I love writing.
Except when I hate it.
When people ask what I do for a living, I almost never say ‘writer’. I’m an analyst, who occasionally dabbles as a tech journalist, but pumps out more words in typical a year than many professional writers.
When the muse is in my corner and the words flow smooth and swift like molten chocolate (sorry, need dessert), the process is incredibly gratifying. I can sometimes pop off a thousand words an hour and walk away deeply satisfied, with perhaps some light editing.
That doesn’t really happen a lot since I had kids.
More often I plan out a wonderful schedule with plenty of leisure time to settle into the words, build my story (because even tech pieces are stories), and enlighten readers with my content and wit. Then I don’t sleep, I lose a couple days to sick kids or other randomness, and hope beyond hope I can snag a few hours in a coffee shop, pace my caffeine intake perfectly, and maybe, just maybe, finish up before my deadline is so far past that the client forgets my name.
Writing on deadline is tough – especially when family, illness, and the ongoing needs of running a business continually conspire to interfere with any plans. It doesn’t help to be a genetic procrastinator of such accomplishment that, in your formal college record, there is a note saying, “don’t cut him any breaks, he manipulates the system too much”. (It’s true – I saw the note in my physical file).
Take this Summary. I am writing it in a hotel room in Toronto after a really rough couple weeks defined by illness (my own and one of my kids), right after a rough couple months going back to the holidays. There have been ear infections, stomach bugs, general sniffles, and 9-day fevers. I two stomach bugs 6 weeks, once on the day I needed to fly out to teach a cloud security class.
Somehow, through all this, I managed to nail my target deadlines on the Future of Security series, a non-security article for a new publication (for me), and complete a good chunk of my RSA planning. I owe two different conferences four presentations (total), need to launch 2 papers in the next week, and add two more modules to my RSA demo code (overkill, but I would really like to pull it off).
But I wouldn’t really have it any other way. Oh sure, I’d like less pressure, but look what I get to do on a daily basis… And running at this pace for so long has turned me into an honest-to-gosh writer, even outside the technology domain. I have written for The Magazine and soon The Loop – not even on security or technology! I was paid to tell stories, and that is deeply satisfying. And while I can’t say everything I write for Securosis excites me equally, some of my recent work has been very rewarding.
I never set out to be a writer. And while I have no intention of writing the Great American Novel, I feel pretty lucky to get paid to write words read by thousands. It’s pretty special, and never something I take for granted.
Even tonight. Locked in a sparse hotel room with a sniffly nose and an early wakeup call. I do, however, have cookies.
On to the Summary:
Webcasts, Podcasts, Outside Writing, and Conferences
Favorite Securosis Posts
- Mike Rothman: Security’s Future: Implications for Security Vendors. Lots of security vendors will keep their heads in the sand about the fundamental changes happening and how they will impact security. Don’t say we didn’t warn you…
- David Mortman: Security’s Future: What it Means (Part 3).
Other Securosis Posts
- Incite 2/5/2014: Super Dud.
- Firestarter: Inevitable Doom.
- Security’s Future: Implications for Cloud Providers.
- Security’s Future: What it Means (Part 3).
- Security’s Future: Six Trends Changing the Face of Security.
- Quick Wins with TISM.
- TISM: The Threat Intelligence + Security Monitoring Process.
Favorite Outside Posts
- Mike Rothman: Russell Brand: my life without drugs. You can’t understand addiction unless you’ve been there. Chilling view into the mind of an addict from Russell Brand.
- Mike Rothman: Kansas teen uses 3-D printer to make hand for boy. Who says we aren’t living in the future? And to think the kid did such an amazing thing using a 3D printer in a public library. Just amazing!
- David Mortman: Who owns the data in the Internet of Things?
- Adrian Lane: Think SQLi is old news? The PR hype machine got tired of talking about it, but the problem never went away. Diana Kelley beat me to the punch on this, and did a great job of explaining what to do about it.
- Rich: Brian Krebs with more Target details. Bad guys came in via an HVAC contractor. I believe it was a small exhaust port, right below the main port.
Research Reports and Presentations
- Eliminate Surprises with Security Assurance and Testing.
- What CISOs Need to Know about Cloud Computing.
- Defending Against Application Denial of Service Attacks.
- Executive Guide to Pragmatic Network Security Management.
- Security Awareness Training Evolution.
- Firewall Management Essentials.
- A Practical Example of Software Defined Security.
- Continuous Security Monitoring.
- API Gateways: Where Security Enables Innovation.
- Identity and Access Management for Cloud Services.
Top News and Posts
- Senate grills Target CFO on data breach
- Verizon Wages War on Netflix. Technically on Amazon AWS, although Netflix is the obvious target.
- Adobe pushes out-of-band patch for Flash.
- Target moving to Chip and PIN after attack. I’m in Canada and they look at me like I’m a freaking savage every time I have to swipe my credit card. But hey, we have PCI.
No Comment of the Week this time – sorry.