Rich, Adrian, and I have been hinting about our sekret plans to launch a new research ‘product’ for a while. Today we are finally ready to let you guys in on our the scoop. We are very excited about this next step in the evolution of Securosis.

We call it the Securosis Nexus, and it’s an online environment built to help security professionals get their jobs done better and faster. We leverage our blog and white paper content (since that’s kind of what we do), but there are a bunch of community features that make this more than just a file cabinet of our stuff.

Introducing the Securosis Nexus!What problem are we trying to solve? There is no lack of security content out there. But figuring out what’s important is the challenge. Most security folks spend far too much time wading through irrelevant content, as opposed to doing stuff. We have built the Nexus user experience to accelerate the process of figuring out what you need to know to achieve project success.

Who is our target? First, the folks who probably don’t know what they don’t know about security. Unfortunately there are a lot of these folks – struggling every day because they don’t eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff like we do. Our working theory is that the vast majority of people working in security today don’t have security in their title, or even a security department or CISO in their company. We want to make sure those folks have enough information to be educated buyers and implementers of whatever product/project they are tackling, without having to spend 10 years taking classes and falling asleep in conferences.

The Nexus is also for people who are working their behinds off every day, but aren’t experts in every little area. None of us know everything (just ask Rich about “IAM” if you want to see a blank stare), and we all need a little help from day to day.

I have been describing it as a continuum. Most folks know perhaps 20% of what they need to know to do something. We believe the Nexus can get folks to 60-70% of what they need to know, with a much better chance to accomplish their tasks and do their jobs.

There are two main aspects of the Nexus:

  1. Pragmatic Research: We tend to write 20-30 page papers, each providing a deep dive into a specific security topic. They aren’t for the Nexus – where our intended users don’t have time to read 30 pages about anything. They don’t get any awards for knowing everything about a topic, so the focus is instead on actionable information, not fluff or overly detailed description. The content is very modular and easy to navigate. Short descriptions, video, audio, checklists, and templates will be the bulk of the material on any specific topic. More about what needs to be done than why. There are a bunch of ways to view the content, and topics of interest can be stored in a library. All the content can be rated as well, so over time we’ll know what works and what doesn’t, and we will make it better.
  2. Ask an Analyst: We also know not every situation fits into a clean bucket of checklists and templates, so we have included a way to ask direct questions to an analyst and get direct answers. Privately and confidentially. The interface is built to make it easy to find both answers to your specific questions, and other public answers that may be helpful in solving your problem.

We believe the Nexus will provide excellent value for expert practitioners and departments of larger enterprises as well, but likely more due to the Nexus community features. And best of all, we built the Nexus with economics in mind. Other research firms charge tens of thousands of dollars to ask them questions. For the Nexus, think hundreds rather than tens of thousands.

Check out the Nexus site to see more features and view a video demo Rich put together. It’ll give you a good feel for the user experience. It looks great, if I do say so myself.

We will launch Nexus later this year with a full set of content around PCI and associated technologies. Over time we will be building modules, templates, checklists, videos, and audio content for our entire coverage universe. We are just about ready to open the beta to a limited set of folks, and we’ll be inviting more over the next couple weeks as we continue building out the content.

You can sign up for the beta on the Nexus site.

We’ll talk more about the Nexus in the coming weeks as we add more content, flesh out the functionality, and launch to the public. In the meantime we’re interested in your feedback on what you can see in the video, so please check it out and let us know.