James Bond… Scrambled not Stirred

Categories: Trusted Identity

By Liz Robinson, Principal Product Marketing Manager, RSA Identity and Data Protection

Over Thanksgiving I went to see Skyfall, the latest James Bond installment, with my husband and his family (including his 92-year-old grandmother, who loved it!).  I’m not going to spoil the movie for those of you who have not yet seen it, but I definitely recommend going.  It keeps you at the edge of your seat.

Photo courtesy of: http://www.skyfall-movie.com/site/

One of the most exciting players in the movie is Javier Bardem, the quintessential “bad guy” in a Bond movie.  Bardem is especially creepy, and he is particularly talented at cyber warfare.  In one scene, Q and the rest of MI6 are attempting to crack an algorithm of Bardem’s.  Usually this would be seen as a relatively easy task for the gifted Q, but he keeps encountering a problem: every time he tries to break it, it changes.  It morphs into something new.  And it boggles Q’s mind.  Now, I’m not going to tell you if he ends up cracking it or not; you’ll have to go to the theater for that.

But, while watching this scene, I couldn’t help but think of RSA Distributed Credential Protection (DCP), our recently announced new product.  DCP scrambles, randomizes and splits secrets (passwords, credentials, PINS, answers to life or challenge questions) into two locations, forcing an attacker to break into two servers in order to get the secrets.  And DCP can re-randomize the secrets either proactively or reactively on-demand, limiting the window of time available to that attacker.  This re-randomization was strikingly similar to Bardem’s evil algorithm: it changed when it needed to, just like DCP.  However, DCP is meant to foil the bad guys, not good guys like MI6 :-)

If the concept of constantly changing to make something more secure can make it all the way to Hollywood, surely it can find its way into your security strategy.  Right?

Liz Robinson is on the product marketing team at RSA and is focused on the data protection portfolio, including encryption, tokenization and key management.  You can follow her on twitter @lizrobinson117.

Liz Robinson
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Liz Robinson is on the product marketing team at RSA and is focused on Identity and Data Protection. She is an avid foodie and is obsessed with her pug, Ruggles. You can follow her on twitter @lizrobinson117.