The (Full) 2014 Securosis RSA Conference Guide

Yes, you have seen this content because we have been blogging it for 10 days. But you can’t really take our blog with you to the RSA Conference, can you? Oh, smartphone browsers. Never mind.   Anyway, we have spent some time packaging up our key themes and deep dives, breaking the vendors up into logical areas, and listing all the vendors so you know where to find them at the show. We have also gone a bit nuts with the memegenerator, so at minimum the guide should keep you entertained. And just another reminder to RSVP for the DR Breakfast. The entire week will be epic. Start it off right with the 2014 RSA Conference Guide! Download (PDF): The 2014 Securosis RSA Conference Guide Share:

Read Post

Security Analytics with Big Data Research Paper

  I am happy to announce the release of a research paper a long time in the making: Security Analytics with Big Data. This topic generates tons of questions from end users, and we get them from large and mid-sized enterprises alike. The goals of this research project were threefold: The research outline Describes what security analytics with big data is and what it looks like Discusses how it is different than past tools and platforms Discusses the main use cases These topics mirror our early discussions around security analytics. Big data is a very new and very disruptive trend, so how we might use big data to help with security problems was interesting to the community as a whole. Answering questions about how to leverage virtually free NoSQL analytics tools to do a better job of detecting security events is important – both for what is possible and to provide a picture of where the industry is heading. The story behind the research But a funny thing happened during the research – during interviews people invariably wanted to know how it works within their environment. Many people did not want to just start evaluating security analytics options – they were keen to leverage existing investments and build on infrastructure they already own. The backstory is relevant because this ended up becoming three contiguous research projects, and then we massaged the content into this final paper to address the full breadth of questions. When I begun this work a year ago I wanted to fully describe the skunkworks projects I was seeing at some small and mid-sized firms. Both security companies and motivated individuals were using multiple NoSQL variants to detect security problems, often either with a new approach or at a unprecedented cost we had not seen before. Those trends are reflected in this research. Along the way I spoke with 20 large enterprises, and I kept getting the same request: “We are interested in security analytics, but we want to blend both the data and analysis with existing investments”. Most of the time these firms were referring to SIEM, but occasionally they had data warehouses with other information they wished to reference as well. That is also reflected in the paper. But when I got to this point, things got a bit odd. Once our research papers are completed we see if companies are interested in licensing our research to educate employees, customers, or the larger IT community. The responses I got were, “This is not in line with our position”, “This research does not reflect what we see”, “This research does not differentiate our solution” and “Our SIEM was big data before there was big data”. The broader scope of this research generated a degree of negative feedback which got me thinking I had totally missed the mark, asked the wrong questions, or simply talked to too few of customers. I spent another 6 months going through new interviews with a broader set of questions, and speaking to more data architects, vendors, and would-be customers. Retracing my steps reaffirmed that the research was on target, and I feel this paper captures the market today. Customer interest and inquiries outpace what the vendor community is prepared to offer, and customers are asking for capabilities outside the vendor storylines. So this paper tells a decidedly different story than what you are likely to hear elsewhere. Recommendations First and foremost, this is a research paper to educate end users on what security analytics with big data is, the value it provides, and how to distinguish big data solutions from pretenders. That is its core value. If you are going to “roll your own” big data security analytics cluster, this research provides a sample of what other firms are doing, architectures they use, and the underlying components they leverage to support their work. It will help you understand what types of data you probably already have at your disposal, and what observations you can derive from it. If you are looking to acquire a big data analytics solution this research will help you understand potential risks in realizing your investment and help with rollout and integration. You can download a copy on its landing page: Security Analytics with Big Data. We hope you find this information helpful, and as always please ask questions or provide feedback on the blog. Share:

Read Post

Incite 2/19/2014: Outwit, Outlast, OutRSA

No, we aren’t talking about Survivor, which evidently is still on the air. Who knew? This week the band of merry Securosis men are frantically preparing for next week’s RSA Conference. We’ll all descend on San Francisco Sunday afternoon to get ready for a week of, well, work and play. I saw Stiennon tweet about his 50 meetings/briefings, etc. – claiming that’s a new personal record. That’s not #winning. That’s #losing – at least to me. I have way too many meetings scheduled – and that even doesn’t count all the parties I have committed to attending. Pretty much every minute of every day is spoken for. My liver hurts already. RSA is a war of attrition. By Friday when I fly home I am always a mess. A few years ago I ran into Andy Jaquith on the BART train back to the airport afterwards. He tried his best to make conversation, but I had nothing. I could hardly string three words together. I grunted a bit and scrawled a note that I’d call him the following week. I sleep well on Friday night when I get home. And most of Saturday too. I pray to a variety of deities to fend off the con flu. Usually to no avail – the RSA Conference grinds even the hardiest of souls into dust. But I really can’t complain much. As much as I whine about the crazy schedule, the lack of sleep, and the destruction of billions of brain cells, I love the RSA Conference. I get to see so many friends I have made over the past 20 years in this business. I get to see what’s new and exciting in the business, validate some of my research, and pick the brains of many smart folks. We are lucky to meet up with many of our clients and provide our view of the security world. I also find out about many new opportunities do work with those clients, and based on early indications March and April should be very busy indeed. So it’s all good. Based on early RSVPs we expect record numbers at our Disaster Recovery Breakfast Thursday morning. A ton of folks are interested in the talk on mindfulness JJ and I are doing at the show. And the 2014 Security Bloggers Meetup will be bigger and better than ever. Yes, if you can’t tell, I’m really looking forward to the Conference. And I look forward to seeing many of you there. –Mike PS: I learned yesterday that a pillar of the Atlanta security community passed away recently. So I’ll have a drink or ten in honor of Dan Combs. He was a good man. A good security guy. And he will be missed. RIP Dan. It’s just another reminder that our time here is short, so enjoy it, have fun, maximize each day, and live as large as you can. You never know which RSA Conference will be your last… Photo credit: “Survivor Finale” originally uploaded by Kristin Dos Santos Securosis Firestarter Have you checked out our new video podcast? Basically Rich, Adrian, and Mike get into a Google Hangout and, well, hang out. We talk a bit about security as well. We try to keep to less than 15 minutes and usually fail. Feb 17 – Payment Madness Feb 10 – Mass Media Abuse Feb 03 – Inevitable Doom Jan 27 – Government Influence Jan 20 – Target and Antivirus Jan 13 – Crisis Communications 2014 RSA Conference Guide We’re at it again. For the fifth year we are putting together a comprehensive guide to want you need to know if you will be in San Francisco for the RSA Conference at the end of February. The full guide (with tons of memes and other humor that doesn’t translate to the blog) will be available later today. We will also be recording a special Firestarter video on Thursday, since you obviously can’t get enough of our mugs. Look for that on Friday… Key Themes Watch List: DevOps Key Theme: Cloud Everything Key Theme: Crypto and Data Protection Key Theme: Retailer Breaches Key Theme: Big Data Security Key Theme: APT0 Deep Dives Data Security Cloud Security Endpoint Security Identity and Access Management Security Management and Compliance Application Security Network Security And don’t forget to register for the Disaster Recovery Breakfast, 8-11am Thursday, at Jillian’s. 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. The Future of Information Security Implications for Cloud Providers Implications for Security Vendors What it means (Part 3) Six Trends Changing the Face of Security A Disruptive Collision Introduction Leveraging Threat Intelligence in Security Monitoring Quick Wins with TISM The Threat Intelligence + Security Monitoring Process Revisiting Security Monitoring Benefiting from the Misfortune of Others Advanced Endpoint and Server Protection Prevention Assessment Introduction Newly Published Papers Security Management 2.5: Replacing Your SIEM Yet? Defending Data on iOS 7 Eliminating Surprises with Security Assurance and Testing What CISOs Need to Know about Cloud Computing Defending Against Application Denial of Service Security Awareness Training Evolution Firewall Management Essentials Incite 4 U Call it the Llama Clause: Just to get you in the RSA Conference state of mind, check out this great post from the Denim Group folks who are just learning about the nuances of exhibiting at RSA. Yup, there is a “no animals” restriction. Turns out not only can’t you bring a llama, you can’t bring a rhino either. Which is a bummer because a live rhino would be second only to Nir Zuk as booth catnip. You also can’t have loud noises or bad odors. Neither of which seems to be restricted at DEFCON. Apparently they also have a booth babe clause, or at least the right to ban folks unprofessionally or objectionably dressed. By the way, that would seem to be a bit of a subjective measure, no? For those attendees who don’t

Read Post

Totally Transparent Research is the embodiment of how we work at Securosis. It’s our core operating philosophy, our research policy, and a specific process. We initially developed it to help maintain objectivity while producing licensed research, but its benefits extend to all aspects of our business.

Going beyond Open Source Research, and a far cry from the traditional syndicated research model, we think it’s the best way to produce independent, objective, quality research.

Here’s how it works:

  • Content is developed ‘live’ on the blog. Primary research is generally released in pieces, as a series of posts, so we can digest and integrate feedback, making the end results much stronger than traditional “ivory tower” research.
  • Comments are enabled for posts. All comments are kept except for spam, personal insults of a clearly inflammatory nature, and completely off-topic content that distracts from the discussion. We welcome comments critical of the work, even if somewhat insulting to the authors. Really.
  • Anyone can comment, and no registration is required. Vendors or consultants with a relevant product or offering must properly identify themselves. While their comments won’t be deleted, the writer/moderator will “call out”, identify, and possibly ridicule vendors who fail to do so.
  • Vendors considering licensing the content are welcome to provide feedback, but it must be posted in the comments - just like everyone else. There is no back channel influence on the research findings or posts.
    Analysts must reply to comments and defend the research position, or agree to modify the content.
  • At the end of the post series, the analyst compiles the posts into a paper, presentation, or other delivery vehicle. Public comments/input factors into the research, where appropriate.
  • If the research is distributed as a paper, significant commenters/contributors are acknowledged in the opening of the report. If they did not post their real names, handles used for comments are listed. Commenters do not retain any rights to the report, but their contributions will be recognized.
  • All primary research will be released under a Creative Commons license. The current license is Non-Commercial, Attribution. The analyst, at their discretion, may add a Derivative Works or Share Alike condition.
  • Securosis primary research does not discuss specific vendors or specific products/offerings, unless used to provide context, contrast or to make a point (which is very very rare).
    Although quotes from published primary research (and published primary research only) may be used in press releases, said quotes may never mention a specific vendor, even if the vendor is mentioned in the source report. Securosis must approve any quote to appear in any vendor marketing collateral.
  • Final primary research will be posted on the blog with open comments.
  • Research will be updated periodically to reflect market realities, based on the discretion of the primary analyst. Updated research will be dated and given a version number.
    For research that cannot be developed using this model, such as complex principles or models that are unsuited for a series of blog posts, the content will be chunked up and posted at or before release of the paper to solicit public feedback, and provide an open venue for comments and criticisms.
  • In rare cases Securosis may write papers outside of the primary research agenda, but only if the end result can be non-biased and valuable to the user community to supplement industry-wide efforts or advances. A “Radically Transparent Research” process will be followed in developing these papers, where absolutely all materials are public at all stages of development, including communications (email, call notes).
    Only the free primary research released on our site can be licensed. We will not accept licensing fees on research we charge users to access.
  • All licensed research will be clearly labeled with the licensees. No licensed research will be released without indicating the sources of licensing fees. Again, there will be no back channel influence. We’re open and transparent about our revenue sources.

In essence, we develop all of our research out in the open, and not only seek public comments, but keep those comments indefinitely as a record of the research creation process. If you believe we are biased or not doing our homework, you can call us out on it and it will be there in the record. Our philosophy involves cracking open the research process, and using our readers to eliminate bias and enhance the quality of the work.

On the back end, here’s how we handle this approach with licensees:

  • Licensees may propose paper topics. The topic may be accepted if it is consistent with the Securosis research agenda and goals, but only if it can be covered without bias and will be valuable to the end user community.
  • Analysts produce research according to their own research agendas, and may offer licensing under the same objectivity requirements.
  • The potential licensee will be provided an outline of our research positions and the potential research product so they can determine if it is likely to meet their objectives.
  • Once the licensee agrees, development of the primary research content begins, following the Totally Transparent Research process as outlined above. At this point, there is no money exchanged.
  • Upon completion of the paper, the licensee will receive a release candidate to determine whether the final result still meets their needs.
  • If the content does not meet their needs, the licensee is not required to pay, and the research will be released without licensing or with alternate licensees.
  • Licensees may host and reuse the content for the length of the license (typically one year). This includes placing the content behind a registration process, posting on white paper networks, or translation into other languages. The research will always be hosted at Securosis for free without registration.

Here is the language we currently place in our research project agreements:

Content will be created independently of LICENSEE with no obligations for payment. Once content is complete, LICENSEE will have a 3 day review period to determine if the content meets corporate objectives. If the content is unsuitable, LICENSEE will not be obligated for any payment and Securosis is free to distribute the whitepaper without branding or with alternate licensees, and will not complete any associated webcasts for the declining LICENSEE. Content licensing, webcasts and payment are contingent on the content being acceptable to LICENSEE. This maintains objectivity while limiting the risk to LICENSEE. Securosis maintains all rights to the content and to include Securosis branding in addition to any licensee branding.

Even this process itself is open to criticism. If you have questions or comments, you can email us or comment on the blog.