Blog - Author Posts

Incite 8/31/2016: Meetings: No Thanks

By Mike Rothman
It’s been a long time since I had an office job. I got fired from my last in November 2005. I had another job since then, but I commuted to Boston. So I was in the office maybe 2-3 days a week. But usually not. That means I rarely have a bad commute. I work from wherever I want, usually some coffee shop with headphones on, or in a quiet enough corner to take a call. I spend some time in the home office when I need to record a webcast or record a video with Rich and Adrian. So

Endpoint Advanced Protection: The State of the Endpoint Security Union

By Mike Rothman
Innovation comes and goes in security. Back in 2007 network security had been stagnant for more than a few years. It was the same old, same old. Firewall does this. IPS does that. Web proxy does a third thing. None of them did their jobs particularly well, struggling to keep up with attacks encapsulated in common protocols. Then the next generation firewall emerged, and it turned out that regardless of what it was called, it was more than a firewall. It was the evolution of the network security gateway. The same thing happened a few years ago in endpoint security. Organizations

Incident Response in the Cloud Age [new paper]

By Mike Rothman
Incident response is always tough today. But when you need to deal with faster networks, an increasingly mobile workforce, and that thing called cloud computing, IR gets even harder. Sure, there are new technologies like threat intelligence, better network and endpoint telemetry, and analytics to help you investigate faster. But don’t think you’ll be able to do the same thing tomorrow as you did yesterday. You will need to evolve your incident response process and technology to handle the cloud age, just like you have had to adapt many of your other security functions to this new reality.

Incite 7/27/2016: The 3 As

By Mike Rothman
One of the hardest things for me to realize has been that I don’t control everything. I spent years railing against the machine, and getting upset when nothing changed. Active-minded people (as opposed to passive) believe they make their own opportunities and control their destiny, sometimes by force of will. Over the past few years, I needed a way to handle this reality and not make myself crazy. So I came up with 3 “A” words that make sense to me. The first ‘A’, Acceptance, is very difficult for me because it goes against most of what I believe. When

Managed Security Monitoring: Selecting a Service Provider

By Mike Rothman
Based on the discussion in our first post, you have decided to move toward a managed security monitoring service. Awesome! That was the easy part. Now you need to figure out what kind of deployment model makes sense, and then do the hard work of actually selecting the best service provider for you. That’s an important distinction to get straight up front. Vendor selection is about your organization. We know it can be easier to just go with a brand name. Or a name in the right quadrant to pacify senior management. Or the cheapest option. But none of

Building a Threat Intelligence Program [New Paper]

By Mike Rothman
Threat Intelligence has made a significant difference in how organizations focus resources on their most significant risks. Yet far too many organizations continue to focus on very tactical use cases for external threat data. These help, but they underutilizing the intelligence’s capabilities and potential. The time has come to advance threat intelligence into the broader and more structured TI program to ensure systematic, consistent, and repeatable value. A program must account for ongoing attack indicator changes and keep up with evolution in adversaries’ tactics. Our Building a Threat Intelligence Program paper offers guidance for designing a program and systematically

Incite 6/29/16: Gone Fishin’ (Proverbially)

By Mike Rothman
It was a great Incite. I wrote it on the flight to Europe for the second leg of my summer vacation. I said magical stuff. Such depth and perspective, I even amazed myself. When I got to the hotel in Florence and went to post the Incite on the blog, it was gone. That’s right: G. O. N. E. And it’s not going to return. I was sore for a second. But I looked at Mira (she’s the new love I mentioned in a recent Incite) and smiled. I walked outside our hotel and saw the masses

Managed Security Monitoring: Use Cases

By Mike Rothman
Many security professionals feel the deck is stacked against them. Adversaries continue to improve their techniques, aided by plentiful malware kits and botnet infrastructures. Continued digitization at pretty much every enterprise means everything of interest in on some system somewhere. Don’t forget the double whammy of mobile and cloud, which democratizes access without geographic boundaries, and takes the one bastion of control, the traditional data center, out of your direct control. Are we having fun yet? Of course the news isn’t all bad – security has become very high profile. Getting attention and resources can sometimes be a little

Shining a Light on Shadow Devices [New Paper]

By Mike Rothman
Visible devices are only some of the network-connected devices in your environment. There are hundreds, quite possibly thousands, of other devices you don’t know about on your network. You don’t scan them periodically, and you have no idea of their security posture. Each one can be attacked, and might provide an adversary with opportunity to gain presence in your environment. Your attack surface is much larger than you thought. In our Shining a Light on Shadow Devices paper, we discuss the attacks on these devices which can become an issue on your network, along with some tactics to

Getting the SWIFT Boot

By Mike Rothman
As long as I have been in security and following the markets, I have observed that no one says security is unimportant. Not out loud, anyway. But their actions usually show a different view. Maybe there is a little more funding. Maybe somewhat better visibility at the board level. But mostly security gets a lot of lip service. In other words, security doesn’t matter. Until it does. The international interbank payment system called SWIFT has successfully been hit multiple times by hackers, and a few other attempts have been foiled. Now they are going to start turning the screws
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