IBM Dances with Fortinet—Maybe…

Ah, the investment bankers are circling again. Late Friday rumors started circulating about IBM discussions of acquiring Fortinet. With a weekend to stew and the gap open for Fortinet stock, it makes sense to think about what a potential deal means, right? Wrong. I’m pretty sure you have a lot to do. I’m also pretty sure that whether IBM buys Fortinet or not, you’ll still have a lot to do. If you are a Fortinet customer, you may have some impact. If you are an IBM customer or are still running ISS gear, you may have some new options. But ultimately until a deal is announced, spending even one single brain cycle on it is a waste of time. So go back to your To-Do list. And if/when a deal is announced, we’ll be there to tell you what to worry about and why. But until then, get back to work. Share:

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SQL Azure and 3 Pieces of Flair

I have very little social life, so I spent my weekend researching trends in database security. Part of my Saturday was spent looking at Microsoft’s security model for the Azure SQL database platform. Specifically I wanted to know how they plan to address database and content security issues with their cloud-based offering. I certainly don’t follow all things cloud to the degree our friend Chris Hoff over at RationalSurvivability does, but I do attempt to stay current on database security trends as they pertain to cloud and virtual environments. Rummaging around MSDN, looking for anything new on SQL Azure database security, I found Microsoft’s Security Guidelines and Limitations for SQL Azure Database. And I downloaded their Security Guidlines for SQL Azure (docx). All 5 riveting pages of it. I have also been closely following the Oakleaf Systems blog, where I have seen many posts on secure session management and certificate issuance. In fact Adam Langley had an excellent post on the computational costs of SSL/TLS this Saturday. All in all they paint a very consistent picture, but I am quite disappointed in what I see. Most of the technical implementations I have looked at appear sound, but if the public documentation is an accurate indication of the overall strategy, I am speechless. Why, you ask? Firewall, SSL, and user authentication are the totality of the technologies prescribed. Does that remind you of something? This, perhaps?   With thanks to Gunnar Peterson, who many years ago captured the essence of most web application security strategies within a singe picture. Security minimalism. And if they only want to do the minimum, that’s okay, I guess. But I was hoping for a little content security. Or input validation tools. Or logging. I’m not saying they need to go wild with features, but at this point the burden’s on the application developer to roll their own security. Share:

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