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Rich Mogull, Analyst & CEO

Rich has twenty years experience in information security, physical security, and risk management. He specializes in data security, application security, emerging security technologies, and security management. Prior to founding Securosis, Rich was a Research Vice President at Gartner on the security team where he also served as research co-chair for the Gartner Security Summit. Prior to his seven years at Gartner, Rich worked as an independent consultant, web application developer, software development manager at the University of Colorado, and systems and network administrator. Rich is the Security Editor of TidBITS, a monthly columnist for Dark Reading, and a frequent contributor to publications ranging from Information Security Magazine to Macworld. He is a frequent industry speaker at events including the RSA Security Conference and DefCon, and has spoken on every continent except Antarctica (where he’s happy to speak for free – assuming travel is covered).

Prior to his technology career, Rich also worked as a security director for major events such as football games and concerts. He was a bouncer at the age of 19, weighing about 135 lbs (wet). Rich has worked or volunteered as a paramedic, firefighter, and ski patroller at a major resort (on a snowboard); and spent over a decade with Rocky Mountain Rescue. He currently serves as a responder on a federal disaster medicine and terrorism response team, where he mostly drives a truck and lifts heavy objects. He has a black belt, but does not play golf. Rich can be reached at rmogull (at) securosis (dot) com.

Firestarter: Old School and False Analogies

By Rich
Old School and False Analogies This week we skip over our series on cloud fundamentals to go back to the Firestarter basics. We start with a discussion of the week’s big acquisition (like BIG considering the multiple). Then we talk about the hyperbole around the release of the iBoot code from an old version of iOS. We also discuss Apple, cyberinsurance, and the actuarial tables. Then we finish up with Rich blabbing about lessons learned as he works on his paramedic again and what parallels to bring to security. For more on that you can read these posts: https:/

Best Practices, Unintended Consequences, and Negative Outcomes

By Rich
Information Security is a profession. We have job titles, recognized positions in nearly every workplace, professional organizations, training, and even some fairly new degree programs. I mean none of that sarcastically, but I wouldn’t necessarily say we are a mature profession. We still have a lot to learn about ourselves. This isn’t unique to infosec – it’s part of any maturing profession, and we can learn the same lessons the others already have. As I went through the paramedic re-entry process I realized, much to my surprise, that I have been a current or expired paramedic for over

Firestarter: Best Practices for Root Account Security and… SQRRL!!!!

By Rich
Just because we are focusing on cloud fundamentals doesn’t mean we are forgetting the rest of the world. This week we start with a discussion over the latest surprise acquisition of Sqrrl by Amazon Web Services and what it might indicate. Then we jump into our ongoing series of posts on cloud security by focusing on the best practices for root account security. From how to name the email accounts, to handling MFA, to your break glass procedures. Watch or listen:

Firestarter: Architecting Your Cloud with Accounts

By Rich
We are taking over our own Firestarter and kicking off a new series of discussions on cloud security… from soup to nuts (whatever that means). Each week for the next few months we will cover, in order, how to build out your cloud security program. We are taking our assessment framework and converting it into a series of discussions talking about what we find and how to avoid issues. This week we start with architecting your account structures, after a brief discussion of the impact of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities since they impact cloud (at least for now) more

This Security Shit’s Hard and It Ain’t Gonna Get Any Easier

By Rich
In case you couldn’t tell from the title, this line is your official EXPLICIT tag. We writers sometimes need the full spectrum of language to make a point. Yesterday Microsoft released a patch to roll back a patch that fixed the slightly-unpatchable Intel hardware bug because the patch causes reboots and potential data loss. Specifically, Intel’s Spectre 2 variant microcode patch is buggy. Just when we were getting a decent handle on endpoint security with well secured operating systems and six-figure-plus bug bounties, this shit happened. Plus, we probably can’t ever fully trust our silicone or operating systems

Wrangling Backoffice Security in the Cloud Age: Part 2

By Rich
This is the second part in a two-part series (later paper) on managing increased use and reliance on SaaS for traditional back-office applications. See Part 1. This will also be included in a webcast with Box on March 6, and you can register here. Where to Start Moving back office applications to the cloud is a classic frog-in-a-frying-pan scenario. Sure, a few organizations plan everything out ahead of time, but for most of the companies and agencies we work with, things tend to be far less controlled. Multiple business units run into the cloud on their own – especially since all you need

Wrangling Backoffice Security in the Cloud Age

By Rich
Over a year ago we first published our series on Tidal Forces: The Trends Tearing Apart Security As We Know It. We called out three megatrends in technology with deep and lasting impact on security practice: Endpoints are different, often more secure, and frequently less open. If we look at the hardening of operating systems, exemplified by the less-open-but-more-secure model of Apple’s iOS, the cost of exploiting endpoints is trending much higher. At least it was before Meltdown and Spectre, but fortunately those are (admittedly major) blips, not a permanent direction. Software as a Service (SaaS) is the new

How Cloud Security Managers Should Respond to Meltdown and Spectre

By Rich
I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays… just in time to return to work, catch up on email, and watch the entire Internet burn down thanks to a cluster of hardware vulnerabilities built into pretty much every computing platform available. I won’t go into details or background on Meltdown and Spectre (note: if I ever discover a vulnerability, I want it named “CutYourF-ingHeartOutWithSpoon”). Instead I want to talk about them in the context of the cloud, short-term and long-term implications, and some response strategies. These are incredibly serious vulnerabilities – not only due to their immediate implications, but also because they

Firestarter: An Explicit End of Year Roundup

By Rich
The gang almost makes it through half the episode before dropping some inappropriate language as they summarize 2017. Rather than focusing on the big news, we spend time reflecting on the big trends and how little has changed, other than the pace of change. How the biggest breaches of the year stemmed from the oldest of old issues, to the newest of new. And last we want to thank all of you for all your amazing support over the years. Securosis has been running as a company for a decade now, which likely scares all of you even more than us.

Firestarter: Breacheriffic EquiFail

By Rich
This week Mike and Rich address the recent spate of operational fails leading to massive security breaches. This isn’t yet another blame the victim rant, but a frank discussion of why these issues are so persistent and so difficult to actually manage. We also discuss the rising role of automation and its potential to reduce these all-too-human errors. Watch or listen:
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