Business Week – Best of 2005

Business Week’s The Best of 2005 is now online.

One of the products that made the list was SlingMedia’s Slingbox – a box you connect to your cable or satellite hookup at home and which then lets you “location shift” your viewing:

Stuck in a hotel in Paris but aching to see the football game being played back home? Road warriors can
now be couch potatoes, too, thanks to the $250 Slingbox. Hook it up to your TV or set-top box at home, and it will beam live broadcasts or recorded shows over the Internet to any PC in the world. You need to install the SlingPlayer software on your laptop or, soon, your PDA. You also need to find a high-speed Internet connection on the receiving end.

Another “product” that made the list was SiteKey – a scheme used by Bank of America to help protect is online customers from phishing attacks. While better than nothing, the utility of this product is primarily to help reduce the number of customers that disclose their personal banking passwords after receiving an email asking them to log on (to a phony site). It does this by displaying a graphic, chosen by the customer, each time that particular customer returns to the site. In this way, the customer can tell that the bank’s site really is the one they had visited previously.

Other financial institutions will likely follow BoA’s lead. In my view, that would be unfortunate. This product does not do much to protect users who are visiting the bank’s site for the first time. And it doesn’t protect against key logging programs or trojans which may get installed on a user’s computer in order to intercept their password. What we really need is a two-factor authentication scheme such as RSA’s SecureID product.