Incite 1/2/13: Consistent Variety

Happy 2013 everybody! At the dawn of a new year, most folks think more proactively about what they want to change – and what they don’t. I have spoken many times about the need to embrace change and even to learn to love change. Change is good. Stagnation is bad. But the trouble lies in how you achieve that change – and how you react when change is forced upon you. We were in the car the other day, and the Boss asked the kids about their New Year Resolutions. She and XX1 had some great ideas about what they resolved to do in the coming year. Everything they said was outstanding. But here’s the rub. Talk is easy. Resolutions are easy. Writing down resolutions is harder than saying them. And actually doing something consistently is infinitely harder. That’s why so many folks fail year after year regarding their resolutions. I am working on not putting a pin in every thought balloon floated in my direction. Cynics are trained to deflate ideas before they get airborne. It’s not the most positive feature of my OS. So in an attempt to do things differently, I held off from the typical interrogation that would follow a resolution. My instinct is to dig into the plan. I want everyone to lose weight or communicate better or get in shape or do whatever you’ve resolved to do. But without a plan – and more importantly an accountability partner – the odds are not in your favor. That’s not being pessimistic, it’s being realistic. You see, resolutions have to do with what you want to change. By the time we get through January, the best laid plans will be totally screwed up by external forces requiring you to adapt. Maybe it’s an injury that inhibits your exercise resolution. Or a new high profile project that gets in the way of family dinners. That’s why I largely stopped setting goals. And I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. Why should I wait until the end of December to do the right thing? That doesn’t mean I plan to stagnate. I know where I want to get to. But I’m less set on how I get there. Regardless of what happens, I’ll adapt accordingly. I did a bunch of analysis at the end of last year to figure out what needs to happen every month to hit my desired economic outcome. But life will intrude and I’ll need to adapt. I know how I need to eat to maintain my desired weight and how many days I need to exercise to strengthen my body accordingly. Some days I’ll do well, other days I won’t. My plan is to look back in 12 months and feel good about what I’ve accomplished. But there are no hard or fast rules about what that means. There are no specifically defined goals. It’s about making sure I’m moving in the right direction. I’ll get there when I get there. If I get there. The only thing I specifically focus on is consistent effort. The beauty of not being tied to specific goals is that I can add variety to my actions and my activities. I get that’s an oxymoron. To me, consistent variety means to work hard every day. Be kind every day. Make good choices every day. And adapt as needed. You know, grind. Do stuff. Make mistakes. But move forward. Always. For a pessimist, I’m pretty optimistic about 2013. –Mike Photo credits: Consistency originally uploaded by Matt Hampel Heavy Research We are back at work on a variety of blog series, so here is a list of the research currently underway. Remember you can get our Heavy Feed via RSS, where you can get all our content in its unabridged glory. And you can get all our research papers too. Building an Early Warning System Deploying the EWS Determining Urgency Understanding and Selection an Enterprise Key Manager Management Features Newly Published Papers Implementing and Managing Patch and Configuration Management Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks Securing Big Data: Security Recommendations for Hadoop and NoSQL Environments Pragmatic WAF Management: Giving Web Apps a Fighting Chance Incite 4 U Editors note: With great pleasure we welcome one of our two favorite Canadians as an Incite contributor. Jamie Arlen (@myrcurial for you Twitterati) will be contributing a piece each week, and his stuff will be tagged JA. So now you know where to send the hate mail… Monetizing the entire PC: Krebs’ recent post about the market for stolen passwords made me think of the huge markets the Boss and I visited in Barcelona last spring. The butchers there would sell pretty much every part of the animal. You’d look at the display case and think “WTF is that?” There is very little waste. It seems that PCs are silicon goats, and the underground markets Krebs frequents are the places where the parts get traded. By the way, it’s not much different than how Wall Street packages up pretty much everything, slices it, values it, and sells it in various tranches. Then they sell derivatives on the tranches, making transaction fees on every step of the cycle. I don’t think there is a big market for the meat of a lemming, but there is a huge market for consumer PC lemmings. That’s for sure. – MR Have fun without the echoes: 2012 is in the bag, and for some of us it couldn’t come soon enough. Oh, I had some nice highlights of the year (especially the bit about going to the Tour de France), but it seems I spent too much time sick or buried in less-interesting projects. Despite all that, one thing I avoided was getting caught up in the echo-chamber security BS that sometimes plagues Twitter, blogs, and the press. Almost none of these debates matter in any meaningful way, as Dave Shackleford says so well: “There’s been a lot of acrimonious discussion in the security community this year…and I

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Threatpost: What Have We Learned in 2012

2012: What Have We Learned The biggest shift in 2012 was the emergence of state-sponsored malware and targeted attacks as major factors. The idea of governments developing and deploying highly sophisticated malware is far from new. Such attacks have been going on for years, but they’ve mainly stayed out of the limelight. Security researchers and intelligence analysts have seen many of these attacks, targeting both enterprises and government agencies, but they were almost never discussed openly and were not something that showed up on the front page of a national newspaper. A good read by Dennis Fisher, but I have a slightly different take. State-level cyberattacks definitely “broke out” in 2012, but I think a bigger lesson is that pretty much every organization finally realized that signature-based AV isn’t very helpful. Some of this is related to what China has been up to, but not all of it. Over the past year I couldn’t talk to any large organization, or many medium, that isn’t struggling with malware. I couldn’t say that on December 31, 2011. Share:

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The New York Times on Antivirus

Outmaneuvered at Their Own Game, Antivirus Makers Struggle to Adapt The antivirus industry has a dirty little secret: its products are often not very good at stopping viruses. Consumers and businesses spend billions of dollars every year on antivirus software. But these programs rarely, if ever, block freshly minted computer viruses, experts say, because the virus creators move too quickly. Everyone in security knows this, but it is a bigger deal when the mainstream press starts covering it. Although too much of the article is a love song to various vendors who still need to prove themselves more. Share:

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