Securosis

Research

Incite 10/1/2014: Stranger in my own town

I had a bit of a surreal experience earlier this week. Rich probably alluded to it a few times on the Twitter, but we are all as busy as we have been since we started the new Securosis 5 years ago. I m traveling like a mad man and it’s getting hard to squeeze in important meetings with long-time clients. But you do what you need to – we built this business on relationships, and that means we pay attention to the ones that matter. So when a Monday meeting on the west coast is the only window you can meet with a client before an important event, you do it. I flew out Sunday and had a good meeting Monday. But there was a slight complication. I was scheduled to do the mindfulness talk with JJ at the ISC2 Congress Tuesday morning in Atlanta. I had agreed to speak months ago and it’s my favorite talk, so there was no way I was bailing on JJ. That means the red-eye. Bah! I hate the red-eye. I have friends who thrive on it. They hate the idea of spending a working day in the air. I relish it because I don’t have calls and can mute the Tweeter. I get half a day of solid thinking, writing, or relaxing time. With in-flight networking I can catch up on emails and reading if I choose. So I can be productive and compensate for my challenges sleeping on planes. If I get a crappy night’s sleep the next couple of days are hosed, and that’s not really an option right now. Thankfully I got an upgrade to first class, which is about as rare as sniffing unicorn dust. I poured my exhausted self into my first-class seat, plugged in my headphones, and slept pretty well, all things considered. It wasn’t solid sleep, but it was sleep. When we landed in ATL I felt decent. Which was a lot better than I expected. So what now? Normally I’d get in the car and drive home to get all pretty for the conference. But that wouldn’t work this week because I needed to be in another city Tuesday afternoon, ahead of another strategy day on Wednesday. I didn’t have time to go home, clean up, and then head back downtown for my talk. I made some calls to folks who would be at the ISC2 conference and was graciously offered the use of a shower. But that would involve wading into some man soup in a flop room, so I was grateful for the offer, but kept looking for alternatives. Then I realized the ATL airport has showers in some of its Sky Clubs. So I trudged down to the International Terminal and found a very spacious, comfortable changing room and shower. It was bigger than some hotel rooms I’ve had in Europe. I became a stranger in my own town. Showering up at my home airport to do a talk in my city before heading back to the airport to grab another flight to another city. The boy told me it was cool to be in 3 cities in less than a day. I told him not so much, but it’s what I do. It’s a strange nomadic existence. But I’m grateful that I have clients who want to meet with me, and a family who is understanding of the fact that I love my job… –Mike Photo credit: “Darth Shower” originally uploaded by _Teb The fine folks at the RSA Conference posted the talk Jennifer Minella and I did on mindfulness at the conference this year. You can check it out on YouTube. Take an hour and check it out. Your emails, alerts and Twitter timeline will be there when you get back. 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. September 16 – Apple Pay August 18 – You Can’t Handle the Gartner July 22 – Hacker Summer Camp July 14 – China and Career Advancement June 30 – G Who Shall Not Be Named June 17 – Apple and Privacy May 19 – Wanted Posters and SleepyCon May 12 – Another 3 for 5: McAfee/OSVDB, XP Not Dead, CEO head rolling May 5 – There Is No SecDevOps April 28 – The Verizon DBIR 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. Security and Privacy on the Encrypted Network The Future is Encrypted Secure Agile Development Building a Security Tool Chain Process Adjustments Working with Development Agile and Agile Trends Introduction Trends in Data Centric Security Deployment Models Tools Introduction Use Cases Newly Published Papers The Security Pro’s Guide to Cloud File Storage and Collaboration The 2015 Endpoint and Mobile Security Buyer’s Guide Open Source Development and Application Security Analysis Advanced Endpoint and Server Protection Defending Against Network-based DDoS Attacks Reducing Attack Surface with Application Control Leveraging Threat Intelligence in Security Monitoring The Future of Security Incite 4 U Gorillas in the mist: In case you missed it, was another important vulnerability was disclosed last week, aside from Shellshock. It was a flaw with the network security library used by Firefox and Google’s Chrome that allows an attacker to create forged RSA signatures to confuse browsers. In practice someone can fake a certificate for eBay or Amazon – or any other SSL connection – and act as a man-in-the-middle, collecting any private data sent down the pipe. You’d think that we would have beaten on SSL libraries enough to uncover these types of flaws, but just as with the bash shell vulnerability we will

Share:
Read Post
dinosaur-sidebar

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.