors – for example, a password coupled with a biometric. 

LastPass: Now that we’re nearing the end of 2019, what do you anticipate as the cybersecurity buzz topic of 2020? 

Leo: Ransomware, ransomware and… ransomware! 

LastPass: A large cybersecurity we hear from customers is around balancing security with ease of use. What’s your recommendation to achieve the right balance? 

Leo: Hah, use LastPass! Turn on two-factor authentication, or even use hardware authentication. 

LastPass: We’re excited to see you in a few weeks at Cybersecurity & Identity Trends, Unlocked – what are you looking forward to doing when you’re in Boston?  

Leo: That’s an easy one…Legal Sea Foods!  

We are looking forward to continuing this conversation with Leo, along with fellow cybersecurity experts Steve Gibson, the founder and CEO of the Gibson Corporation, William “Ches” Cheswick, computer security and network researcher, and LogMeIn’s Chief Information Security Officer Gerald Beuchelt on October 3rd at the Boston Intercontinental Hotel for Cybersecurity & Identity Trends, Unlocked.  

We hope to see you there! 

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