Blog

Hello World. Meet Pwn2Own.

By Rich
I’m currently out on a client engagement, but early results over Twitter say that Internet Explorer 8 on Windows 7, Firefox on Windows 7, Safari on Mac OS X, and Safari on iPhone were all exploited within seconds in the Pwn2Own contest at the CanSecWest conference. While these exploits took the developers weeks or months to complete, that’s still a clean sweep. There is a very simple lesson in these results: If your security program relies on preventing or eliminating vulnerabilities and exploits, it is not a security program.

FireStarter: There is No Market for Security Innovation

By Rich
I often hear that there is no innovation left in security. That’s complete bullshit. There is plenty of innovation in security – but more often than not there’s no market for that innovation. For anything innovative to survive (at least in terms of physical goods and software) it needs to have a market. Sometimes, as with the motion controllers of the Nintendo Wii, it disrupts an existing market by creating new value. In other cases, the innovation taps into unknown needs or desires and succeeds by creating a new market. Security is a bit of a tougher nut. As

Some DLP Metrics

By Rich
One of our readers, Jon Damratoski, is putting together a DLP program and asked me for some ideas on metrics to track the effectiveness of his deployment. By ‘ask’, I mean he sent me a great list of starting metrics that I completely failed to improve on. Jon is looking for some feedback and suggestions, and agreed to let me post these. Here’s his list: Number of people/business groups contacted about incidents – tie in somehow with user awareness training. Remediation metrics to show trend results in reducing incidents – at start of DLP we had X events, after talking

Announcing NetSec Ops Quant: Network Security Metrics Suck. Let’s Fix Them.

By Mike Rothman
The lack of credible and relevant network security metrics has been a thorn in my side for years. We don’t know how to define success. We don’t know how to communicate value. And ultimately, we don’t even know what we should be tracking operationally to show improvement (or failure) in our network security activities. But we in the echo chamber seem to be happier bitching about this, or flaming each other on mailing lists, than focusing on finding a solution. Some folks have tried to drive towards a set of metrics that make sense, but I can

Bonus Incite 3/19/2010: Don’t be LHF

By Mike Rothman
I got a little motivated this AM (it might have something to do with blowing off this afternoon to watch NCAA tourney games) and decided to double up on the Incite this week. I read Adrian’s Friday Summary intro this and it kind of bothered me. Mostly because I don’t know the answers either, and I find questions that I can’t answer cause me stress and angst. Maybe it’s because I like to be a know-it-all and it sucks when your own limitations smack you upside the head. Anyhow, what do we do about this whole

Friday Summary: March 19, 2010

By Adrian Lane
Your Facebook account gets compromised. Your browser flags your favorite sports site as a malware distributor. Your Twitter account is hacked through a phishing scam. You get AV pop-ups on your machine, but cannot tell which are real and which are scareware. Your identify gets stolen. You try to repair the damage and make sure it doesn’t happen again, only to get ripped off by the credit agency (you know who I am talking about). Exasperated, you just want to go home, relax, and catch up on March Madness. But it turns out the bracket email from your friend

Network Security Fundamentals: Egress Filtering

By Mike Rothman
As we wrap up our initial wave of Network Security Fundamentals, we’ve already discussed Default Deny, Monitoring everything, Correlation, and Looking for Not Normal. Now it’s time to see if we can actually get in the way of some of these nasty attacks. So what are we trying to block? Basically a lot of the issues we find through looking for not normal. The general idea involves implementing a positive security model not just to inbound traffic (default deny), but to outbound traffic as well. This is called egress filtering, and in practice is basically turning your perimeter

LHF: Quick Wins with DLP—the Conclusion

By Rich
In the last two posts we covered the main preparation you need to get quick wins with your DLP deployment. First you need to put a basic enforcement process in place, then you need to integrate with your directory servers and major infrastructure. With these two bits out of the way, it’s time to roll up our sleeves, get to work, and start putting that shiny new appliance or server to use. The differences between a long-term DLP deployment and our “Quick Wins” approach are goals and scope. With a traditional deployment we focus on comprehensive monitoring and protection

Mogull’s Law

By Rich
I’m about to commit the single most egotistical act of my blogging/analyst career. I’m going to make up my own law and name it after myself. Hopefully I’m almost as smart as everyone says I think I am. I’ve been talking a lot, and writing a bit, about the intersection of security and psychology in security. One example is my post on the anonymization of losses, and another is the one on noisy vs. quiet security threats. Today I read a post by RSnake on the effectiveness of user training and security products, which was

Incite 3/17/2010: Seeing the Enemy

By Mike Rothman
“WE HAVE MET THE ENEMY AND HE IS US.” POGO (1970) I’ve worked for companies where we had to spend so much time fighting each other, the market got away. I’ve also worked at companies where internal debate and strife made the organization stronger and the product better. But there are no pure absolutes – as much as I try to be binary, most companies include both sides of the coin. But when I read of the termination of Pennsylvania’s CISO because he dared to actually talk about a breach, it made me wonder – about everything. Dennis hit the
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