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I help enterprises reduce information security risks.
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Interesting post. I like the dental care analogy. However, your point about commoditization is way off the mark. Toothbrushes do a poor job of preventing plaque build-up which causes periodontal disease. A good dentist will recommend Sonicare. The motor (reusable part is 50x the cost of a toothbrush and the brush part is 5x the cost of a toothbrush. By the same token, commodity firewalls which only use IP, port, and protocol for policies are pretty much useless against moderately technical adversaries and controlling hundreds (thousands?) of off-the-shelf applications that port hop and/or share ports. My point is that the security team needs to specify firewall requirements as well as audit the the results.
Your post focuses mostly on Identity and Access Control Services. My experience is mostly on the Defensive Services side of security. I see the main blocking factors to putting into practice what we already know related to who knows it and when. The time it takes for new best practices to permeate through infosec teams and their management is much longer than it takes for new motives and methods to spread among bad actors. This is because: 1. It's much easier to prove a positive (efficacy of a new offensive method) than a negative (efficacy of a new defensive measure or process). 2. It's much more expensive for organizations to effectively implement new defensive measures than it is for small teams of bad actors to implement new offensive measures. These asymmetries are fundamental to the defensive nature of the aforementioned eponymous Defensive Services.
There is no doubt that Heartland is under-performing as a company. And as a security professional, I would love to believe the cause is the breach. But the breach may just be a correlated event. I would like to see a deeper analysis.
Toggle Commented Jan 24, 2011 on Has the Bleeding Stopped at Heartland? at 1 Raindrop