You can't secure what you don't acknowledge.SM

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leave the phone alone...

You have to watch this video. Seriously, stop what you're doing now and watch this. This issue has a profound affect on you, your family, your friends - everyone around us. It'll make you cry. No matter how good a driver you are and no matter how much you've heard about this topic - everyone needs to see this video. Please pass it along.

Is it possible to do more with less?

In this era of limited budgets and "wait and see" leadership you still have to do something to manage IT and information security. I've always had trouble understanding why people can't focus on the basics and solve these problems using solutions already at their disposal. I guess the marketing machine is just doing its job.

Here's a good article about this very thing written by my colleague and publisher Steve Lasky with Atlanta-based Security Technology Executive magazine. Steve's piece reminds us all how we can do more with less if we choose to. If you're struggling to keep the shop running check out this piece I wrote for as well:

How to maintain IT shop efficiency when you're the last man standing

Regardless, keep your chin up...this too shall pass.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Principles are not values

When I started my information security consulting business 10 years ago I believed the words "principle" and "logic" would be a good fit for the way I think and work. The concept and mode of operation has worked out great. I was just reading a quote by Stephen Covey that reminded me of this - and information security leadership in general...he said:

"Principles are not values. A gang of thieves can share values, but they are in violation of the fundamental principles we're talking about. Principles are territory. Values are maps. When we value correct principles, we have truth - a knowledge of things as they are."


Findings from the Fort Hood shooting underscores today's incident response reality

You may have heard about this in the news over the weekend: apparently the Army psychiatrist turned Islamic extremist who killed 13 people at Fort Hood in November 2009 could've been prevented had the FBI and Army been communicating with one another.

Sadly the same poor communication exists in the corporate world. Along the same lines of this incident, based on what I see in my security assessments I can confidently say that any substantial data breach in any given enterprise is not going to be handled properly. There are breakdowns leading up to incidents and failures on the reactive side of the equation. It's information systems complexity intertwined with the human propensity to ignore the obvious and push things off until they HAVE to be addressed just waiting to be exploited.

There are two other takeaways from this that cannot be ignored:
1) failed communications between government agencies always has been a problem and always will be - especially as government grows
2) government - including the police - is incapable of keeping us safe all the time

In both our personal lives and at work it pays to be vigilant.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lessons on Web security threats and testing

Here are some recent webcasts/podcasts I recorded for (@SoftwareTestTT) on Web application security:

Security Lesson: Beating Web application security threats

Security Lesson: How to test for common security defects

I feel like I'm just scratching the surface on this topic but, thinking about what's going on out there, many people have yet to realize there's even a problem. Focus on these basics and you're going to eliminate the large majority of Web security risks.