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Friday Summary: September 26, 2014

By Adrian Lane

I have a great job. The combination of extended coverage areas, coupled with business to tech, and everything in between, makes it so. In this week alone I have talked to customers about Agile development and process adjustments, technical details of how to deploy masking for Hadoop, how to choose between two SIEM vendors, and talked to a couple vendors about Oracle and SAP security. The breadth of stuff I am exposed to is awesome. People often ask me if I want to go back to being a CTO or offer me VP of Engineering positions, but I cannot imagine going back to just focusing on one platform. I don’t get my hands as dirty, but in some ways it is far more difficult to learn nuances of half a dozen competitive product areas than jus one. And what a great time to be neck deep in security … so long as I don’t drown in data.


Learning about DevOps is fascinating. Talking to people who are pushing forward with continuous integration and deployment, and watching them break apart old dev/QA/IT cycles, provides a euphoric glimpse at what’s possible with Agile code development. Then I speak with more traditional firms, still deeply embedded in 24-month waterfall development. The long tail (and neck, and back) of their process feels like a cold bucket of reality – I wonder if a significant percentage of companies will ever be agile. When I contrast Why Security Automation is the Way Forward with mid-sized enterprises, I get another cold slap from reality. I speak with many firms who cannot get servers patched every other quarter. Security patches for open source will come faster than before, but organizational lag holds firm. It is clear that many firms have a decade-long transition to more agile processes in store, and some will never break down the cultural barriers between different teams within their companies.


Gunnar’s recent To Kill A Flaw post is excellent. Too good, in fact – his post includes several points that demand their own blog entries. One of the key points Gunnar has been making lately, especially in light of the nude celebrity photo leaks, is that credentials are a “zero day” attack. You need to keep that in mind when designing identity and access management today. If a guessed password provides a clear way in, you need to be able to live with that kind of 0-day. That is why we see a push away from simple passwords toward identity tokens, time-limited access, and risk-based authorization on the back end. Not only is it harder to compromise credentials, the relative risk score moves from 10 to about 4 because the scope of damage is lessened.


A family member who is a bit technically challenged asked me “Is the Bash Bug Bad?” “Bad. Bad-bad-bad!” I left it at that. I think I will use that answer for press as well.

On to the Summary:

Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences

Favorite Securosis Posts

Other Securosis Posts

Favorite Outside Posts

Research Reports and Presentations

Top News and Posts

Blog Comment of the Week

This week’s best comment goes to Andrew Hay, in response to Why the bash vulnerability is such a big deal (updated).

As per a conversation I had with HD Moore, he loves to release the Metasploit modules as quickly as possible in an effort to eliminate pay-per-exploit companies from profiting off of a particular vuln.

I kind of agree with him.

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