Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

The security opportunity in Digital

Four years ago I discussed some of the characteristics of cyber security that made the use of the term useful, this was at a time when the use of cyber security was widely derided by practitioners of IT security and Information Security. One of the common complaints was that Cyber was just the same things we had already been doing re-branded to seem ‘cool’. As time has moved on the practices of cyber have become clearer, the use of threat intelligence, the development of threat hunting, the increased focused on incident response, the wide deployment of behavioural analytics etc. As is the case early adopters knew they were solving new problems in a new way but the articulation of meaning to the later adopters has needed a body of activity and emerging practices to clarify how cyber security overlaps with but also differs from the other predecessor disciplines IT and Information Security (both of which are still going strong and are still necesary).

Another buzzword appeared soon after cyber and that was Digital. Digital is a customer-focused technology-first approach to business that again looked just like what we were doing before in technology and business activities. Over time practices have emerged, agile development, devops, infrastructure automation, cloud, mobile, social etc that have started defining what the early adopters really meant when they said Digital.

Digital lies in the intersection of velocity, scale and complexity.


Measuring Black Boxes, part one

I have been attempting to capture the process or to be more accurate the heuristics of how I analyse security architectures. This was originally driven by the time it took me to document my conclusions and the lack of any particularly well-suited tooling but has increasingly become an attempt to communicate the method to other security architects. I also have a sneaking suspicion that a useful chunk of the process could be automated.

Due to the scale and complexity of many of the systems I have worked with a large part of the process has been to decompose a system and measure and characterise it’s components. This allows me to identify high risk areas of the system to focus my efforts.


We need to talk about IT

It has long been a truism of security practitioners that security is not an IT problem. This is an attempt to lift the gaze of the security team from technology to the wider business. A laudable and useful goal. However, IT is a security problem.

Big Data Security Analytics Paper

I wrote this paper with a colleague recently. A practical guide for getting started in Big Data Security Analytics. This should be the first of a series of posts on the application of big data technologies and data science approaches to cyber security.

I understand the impact of pervasive mobile, I get the risks of ‘consumerisation’ and I can see the challenges of cloud but it’s the opportunities of big data that have me excited about the future of security, both cyber security and traditional information security.

Cross-Domain Gateway Functions

Cross-Domain Gateways are a concept from multi-level government and military networks that are increasingly being deployed into traditionally flat commercial networks. I’ve spoken before about ‘trust zones‘ and the concept of choke-points between trust zones concept combined with a view of the threat exposure for each trust zone underlies the need for cross-domain gateways. (Domain is the historical term commonly used in government and military settings for zones of trust.)

There are a wide variety of applications to which cross domain gateways can be applied and a wide variety of gateway patterns and designs. However there is a common set of possible gateway functions that such patterns and designs can commonly call upon.

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