Incite 4/23/2014: New Coat of Paint

It is interesting to see the concept of mindfulness enter the vernacular. For folks who have read the Incite for a while, I haven’t been shy about my meditation practice. And next week I will present on Neuro-Hacking with Jen Minella at her company’s annual conference. I never really shied away from this discussion, but I didn’t go out of my way to discuss it either.   If someone I was meeting with seemed receptive to talking about it, I would. If they weren’t, I wouldn’t. I doesn’t really matter to me either way. Turns out I found myself engaging in interesting conversations in unexpected places once I became open to talking about my experiences. It turns out mindfulness is becoming mass market fodder. In our Neuro-Hacking talk we reference Search Inside Yourself, which describes Google’s internal program, which is broadening into a mindfulness curriculum and a variety of other resources to kickstart a practice. These materials are hitting the market faster and faster now. When I was browsing through a brick and mortar bookstore last weekend with the Boy (they still exist!), I saw two new titles in the HOT section on these topics. From folks you wouldn’t expect. 10% Happier is from Dan Harris, a weekend anchor for ABC News. He describes his experiences embracing mindfulness and meditation. I am about 75% done with his book, and it is good to see how a skeptic overcame his pre-conceived notions to gain the aforementioned 10% benefit in his life. I also noticed Arianna Huffington wrote a book called Thrive, which seems to cover a lot of the same topics – getting out of our own way to find success, by drawing “on our intuition and inner wisdom, our sense of wonder, and our capacity for compassion and giving.” At this point I start worrying that mindfulness will just be the latest in a series of fads to capture the public’s imagination, briefly. ‘Worry’ is probably the wrong word – it’s more that I have a feeling of having seen this movie before and knowing it ends up like the Thighmaster. Like a lot of fads, many folks will try it and give up. Or learn they don’t like it. Or realize it doesn’t provide a quick fix in their life, and then go back to their $300/hr shrinks, diet pills, and other short-term fixes. And you know what? That’s okay. The nice part about really buying into mindfulness and non-judgement is that I know it’s not for everyone. How can it be? With billions of people on earth, there are bound to be many paths and solutions for people to find comfort, engagement, and maybe even happiness. And just as many paths for people to remain dissatisfied, judgmental, and striving for things they don’t have. I guess the best thing about having some perspective is that I can appreciate that nothing I’m doing is really new. Luminaries and new-age gurus like Ekhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra have put a new coat of paint on a 2,500 year old practice. They use fancy words for a decidedly unfancy practice. That doesn’t make it new. It just makes it shiny, and perhaps accessible to a new generation of folks. And there’s nothing wrong with that. –Mike Photo credit: “Wet Paint II originally uploaded by James Offer Securosis Firestarter Have you checked out our new video podcast? Rich, Adrian, and Mike get into a Google Hangout and.. hang out. We talk a bit about security as well. We try to keep these to 15 minutes or less, and usually fail. April 14 – Three for Five March 24 – The End of Full Disclosure March 19 – An Irish Wake March 11 – RSA Postmortem Feb 21 – Happy Hour – RSA 2014 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 In case any of you missed it, we published our fifth RSA Conference Guide. Yes, we do mention the conference a bit, but it’s really our ideas about how security will shake out in 2014. You can get the full guide with all the memes you can eat. 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, with our content in all its unabridged glory. And you can get all our research papers too. Understanding Role-based Access Control Introduction NoSQL Security 2.0 Introduction Defending Against Network Distributed Denial of Service Attacks Mitigations Magnification The Attacks Introduction Advanced Endpoint and Server Protection Quick Wins Detection/Investigation Prevention Assessment Introduction Newly Published Papers Reducing Attack Surface with Application Control Leveraging Threat Intelligence in Security Monitoring The Future of Security 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 Incite 4 U Questions driving the search for answers: Whatever you are doing, stop! And read Kelly White’s 3-part series on Questioning Security (Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Kelly’s main contention is that the answers we need to do security better are there, but only if we ask the right questions. Huh. Then he provides a model for gathering that data, contextualizing it, using some big data technologies to analyze it, and even works through an example or two. This echoes something we have been talking about for a long time. There is no lack of data. There is a lack of information to solve security problems. Of course a lot of this stuff is easily said but much harder to do. And even harder to do consistently. But it helps to have a model which provides a roadmap. Without some examples to make the model tangible you woon’t even know where to start. So thank Kelly for a piece of that. Now go read the posts. – MR Bounties on open source security flaws: The Veracode blog’s latest post is thought-provoking, asking whether it is time to Crowdfund Open Source Software.

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