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Rich Mogull, Analyst & CEO

Rich has twenty years experience in information security, physical security, and risk management. He specializes in data security, application security, emerging security technologies, and security management. Prior to founding Securosis, Rich was a Research Vice President at Gartner on the security team where he also served as research co-chair for the Gartner Security Summit. Prior to his seven years at Gartner, Rich worked as an independent consultant, web application developer, software development manager at the University of Colorado, and systems and network administrator. Rich is the Security Editor of TidBITS, a monthly columnist for Dark Reading, and a frequent contributor to publications ranging from Information Security Magazine to Macworld. He is a frequent industry speaker at events including the RSA Security Conference and DefCon, and has spoken on every continent except Antarctica (where he’s happy to speak for free – assuming travel is covered).

Prior to his technology career, Rich also worked as a security director for major events such as football games and concerts. He was a bouncer at the age of 19, weighing about 135 lbs (wet). Rich has worked or volunteered as a paramedic, firefighter, and ski patroller at a major resort (on a snowboard); and spent over a decade with Rocky Mountain Rescue. He currently serves as a responder on a federal disaster medicine and terrorism response team, where he mostly drives a truck and lifts heavy objects. He has a black belt, but does not play golf. Rich can be reached at rmogull (at) securosis (dot) com.

Face ID is the Future of Security (Authentication)

By Rich
Every year, as I travel the security conference circuit, hallway conversations always turn to, “See anything interesting?”. To be honest, I can’t remember the last time I was excited about an honestly cool security technology (which I didn’t create myself, but let’s not go there today). I see plenty of cloud innovation, and plenty of security evolution, but not a lot of revolution. A week ago I picked up my iPhone X. Although I received a background brief on Face ID a couple weeks earlier, I hadn’t gotten my hands on it until then. And, really,

Minimum Viable Cloud is an Anti-Pattern

By Rich
About a year ago I first heard the dreaded acronym “MVC”. It was during a call about a potential project, and this contact kept namedropping it like Kanye or something – not that I knew what it meant at the time. I kept wondering how Model/View/Controller was so important to their deployment. Eventually I learned it stands for “Minimum Viable Cloud”. I want to take whichever consultant came up with that concept, dip them in chocolate, and toss them into a bear preserve. In the spring. Say around March or April. I’ve been hearing it more frequently since

Bad vs. Less Bad Security Reporting: CoreML vs. Ships

By Rich
As I was flying home from a meeting today I read two security stories that highlighted the differences between bad and less bad ways to report on security issues. Before I go into them, here is how I evaluate articles related to either stunt hacking or super-popular technology: Is there a real vulnerability? Is it exploitable, and to what degree? What are the actual, known, demonstrable consequences of exploitation? Would other controls or the real-world ecosystem limit either exploitation or impact? Who is writing the article or giving the presentation, who are their sources, and why are they talking about

The TLS 1.3 Controversy, and Why We Need to Choose Stronger Security

By Rich
Transport Layer Security (TLS) is fundamental to the security of the Internet. Proposed changes to the protocol are generating extensive controversy within and outside the security industry. Rather than getting into cryptographic specifics, this post focuses on the root of the controversy, and why we believe TLS 1.3 should proceed with the full support of technical professionals. What is TLS 1.3? – Transport Layer Security (TLS) is the primary protocol for securely sending information over the Internet. It is the successor to SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and built into every web browser and web server, as well as many other applications. Nearly every

How to Evaluate a Possible Apple Face ID

By Rich
It’s usually more than a little risky to comment on hypothetical Apple products, but while I was out at Black Hat and DEF CON Apple accidentally released the firmware for their upcoming HomePod. Filled with references to other upcoming products and technologies, the firmware release makes it reasonably probable that Apple will release an updated iPhone without a Touch ID sensor, relying instead on facial recognition. A reasonable probability is far from an absolute certainty, but this is an interesting enough change that I think it’s worth taking a few minutes to outline how I intend to evaluate

Tidal Forces: Software as a Service Is the New Back Office

By Rich
TL;DR: SaaS enables Zero Trust networks with pervasive encryption and access. Box vendors lose once again. It no longer makes sense to run your own mail server in your data center. Or file servers. Or a very long list of enterprise applications. Unless you are on a very very short list of organizations. Running enterprise applications in an enterprise data center is simply an anachronism in progress. A quick peek at the balance sheets of the top tier Software as a Service providers shows the transition to SaaS continues unabated. Buying and maintaining enterprise applications, such as mail servers,

Tidal Forces: Endpoints Are Different—More Secure, and Less Open

By Rich
This is the second post in the Tidal Forces series. The introduction is available.. Computers aren’t computers any more. Call it a personal computer. A laptop, desktop, workstation, PC, or Mac. Whatever configuration we’re dealing with, and whatever we call it, much of the practice of information security focuses on keeping the devices we place in our users’ hands safe. They are the boon and bane of information technology – forcing us to find a delicate balance between safety, security, compliance, and productivity. Lock them down too much and people can’t get things done – they will find an

Tidal Forces: The Trends Tearing Apart Security As We Know It

By Rich
Imagine a black hole suddenly appearing in the solar system – gravity instantly warping space and time in our celestial neighborhood, inexorably drawing in all matter. Closer objects are affected more strongly, with the closest whipping past the event horizon and disappearing from the observable universe. Farther objects are pulled in more slowly, but still inescapably. As they come closer to the disturbance, the gravitational field warping space exponentially, closer points are pulled away from trailing edges, potentially ripping entire planets apart. These are tidal forces. The same force that creates tides and waves in our ocean, as the moon pulls

Amazon re:Invent Takeaways? Hang on to Your A**es…

By Rich
I realized I promised to start writing more again to finish off the year and then promptly disappeared for over a week. Not to worry, it was for a good cause, since I spent all of last week at Amazon’s re:Invent conference. And, umm, might have been distracted this week by the release of the Rogue One expansion pack for Star Wars Battlefront. But enough about me… Here are my initial thoughts about re:Invent and Amazon’s direction. It may seem like I am biased towards Amazon Web Services, for two reasons. First, they still have a
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