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Response to AMX Backdoor: Let’s Talk Network Security at ISE 2016

As news of AMX’s hidden backdoor accounts shake the AV industry, AV Nation plans a roundtable discussion about network security for ISE 2016 in Amsterdam.

Tim Albright

Since the AMX Backdoor story broke numerous technology and AV media have been covering it.

[Editor’s note: catch up on the story here, and read AMX’s statement here.]

AVNation has been no different. The story came out on a Thursday and we had a round table discussion about what we knew at that time on AVWeek. Since then we have posted two other blogs on the subject, one from David Danto and one from Max Kopsho.

As with stories like these we have received feedback in the form of numerous emails and phone calls. These conversations have lead to some interesting discussions about where we as an industry need to be. Leonard Suskin says it makes us look like kids at the adult table (I believe he is referring to the naming scheme of Batman and Black Widow). I’m not entirely sure about that. However I wanted to share some forward movement that has come out of these calls.

The most significant came from two separate individuals who I have a great amount of respect. The message we have received is that we should be having a deeper conversation about security in the AV world. So, that’s exactly what we are going to do at ISE.

At ISE 2016 we will be producing a number of podcasts and live shows from AV Magazine’s booth (6 N152). We have retooled one of these to create a round table discussion about AV network security. It will be happening on Thursday. Feb. 11 at 9 a.m. local time (2 a.m. EST) in hall 6 booth N152. If you’re at the show come by. If you’re up that late/early you can watch the live stream. If not on either, then we will post it later that day.

This is not going to be a conversation about a specific company or product. This is about what manufacturers can do to safeguard their products, what integrators can do to educate their teams and their clients, and what we as an industry can do to take this a bit more seriously than we have in the past. Joining me at the table will be InfoComm, CEDIA, Crestron, AMX, Ihiji, Access Networks, and a couple of integrators.

IT/AV convergence happened a long time ago. We are in this space and we need to be a bit more stringent when it comes to protecting our devices that are on the network and our client’s network as a whole.

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