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Incite 9/1/2010: Battle of the Bandz

By Mike Rothman
Hard to believe it’s September already. As we steam through yet another year, I like to step back and reflect on the technical achievements that have literally changed our life experience. Things like the remote control and pay at the pump. How about the cell phone, which is giving way to a mini-computer that I carry in my pocket? Thankfully it’s much lighter than a PDP-11. And networks, yeah man, always on baby! No matter where you are, you can be connected. But let’s not forget the wonders of silicone and injection molding, which has enabled the

Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall: Introduction

By Mike Rothman
Today we begin the our next blog series: Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall. Yes, really. Shock was the first reaction from most folks. They figure firewalls have evolved about as much over the last 5 years as ant traps. They’re wrong, of course, but most people think of firewalls as old, static, and generally uninteresting. In fact, most security folks begin their indentured servitude looking after the firewalls, where they gain seasoning before anyone lets them touch important gear like the IPS. As you’ll see over the next few weeks, there’s definitely activity on the firewall front

Data Encryption for PCI 101: Selection Criteria

By Adrian Lane
As a merchant your goal is to protect stored credit card numbers (PAN), as well as other card data such as card-holder name, service code, and expiration date. You need to protect these fields from both unwanted physical (e.g., disk, tape backup, USB) and logical (e.g., database queries, file reads) inspection. And detect and stop misuse if possible, as well. Our goal for this paper is to offer pragmatic advice so you can accomplish those goals quickly and cost-effectively, so we won’t mince words. For PCI compliance, we only recommend one of two encryption choices: Transparent Database

Have DLP Questions or Feedback? Want Free Answers?

By Rich
Back when I started Securosis my first white paper was Understanding and Selecting a DLP Solution. It has been downloaded many thousands of times (about 400 times a month for the first couple years), and I still see it showing up all the time when I talk with clients. (Some people call it the DLP Bible, but if I said that it would be really pretentious). Although the paper is still accurate, it’s time for an update. Over the next month I’ll be putting together the new revision of the paper and I want to make sure it reflects

Home Security Alarm Tips

By Rich
This is one of those posts I’ve been thinking about writing for a while – ever since I saw one of those dumb-ass ADT commercials with the guy with the black knit cap breaking in through the front door while some ‘helpless’ woman was in the kitchen. I’m definitely no home-alarm security expert, but being a geek I really dug into the design and technology when I purchased systems for the two homes I’ve lived in here in Phoenix. We’re in a nice area, but home break-ins are a bit more common here than in Boulder. In

Data Encryption for PCI 101: Supporting Systems

By Adrian Lane
Continuing our series on PCI Encryption basics, we delve into the supporting systems that make encryption work. Key management and access controls are important building blocks, and subject to audit to ensure compliance with the Data Security Standard. Key Management Key management considerations for PCI are pretty much the same as for any secure deployment: you need to protect encryption keys from unauthorized physical and logical access. And to the extent it’s possible, prevent misuse. Those are the basics things you really need to get right so they are our focus here. As per our introduction, we will avoid

Friday Summary: August 27, 2010

By Rich
My original plan for this week’s summary was to geek out a bit and talk about my home automation setup. Including the time I recently discovered that even household electrical is powerful enough to arc weld your wire strippers if you aren’t too careful. Then I read some stuff. Some really bad stuff. First up was an article in USA Today that I won’t even dignify with a link. It was on the iTunes account phishing that’s been going on, and it was pretty poorly written. Here’s a hint – if you are reading an article

White Paper Released: Understand and Selecting SIEM/Log Management

By Mike Rothman
In this report we spotlight both the grim realities and real benefits of SIEM/Log Management platforms. The vendors are certainly not going to tell you about the bad stuff in their products – they just shout out the same fantastic advantages touted in the latest quadrant report. Trust us when we say there are many pissed-off SIEM users, but plenty of happy ones as well. We focused this paper on resetting expectations and making sure you know enough to focus on success, which will save you much heartburn later. This fairly comprehensive paper delves into the use cases for the

Starting the Understanding and Selecting an Enterprise Firewall Project

By Mike Rothman
I joined Securosis back in January and took on coverage of network and endpoint security. My goal this year was to lay the foundation by doing fairly in-depth research projects on the key fundamental areas in each patch. I started with Endpoint Security Fundamentals (I’m doing some webcasts next month) and continued with the Network Security Operations Quant project (which I’m now working through) to focus on the processes to manage network security devices. But clearly selecting the anchor device in the perimeter – the firewall – demands a full and detailed analysis. So next week I’ll start a

Incite 8/25/2010: Let Freedom Ring

By Mike Rothman
It’s funny how different folks have totally different perceptions of the same things. Obviously the idea of freedom for someone living under an oppressive regime is different than my definition. My good fortune to be born in a certain place to a certain family is not lost on me. But my wacky idea of freedom took on an interesting meaning this past weekend. The Boss was out of town with one of the kids. So I was responsible for the other two, and that meant on Saturday I started the day helping out our friends at their son’s
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