Categories ArchivesSOS

Corporate Responsibility with Ben Tomhave standard

This is part two in a conversation that I had with Ben Tomhave (@falconsview) last week over Twitter. What started out as a quick question about busting PCI myths turned into corporate responsibility. If you haven’t seen this article about a company who is facing massive penalties, give it a read. It will help set up my position on corporate responsibility for promoting longevity. My position: Companies must make security and compliance a core part of their competency if they choose to operate in a manner that puts them in the cross-hairs of regulation. During the conversation, we moved to overall organizational competency around areas that arguably sit on the fringe of their core business. Restaurants that make pizza should ...

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We Must Hunt standard

Security people are often viewed as gatherers. We gather security event data, collect logs for review, build documentation based on information about our environment, and group informational assets in like-valued groups to focus our defenses. I think we’ve got the gathering part down. It’s similar to our propensity to react. We may not be great at reacting (or more likely, we’re great at reacting at only a few things), but we get plenty of exposure to it. You cannot be a successful security professional by only being a gatherer, and your team won’t be successful if you only hire and employ gatherers. Just like most societal norms that evolved over thousands of years, you need hunters to fill a need ...

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Contextual Deep Content Inspection for Security standard

It’s 2012 (didn’t I already say that on Wednesday?) and the reality of 2011’s shifting security landscape should have set in by now. As much as many of you may want to go back to the days of worrying about Anti-Virus definition files, basic patching, and a single border firewall as the makeup of your entire security posture, its time to take a serious look at how you will plan your defenses for 2012. One defensive technologies that is getting another look is Data-Loss Prevention (DLP)1. By itself, an implementation of DLP can go a long way to prevent serious issues in simple to moderately complex IT environments—but the bad guys are better than that. They know ways to hide ...

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2011, A Year in Review standard

2011 is in the books, and we’re looking ahead to what promises to be an interesting year for everyone. Economic uncertainty promotes crime, and more of our assets are migrating to an electronic medium every day. We saw big breaches. BIG breaches. Hactivisim and state sponsored cyber-warfare lead the pack on the biggest and most devastating breaches of 2011. This year we talked about PCI DSS as we normally do, but later in the year we made a decided shift in our focus to security—something I hope anyone dealing with PCI DSS has already done. I think you all liked the shift as well, considering the top four were written in the last half of the year. Here are the ...

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Guest Post: Virtualization Makes Everything Easier – Including Burning Bridges standard

The following guest post was provided by Richard Rees, CISSP, a Practice Manager for EMC Consulting’s Virtualization Security and Cloud Trust group. Email him here. The best thing about computers is they do exactly what you tell them to do, very quickly.  However, the worst thing about computers is that they only do exactly what you tell them to do.  I’m still waiting for an OS that contains DWIM code (Do What I Mean) without the evil of Clippy.  Virtualization is the same thing – except even faster over a larger scale.  Instead of computers needing DWIM capability, entire data centers need them.  This applies to security as well – the traditional problems of security in a data center exist in ...

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DNS Query Logging—Looking for Fires standard

Yesterday morning I was catching up on some RSS feeds1 and came across this interesting post from Trevor at ThreatSim entitled Fighting The Advanced Attacker: 9 Security Controls You Should Add To Your Network Right Now. After reading it, I had one of those “Ah-ha” moments where I looked at one of the recommendations and asked myself, “Why am I not doing that?” For those of you who know me (or have ever had to get on my home WiFi), you know that I have made my home network entirely too complex for what I need it to be. Three different DMZs is a little insane, don’t you think? But I did it for a reason—so that I can talk ...

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Don’t Forget, it’s Christmas for Scammers Too! standard

We’re well into the holiday season in the States, and that means that scammers are everywhere. With all of the holidays coming to a head this month, it’s Christmas for those scammers too. Here are several sites that can help you navigate scam from deal! As always, remember to be vigilant. Caveat emptor! If a deal looks too good to be true, it often is. That’s not to say there are not good deals to be had. If you are shopping for last minute holiday deals, be sure to deal with reputable establishments. If you smell something fishy going down with a deal, don’t be afraid to terminate the transaction and find somewhere else to buy. Be especially vigilant if ...

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What Does IT Provisioning Look Like? standard

The title for this post is only funny if you read it in the voice of Jules Winnfield asking Brett to describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like. If you can get in that mindset (I can’t link to it, you just have to get there on your own), then this will be more effective. Imagine for a second that you are the CIO of a company (Jules Winnfield), and you are trying to build some information security features into the systems you are responsible for keeping up and running. You go to your CISO (Brett), or maybe the sales rep of the infosec vendor, and ask them how their product works in the new model of IT provisioning and operations. ...

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Anatomy of an Attack Critical Security Checklist standard

If you have seen me speak over the last couple of months, there is a good chance you heard me talk about advanced threats, sometimes in the context of the RSA breach. Near the end of these talks I either flashed up a slide that had a checklist of things detailing changes we made, or people asked me specifically (like what happened at the Evanta CISO Summit in San Francisco on Monday) what things we did to bolster our security. For those of you who have asked for access to this slide, I’ve gotten permission to post our Security Practices – Critical Checklist here. Enjoy!

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Ditch the Value of Information Equation standard

And now, on to one of the biggest challenges we face while having information risk management discussions: What is the value of information? Information by itself doesn’t have tangible value. It’s value is subjective. Everyone has their own opinion, and many people manipulate the values to serve and twist their message. In fact, the only thing you can really come close to arguing is the value of the medium upon which the information exists. Be it a hard drive, jump drive, or a piece of paper, those things have some kind of agreed-upon value. But the information itself? Imagine for a minute that you are charged with protecting a pile of cash totaling $100,0001. Because our financial system is based ...

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