Posts by boblord

3 min Red Team

All Red Team, All the Time

In last week's blog [/2015/09/17/push-vs-pull-security] (which you should read now if you have not), I said: > The core problem with security today isn't about technology. It's about misaligned incentives. We are trying to push security onto people, teams, and processes that just don't want it. To be clear, it's not that people don't care. They say they want security, and I believe them. Or more precisely, part of their brain wants security. People who want to break a bad habit [/2015/07/09/c

11 min CISOs

Push vs Pull Security

I woke up from a dream this morning. Maybe you can help me figure out what it means. Your company hired me to build a security program. They had in mind a number of typical things. Build a secure software development lifecycle so app developers didn't code up XSS vulnerabilities. Improve network security with new firewalls, and rolling out IDS sensors. Set up training so people would be less likely to get phished. Implement a compliance program like NIST or ISO. And you wanted all of that rolle

6 min CISOs

CISOs: Do you have enough locks on your doors?

In a previous blog post [/2015/07/09/ciso-in-residence-series-shocked-but-not-surprised], I referenced some research on how people plan for, or rather how they fail to plan for, natural disasters like floods. At the end of the blog post I mentioned that people who have poor mental models about disasters fail to prepare fully. I keep coming back to the idea of mental models because it starts to explain why we have such a gap between security practitioners and senior executives. I asked one CISO

5 min CISOs

Insiders and Outsiders in Security

“Those fools. They didn't even bother to do X. And everyone knows you have to do X.” If you've been in Infosec for even a short time, you've seen this sort of statement, whether explicit or implicit, about something in the news. It comes up often after a company has suffered a breach. And it's often true. The company should have done X. Everyone knows you need to do X. Even my dad knows that. But then again, the security people making these comments often work at companies that really should be

4 min

Culture of Security

I sometimes talk to executives about how employees and their fellow executives at the company view security, and about cultural issues around security. They often tell me that, generally speaking, people are on board with the necessary work to keep things safe. I've yet to hear someone tell me that people pride themselves on working around security teams and programs so they can run the business more efficiently. I've heard a number of stories that include facts about their compliance efforts, h

3 min

The Absence of Evidence in Breaches

Try this experiment. Go to your favorite search engine and type this: ”no evidence” security compromise (Other variations are also interesting, including adding words like “breach”) There is something about the phrase “no evidence” that troubles me. You may have noticed the same thing. On a regular basis organizations say that there is no evidence of compromise, and no evidence that attackers gained access to user/customer/employee data. They write these phrases to lessen the blow of what is

3 min Application Security

CISO in Residence Series: Security teachable moments

A CISO I know was recently asked by his parent company to log into a third party web portal to receive some important business plans and legal documents. The web portal is designed to securely upload documents by one person or team, and to be received by another. The CISO noted a few things. There were questions about just how “secure” this web portal was. It didn't seem to use end-to-end encryption. And it wasn't clear how enrollment/authentication worked. But what really caught his eye is tha

4 min

CISO in Residence Series: Shocked But Not Surprised

I've been thinking about a number of topics about the state of the security industry. If you're reading this blog post you have been also. News of breaches is hard to avoid. In particular, I've been interested in learning more about what I see as a curious gap between what people say and what they do. Perhaps you've seen it also. Have you ever talked to an executive, peer, vendor, or partner and thought that their vision for security didn't match up with their actions? Perhaps they told you se

2 min CISOs

Introducing the CISO in Residence

At the start of 2010 I started as Twitter's first security hire. You may recall a number of security challenges we were facing at that time. We had to build out a number of teams to deal with the entire spectrum of security issues. Today Twitter has what I believe to be some of the best security people and teams in the industry. Today I'm very excited to be joining the Rapid7 team as its first CISO in Residence. What does a CISO in Residence do? Well, there aren't a lot of examples to go by. T