Rich Mogull recently posted a great stream of consciousness piece about how we are at an inflection point in information security. He covers how cloud and mobility are having, and will continue to have, a huge impact on how we practice security. Rich mentions four main areas of impact:

  • Hyper-segregation
  • Incident response
  • Active defense
  • Closing the action loop

The post is short but very very dense. Read it a couple times, even – there’s a lot there.

I would add another consequence of these changes that has already begun and will continue to manifest over the next five to ten years. That is the operationalization of security. This is partially because security is increasingly becoming a feature rather than a product itself. Over time we will see more and more of today’s dedicated security jobs evolving into responsibilities of other roles. We already see this with patch and AV management, which are increasingly owned by the Operations rather than Security teams. Similarly, we will see development and QA picking up functions that previously belonged to security folks. Dedicated security folks will still exist, but they will fall into a much smaller set of roles, including:

  • Advisors/subject matter experts – architects and CISOs
  • Penetration testers
  • Incident responders

And in the case of the latter two, they will increasingly be experts brought in to handle issues beyond the capabilities of regular teams, or to satisfy requirements for third-party assessment. In many ways this will be a return to how security was in the mid-90s. Yet another example of Hoff’s Hamster Sine Wave of Pain….

h/t to Gene Kim for feedback as I wrote this post.