Blog - Author Posts

This Security Shit’s Hard and It Ain’t Gonna Get Any Easier

By Rich
In case you couldn’t tell from the title, this line is your official EXPLICIT tag. We writers sometimes need the full spectrum of language to make a point. Yesterday Microsoft released a patch to roll back a patch that fixed the slightly-unpatchable Intel hardware bug because the patch causes reboots and potential data loss. Specifically, Intel’s Spectre 2 variant microcode patch is buggy. Just when we were getting a decent handle on endpoint security with well secured operating systems and six-figure-plus bug bounties, this shit happened. Plus, we probably can’t ever fully trust our silicone or operating systems

Wrangling Backoffice Security in the Cloud Age: Part 2

By Rich
This is the second part in a two-part series (later paper) on managing increased use and reliance on SaaS for traditional back-office applications. See Part 1. This will also be included in a webcast with Box on March 6, and you can register here. Where to Start Moving back office applications to the cloud is a classic frog-in-a-frying-pan scenario. Sure, a few organizations plan everything out ahead of time, but for most of the companies and agencies we work with, things tend to be far less controlled. Multiple business units run into the cloud on their own – especially since all you need

Wrangling Backoffice Security in the Cloud Age

By Rich
Over a year ago we first published our series on Tidal Forces: The Trends Tearing Apart Security As We Know It. We called out three megatrends in technology with deep and lasting impact on security practice: Endpoints are different, often more secure, and frequently less open. If we look at the hardening of operating systems, exemplified by the less-open-but-more-secure model of Apple’s iOS, the cost of exploiting endpoints is trending much higher. At least it was before Meltdown and Spectre, but fortunately those are (admittedly major) blips, not a permanent direction. Software as a Service (SaaS) is the new

How Cloud Security Managers Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

By Rich
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays… just in time to return to work, catch up on email, and watch the entire Internet burn down thanks to a cluster of hardware vulnerabilities built into pretty much every computing platform available. I won’t go into details or background on Meltdown and Spectre (note: if I ever discover a vulnerability, I want it named “CutYourF-ingHeartOutWithSpoon”). Instead I want to talk about them in the context of the cloud, short-term and long-term implications, and some response strategies. These are incredibly serious vulnerabilities – not only due to their immediate implications, but also because they

Firestarter: An Explicit End of Year Roundup

By Rich
The gang almost makes it through half the episode before dropping some inappropriate language as they summarize 2017. Rather than focusing on the big news, we spend time reflecting on the big trends and how little has changed, other than the pace of change. How the biggest breaches of the year stemmed from the oldest of old issues, to the newest of new. And last we want to thank all of you for all your amazing support over the years. Securosis has been running as a company for a decade now, which likely scares all of you even more than us.

Firestarter: Breacheriffic EquiFail

By Rich
This week Mike and Rich address the recent spate of operational fails leading to massive security breaches. This isn’t yet another blame the victim rant, but a frank discussion of why these issues are so persistent and so difficult to actually manage. We also discuss the rising role of automation and its potential to reduce these all-too-human errors. Watch or listen:

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
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