Introducing SCS Speaker Nick Sullivan
There was a time, when the web was populated by clients and by servers. Clients would send individual HTTP requests and servers would return their responses one by one. Occasionally, content on certain servers would become very popular – we used to call this the “Slashdot Effect” – and they would die under the load. Every author and content provider silently aspired to experience the “Slashdot Effect”. That’s a different story, though.
Meanwhile, the times have changed and the architecture of the internet has become much more complicated. Most important sites are now distributed via content delivery networks, they are built on sophisticated anycast schemes. Layer 4 load balancing is very widespread, the multiplexed HTTP/2 protocol is much harder to grasp (and debug) and TLS 1.3 brings new challenges, namely for enterprises intercepting their employees’ web traffic.
The world wide web is changing and it’s changing a lot faster than techies with private web servers in their basement can really grasp. It is time to face the real world.
We’re joined by Nick Sullivan, who will take us on a trip through the evolving architecture of the web and how it affects security. As head of cryptography at Cloudflare, Nick is in a unique position to observe these trends from the front lines. But you could also say that Nick is one of the thought leaders who shapes the new architecture and behavior of the world wide web through his initiatives, ideas and patents. In fact, intellectual property is not alien to Nick: He played a crucial role in the creation of the digital rights schemes used on Apple’s iTunes before he joined Cloudflare to build up the security engineering team.
I would like to point you to a fairly long blog post by Nick, where he takes a very detailed look at TLSv1.3, which was finalized a couple of weeks ago. I think he does a marvelous job at explaining the problems with the earlier protocols, the debates about possible fixes and how the new features work. If you have half an hour, take a look.
At the conference, Nick will show us key characteristics of the new architecture of the web, how new standards like HTTP/2 and TLS 1.3 are used to make good use of these new possibilities and how it affects our everyday work in the security industry.
More about Nick Sullivan:
- Personal Website: crypto.dance
- Twitter: @grittygrease
- Blogging at Cloudflare: Posts by Nick Sullivan