Monthly ArchivesMarch 2011

The Lack of Understanding in QSAs standard

This topic seems to keep coming back, and it’s getting more frequent. I mentioned this as an element of Sin #2, Compensating Control Chaos in my recent paper, and more companies are coming to my team to help them through an inexperienced QSA’s assessment. The worst part is that it is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you squeeze the dollars you pay a QSA, they will squeeze the quality and thoroughness of what you are getting. It’s been a while since I have performed an assessment from start to finish. That said, I’ve seen people1 guilty of assuming that an Iron Mountain truck seen near a company’s data center equals secure off-site transport and tracking of goods—no questions asked. While Iron ...

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I don’t need to know, I can look it up! standard

The pace at which our society produces information is staggering. Even worse, the amount of value of that information is typically only apparent after slicing it up in a particular way. Those of us that are naturally curious and problem solvers have gotten quite good at knowing where to find certain information as opposed to memorizing it. There are certain things you sometimes just need to memorize. For example, driving laws. It’s much better to remember that you must always stop at a red light then having to look it up each time you approach an intersection. We have enough trouble with distracted drivers already. Those of us that have figured out this critical skill often become technical support for ...

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Why Trying to Change the Rules Doesn’t Work standard

Going against the grain isn’t easy. Go back through history and look at individuals that failed and succeeded doing just this. Most of them had incredible hardships and made huge personal sacrifices, including many who gave their life to the cause. OK, so I suppose I should take a moment to clarify. Changing the rules CAN work, just not very often, and none of you are really willing to die changing PCI DSS, are you? Didn’t think so. When PCI DSS was becoming more relevant, I saw two distinct camps of individuals responding to the movement. Typically the security folks were in favor of PCI DSS as they saw it as the justification to get the things they needed to ...

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Herding Cats February and March standard

Have you checked out ISSA Connect yet? The next issue is up there with my column, The New Network Security Paradigm! You can also see the column from last month, Alice, Bob, and Chuck, paying homage to the RSA Conference’s 20th anniversary! I also published a more corporate friendly version of The Seven Deadly Sins of a QSA (the too hot for TV version is here). This month’s column discusses the changing IT paradigm corporations must support as consumer-marketed technology becomes a bigger player in the corporate world. If you are a member, log into ISSA Connect and join the discussion! Interact with great professionals globally as well as the authors that you enjoy reading every month. If you are ...

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February 2011 Roundup standard

What was popular in February? This month I concluded my new piece, The Seven Deadly Sins of a QSA! You can download it below. We also had the 20th Annual RSA Conference in San Francisco this year. It was probably the best RSA Conference I have attended since I started working the show five years ago. Here are the five most popular posts from last month: Visa Allows Non-US EMV Merchants to forego PCI Assessments. This was an interesting move by Visa. Essentially, Visa has given merchants a way to avoid the annual assessment process if they meet four critera. Check out this article to see if you can qualify! Keep in mind, if you accept other non-Visa branded payment ...

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