On March 13th I received a birthday card. It was from my Dad. It was a nice card, it was clear he had put some thought into the card selection, and I was genuinely swayed by his thoughtful memento. On the Ides of March I received a birthday card from my grandmother. Another nice card and it was thoughtful that she remembered my birthday. Two weeks later a birthday gift arrived from my mother. Not for me, mind you, but for my wife. It was a beautiful gift, obviously expensive, and again a superbly wonderful gesture. We don’t get to keep in close contact, so I was both surprised and appreciative. April 1st a gift card arrived, this time for me, again from my mom.
There is not much to this story unless you know a couple additional facts. First, all three of the aforementioned blood relatives live under the same roof. Second, my birthday is in April; this week, in fact. My wife’s is another month away. And they have not sent my wife a birthday gift in, well, at least 20 years.
As it is with human nature, gifts and cards arriving on seemingly random dates makes you wonder what’s up. You question motivation. Are they OK? And for the first time I started to worry about my parents’ health and well-being. Were they forgetting the date? Did they know what date it was? Jokingly my wife has said ‘Happy Birthday’ to me each day since March 13th. To make a long story short, a phone call cleared up the situation and all is well. I think that my parents just happened to find gifts they liked and sent them, dates be damned. Which is what you do when you think the person will really like the gift and you can’t wait to give it to them.
Given my profession – it’s certainly not a job – where segregation between work and … well, that’s the point. My life and my work are not separate. The two are fully merged. There is no such thing as a work day, and there is no such thing as a day off. I work weekends, I don’t really do vacations, but on the plus side I do try to make the best of every day. When I want to do something I do it, and adjust work/life accordingly. All of which makes me realize that the gifts and cards from my relatives were nice, but I was ambivalent. But the idea that a specific date did not matter struck me as profound. Why limit your ability to celebrate? In that spirit I decided, what the heck, my birthday would not be a single day. I decided I would declare the entire week birthday week, and decide to do one fun birthday related event every day. Birthday cake each and every day. Over-the-top dinner each night. One outing every day. One thing I have wanted to accomplish every day this week. And because work/life does not go away, each day I have averaged 4-5 hours of work, as evidenced by my writing this post, and why a couple of you got wine-infused replies to various email and phone calls last night (you know who you are).
The experiment is thus far a success, and each day offered extra time away from the computer to have some fun. This is working so well that I will do it every year going forward.
On to the Summary:
Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences
Favorite Securosis Posts
- Adrian Lane: How to Use the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. Rich has put a lot of thought into his analysis and offers a unique perspective.
- David Mortman: Big Data Security Jazz.
- Mike Rothman: CipherCloud Loses Argument with Internet.
- Rich: Teaching Updated Cloud Security Class at Black Hat USA. Jamie and I are working on added material to make the class truly worthy of Black Hat.
Other Securosis Posts
- Incite 4/24/2013: F Perfect.
- Question everything, including the data.
- The CISO’s Guide to Advanced Attackers: Verify the Alert.
- Security Analytics with Big Data [New Series].
- The CISO’s Guide to Advanced Attackers: Mining for Indicators.
- Token Vaults and Token Storage Tradeoffs.
- No news is just plain good: Friday Summary, April 18, 2013.
Favorite Outside Posts
- David Mortman: Cryptography is a systems problem (or) ‘Should we deploy TLS’.
- Adrian Lane: Why You Should Overload WebSite Errors. Are you paying attention, developers? This is not security through obscurity – it’s about not handing data to adversaries so they can hack your site.
- James Arlen: How I Got Here: Chris Hoff.
- Mike Rothman: Sriacha hot sauce purveyor turns up the heat.
- Rich: Just How Did Apple “Journalism” Get This Bad? While Ian writes this specifically about Apple, it also applies to a lot of security writing.
Project Quant Posts
- Email-based Threat Intelligence: To Catch a Phish.
- Network-based Threat Intelligence: Searching for the Smoking Gun.
- Understanding and Selecting a Key Management Solution.
- Building an Early Warning System.
- Implementing and Managing Patch and Configuration Management.
- Defending Against Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks.
- Securing Big Data: Security Recommendations for Hadoop and NoSQL Environments.
- Tokenization vs. Encryption: Options for Compliance.
Top News and Posts
- PC owners have to watch 24 sources for fixes
- CISPA cybersecurity bill
- Privacy advocates warn about coming tsunami of surveillance cameras London already knows the result – cameras don’t deliver.
- Silicon Valley companies quietly try to kill Internet privacy bill
- Twitter has 2-factor authentication.
- Brad Arkin promoted to CSO of Adobe. Brad is as good as they get, this is great news for all of us.
Blog Comment of the Week
This week’s best comment goes to @VZDBIR, in response to How to Use the 2013 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report. I am breaking with tradition this week to favorite a tweet:
@VZDBIR: Sometimes it’s scary how @securosis gets all up in my brain. Those guys are smart. #Dbir https://t.co/kV995yrxUX
I would bet that Twitter account, like the Associate Press, was hacked.