Friday Summary: April 10, 2009By Rich
It was nearly three years ago that I started the Securosis blog. At the time I was working at Gartner, and curious about participating in this whole "social media" thing. Not to sound corny, but I had absolutely no idea what I was getting myself into. Sure, I knew it was called social media, but I didn’t realize there was an actual social component. That by blogging, linking to others, and participating in comments, we are engaging in a massive community dialogue. Yes, since becoming an analyst I’ve had access to all the little nooks of the industry, but there’s just something about a public conversation you can’t get in a closed ecosystem. Don’t get me wrong- I’m not criticizing the big research model- I could never do what I am now without having spent time there, and I think it offers customers tremendous value. But for me personally, as I started blogging, I realized there were new places to explore. At Gartner I learned an incredible amount, had an amazingly good time, and made some great friends. But part of me (probably my massive ego) wanted to engage the community beyond those who paid to talk to me.
Thus, after seven years it was time to move on and Securosis the blog became Securosis, L.L.C.. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, but figured I’d pick up enough consulting to get by. I didn’t even bother to change my little WordPress blog, other than adding a short company page.
It’s now nearly two years since jumping ship without a paddle, boat, lifejacket, any recognizable swimming skills, or a bathing suit. We’ve grown more than I imagined, had a hell of a lot of fun, posted hundreds of blog entries, authored some major research reports, and practically redefined the term "media whore". But we still had that nearly unreadable white-text-on-black-background blog, and if you wanted to find specific content you had to wade through pages of search results. Needless to say, that’s no way to run a business, which is why we finally bit the bullet, invested some cash, and rebuilt the site from scratch. For months now we’ve been blogging less as we spent all our spare cycles on the new site (and, for me, having a kid). I realize we’ve been going on and on about it, but that’s merely the byproduct of practically crapping our pants because we’re so excited to have it up. We can finally organize our research, help people learn more about security, and not be totally embarrassed by running a corporate site that looked like some idiot pasted it together while bored one weekend. Which it was.
I asked Adrian for some closing thoughts, and I absolutely promise this will be the last of our self-congratulatory, self-promotional BS. The next time you hear from us, we’ll actual put some real content back out there.
Some of you may not know this, but I had been working with Rich for a couple of months before most people noticed. Learning that was unsettling! I was not sure if our writing was close enough that people could not tell, or worse, no one cared. But we soon discovered that the author names for the posts was not always coming up so people assumed it was Rich and not Chris or myself. It was several months later still when I learned that the link to my bio page was broken and was not viewable on most browsers. We were getting periodic questions about what we do here, other than blog on security and write a couple white papers, as lots of regular readers did not know. It never really dawned on Rich or I, two tech geeks at heart, to go look at how we presented ourselves (or in this case, did not present ourselves). When a couple business partners brought it up, it was a Homer Simpson "D’oh" moment of self-realization. Rich and I began discussing the new site October of last year, and as there was a lot of stuff we wanted to provide but could not because WordPress was simply not up to the challenge, we knew we needed a complete overhaul. And we still were getting complaints that most people had trouble reading the white text on black background. Yes, part of me will miss the black background ..It kind of conveyed the entire black hat mind set; breaking stuff in order to teach security. It embodied the feeling that "yeah, it may be ugly, but it’s the truth, so get used to it". Still, I do think the new site is easier to read, and it allows us to better provide information and services. Rich and I are really excited about it! We have tons of content we need to tune & groom before we can put it public into the research library, but it’s coming. And hopefully our writing style will convey to you that this blog is an open forum for wide open discussion of whatever security topic you are interested in. Something on your mind? Bring it!
And now for the week in review:
Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences:
Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences:
- I wrote the cover story on DLP for this month’s Information Security Magazine. They never told me it was the cover, so that was a very pleasant surprise.
- Martin and I had a guest interview on Hacker Spaces for this week’s Network Security Podcast.
- I did an interview for the New York Times on Mac security. It raised so much controversy that they did a follow on article, with our friend Dino Dai Zovi.
- I did an interview with Bill Brenner of CSO Magazine on federal cybersecurity and the latest congressional hearings.
- I also did a podcast with Dennis Fisher at ThreatPost on a bunch of topics, including Conficker.
- Wondered where Adrian was in the press, and considered revoking his whore status.
Favorite Securosis Posts:
- Rich: Our new site announcement. I swear we’ll get over this. And will *someone* please comment on the cool geeky title of the post?
- Adrian: RSA Conference email looks like phishing.
Favorite Outside Posts:
- Adrian: Robert "RSnake" Hansen post Hacking Without the Jail Time. Oh how I love free tools!
- Rich: Paul Stamp hits a home run with his take on the cliques at the RSA Conference.
Top News and Posts:
- Krebs hits a home run with his Conficker post. (Last week, but we hadn’t posted it yet).
- Rob Graham’s take on the WSJ article on hacking our power system. I know the grid is totally messed up and vulnerable, but that WSJ article was fear-mongering crap, which I can’t believe the editors allowed out the door.
- Liquidmatrix also responds to the WSJ article.
- Anton rants on PCI. Of course, if you follow him on Twitter, that’s all he thinks about. Since logs.
- A blogger in Phoenix has all his gear confiscated by the police… for blogging about the police.
- We had some trouble with the Social Security Awards, but worked it all out.
This week’s best comment was from Allen Baranov on RSA Conference: For Real?:
Yeah … and it was only after I submitted both my credit card details and PIN number that I realised that I’m not even going to the RSA conference.