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Thoughts on Privacy and Security

By Rich
I was catching up on my reading today, and this post by Richard Bejtlich reminded me of the tension we sometimes see between security and privacy. Richard represents the perspective of a Fortune 5 security operator who is tasked with securing customer information and intellectual property, while facing a myriad of international privacy laws – some of which force us to reduce security for the sake of privacy (read the comments). I’ve always thought of privacy from a slightly different perspective. Privacy traditionally falls into two categories: The right to be left alone (just ask any teenage boy in the bathroom).

Incite 6/2/2010: Smuggler’s Blues

By Mike Rothman
Given the craziness of my schedule, I don’t see a lot of movies in the theater anymore. Hard to justify the cost of a babysitter for a movie, when we can sit in the house and watch movies (thanks, Uncle Netflix!). But the Boss does take the kids to the movies because it’s a good activity, burns up a couple hours (especially in the purgatory period between the end of school and beginning of camp), and most of the entertainment is pretty good. Though it does give me some angst to see two credit card receipts from every

On “Security engineering: broken promises”

By David Mortman
Recently Michael Zalewski posted a rant about the state of security engineering in Security engineering: broken promises. I posted my initial response to this on Twitter: “Great explanation of the issue, zero thoughts on solutions. Bored now.” I still stand behind that response. As a manager, problems without potential solutions are useless to me. The solutions don’t need to be deep technical solutions – sometimes the solution is to monitor or audit. Sometimes the solution is to do nothing, accept the risk, and make a note of it in case it comes up in conversation or an audit. But as

FireStarter: In Search of… Solutions

By Mike Rothman
A holy grail of technology marketing is to define a product category. Back in the olden days of 1998, it was all about establishing a new category with interesting technology and going public, usually on nothing more than a crapload of VC money and a few million eyeballs. Then everything changed. The bubble popped, money dried up, and all those companies selling new products in new categories went bust. IT shops became very risk averse – only spending money on established technologies. But that created a problem, in that analysts had to sell more tetragon reports, which requires new product categories. My

The Hidden Costs of Security

By Mike Rothman
When I was abroad on vacation recently, the conversation got to the relative cost of petrol (yes, gasoline) in the States versus pretty much everywhere else. For those of you who haven’t travelled much, fuel tends to be 70-80% more expensive elsewhere. Why is that? It comes down to the fact that the US Government bears many of real costs of providing a sufficient stream of petroleum. Those look like military, diplomatic, and other types of spending in the Middle East to keep the oil flowing. I’m not going to descend into either politics or energy dynamics here,

Friday Summary: May 28, 2010

By Adrian Lane
We get a lot of requests to sponsor this blog. We got several this week. Not just the spammy “Please link with us,” or “Host our content and make BIG $$$” stuff. And not the PR junk that says “We are absolutely positive your readers would just love to hear what XYZ product manager thinks about data breaches,” or “We just released 7.2.2.4 version of our product, where we changed the order of the tabs in our web interface!” Yeah, we get fascinating stuff like that too. Daily. But that’s not what I am talking about. I am talking about really

Understanding and Selecting SIEM/LM: Aggregation, Normalization, and Enrichment

By Adrian Lane
In the last post on Data Collection we introduced the complicated process of gathering data. Now we need to understand how to put it into a manageable form for analysis, reporting, and long-term storage for forensics. Aggregation SIEM platforms collect data from thousands of different sources because these events provide the data we need to analyze the health and security of our environment. In order to get a broad end-to-end view, we need to consolidate what we collect onto a single platform. Aggregation is the process of moving data and log files from disparate sources into a common repository. Collected

Quick Wins with DLP Presentation

By Rich
Yesterday I gave this presentation as a webcast for McAfee, but somehow my last 8 slides got dropped from the deck. So, as promised, here is a PDF of the slides. McAfee is hosting the full webcast deck over at their blog. Since we don’t host vendor materials here at Securosis, here is the subset of my slides. (You might still want to check out their full deck, since it also includes content from an end user). Presentation: Quick Wins with DLP

Gaming the Tetragon

By Mike Rothman
Rich highlighted a great post from Rocky DiStefano of Visible Risk in today’s Incite: Blame the addicts – When I was working at Gartner, nothing annoyed me more than those client calls where all they wanted me to do was read them the Magic Quadrant and confirm that yes, that vendor really is in the upper right corner. I could literally hear them checking their “talked to the analyst” box. An essential part of the due diligence process was making sure their vendor was a Leader, even if it was far from the best option for them. I guess no

Code Re-engineering

By Adrian Lane
I just ran across a really interesting blog post by Joel Spolsky from last April: Things You Should Never Do, Part 1. Actually. the post pissed me off. This is one of those hot-button topics that I have had to deal with several times in my career, and have had to manage in the face of entrenched beliefs. His statement is t hat you should never rewrite a code base from scratch. The reasoning is “No major firm has ever successfully survived a product rewrite. Just look at Netscape … ” Whatever. I am a fixer. I was the guy who was able
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