Is it possible to like interacting with people, yet need time alone? To really enjoy working in a team, yet cherish a night of solitude? I have always defined myself as an introvert. It provided a convenient excuse when I just didn’t want to deal with people. Though I do need my solo time to recharge, that’s for sure. But I also need to be social. Not all the time and not for extended periods of time, but a life of solitude doesn’t really appeal to me either. It’s an interesting contrast.

I am on the road this week. Again. I’m not going to complain because I really enjoy working with clients, attending conferences, and seeing friends. It also means I’m busy, which is key in a small shop. But Monday night I didn’t want to mingle. In a conference situation I’m always on. It’s exhausting.

By the end of the day Monday I was done. Normally I’d just get room service and stare at my computer, pretending to be ‘productive’. But Monday night the idea of another night in a nondescript hotel room wasn’t interesting. I needed to do something, but there were no major sports in town. And the local ballet and shows were dark since it was Monday night. Thankfully a quick search of the Google showed me the answer. It was time for some solo exploration. I found a show staged by a local theater company, only a short cab ride away. So I went to see it – by myself.

I didn’t have a ticket. I didn’t take a map. I was in Canada, and being a cheap ass I didn’t even have Internet service on my phone. So no ability to have my magic device tell me things. I didn’t care. I was exploring. Not like Edmund Hillary or anything. But like a middle aged business guy in a city.

The show was great. The experience was great. It was about how the decisions we make influenced by our fears and perceptions can get us in trouble. But it had a good ending and a better message about kindness and perseverance. Better yet, I got my time to recharge. I woke up Tuesday morning ready to go.

Not long ago I would have been content to just sit in my room and maybe watch some sports. No longer. If I’m going to travel I may as well explore a bit. It’s a big world – I’m going to check it out. One city at a time.


Photo credit: “Solo” originally uploaded by Ruth Flickr

Securosis Firestarter

Have you checked out our new video podcast? Rich, Adrian, and Mike get into a Google Hangout and.. hang out. We talk a bit about security as well. We try to keep these to 15 minutes or less, and usually fail.

2014 RSA Conference Guide

In case any of you missed it, we published our fifth RSA Conference Guide back in February. Yes, we do mention the conference a bit, but it’s really our ideas about how security will shake out in 2014. You can get the full guide with all the memes you can eat.

Heavy Research

We are back at work on a variety of blog series, so here is a list of the research currently underway. Remember you can get our Heavy Feed via RSS, with our content in all its unabridged glory. And you can get all our research papers too.

Understanding Role-based Access Control

NoSQL Security 2.0

Newly Published Papers

Incite 4 U

Rich and Adrian are traveling this week, so no Incite from them. I do not judge. Though I point out that I’m on the road as well…

  1. First they’ll come for AV… Wendy makes a great point about how all these new-fangled advanced and next-generation security technologies don’t claim to replace the existing stuff. At least not on endpoints. Why? I am stumped, and I have been advising all these advanced endpoint folks to bundle in an AV engine to take that issue off the table. Why position a complimentary product, forcing customers to buy and run the old AV stuff as well, when they could go for the whole enchilada? Oh, it’s scary. Customers have inertia. Assessors may squeal like stuck pigs. But here’s the dirty little secret. Customers want to buy one solution. They want simplicity. They want bundling. Most of all they want something that works. I agree that bundling will continue among security products, and the traditional endpoint protection product will be first on the extinction list. – MR
  2. Time is your enemy: I didn’t mention anything specifically related to Mandiant/FireEye’s M-Trends report when it hit back in mid-April, but I should have. It is another great report providing useful perspective on attack trends. Richard Bejtlich does all of us a favor and highlights a key finding: time. His point, in referring to the Syrian Electronic Army’s attack on a media company, is that within a day an adversary will update malware to make it even harder to find. So once a device has been compromised the clock starts to tick. The good news is that Mandiant saw a general decrease in dwell time in 2013 (compared to 2012), but a decrease in the percentage of attacks discovered by the victim. Two steps forward, one step back – while we’re playing beat the clock. Progress is progress, but time is not your friend when a capable attacker controls devices in your environment. Thus the need to continue shifting ineffective prevention investments to detection and investigation resources (people, process, and tools). – MR
  3. Undermining credibility: As usual Gunnar cuts to the heart of the matter. His Infosec heal thyself post make the correct point that it’s hard for security folks to have a lot of credibility when security products tend to have more than their fair share of vulnerabilities. Is it because these aren’t scrutinized to the same degree as other products? Does it even matter? I say no. Gunnar points out that if AppSec folks are going to have any influence over the dev cycle (which will yield to DevOps), it needs to become a matter of do as we do, not do as we say. Of course AppSec folks don’t build these products, but they can, and they should apply some of the same assessment diligence to the products they use. And when folks wanted to compromise a US defense contractor, who did they go after? Right, a security company. D’oh! – MR