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Archive for July, 2010

The other night, while my wife and I were walking Daisy, we  had an ‘incident’ to respond to.  Not computer related, but the principles of incident response still apply.  Someone decided that abandoning three month-old kittens on the road down from our house was a good idea ~ ‘surely someone nice will give them homes!’

If we ignored their plight, the outcome would go three ways:

  1. Someone else might rescue them.  Although, since it was after 10:00 P.M. this was unlikely.
  2. They’d be hit by cars.
  3. Wile E. Coyote and his brethren would enjoy their company.

So,  we rescued them, sheltered them overnight and in the morning, off to the Humane Society (with a donation) they went since we just can’t accommodate three kittens with our golden retriever.

Reflecting on this episode, I thought about how I’d been taught about incident response by SANS Institute instructors.  The acronym I learned is PICERL; Preparation, Identification, Containment, Eradication, Recovery, Lessons-learned.

We were prepared because we had cardboard boxes to hold them and a crate at home for the night.  We identified the problem, contained the kittens and eradicated the threats that night (no, we didn’t kill any coyotes).  Recovery happened in the morning and Lessons-learned are ongoing (expect the unexpected and assume breach are two of them).

The takeaway on this is that strange things happen and we can use our training, even very IT security-specific, to manage the event.  Security is about doing the Right Thing, at the Right Time, for the Right Reasons ~ this incident was no exception and was definitely security-related, at least in the physical sense as far as the kittens were concerned.

by Bill Wildprett, Suspicious Minds blog, Copyright 2010

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The calendar says its Summer although here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re not sure ~ its a cool Summer, which makes it fine for reading security books in the hammock or doing laptop stuff from the deck.

So what’s cooking?  I re-encountered a tool I first learned about from Russ McRee’s Toolsmith column in the September 2008 ISSA Journal ~ Practical Threat Analysis.  I’d looked at it before, but not in enough detail so have embarked on using it for a deeper understanding.

The 2010 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report is out and its chock-full of good statistics and commentary.  I especially like the partnership with the U.S. Secret Service and the shared incident data.  Another nice tool from Verizon Business is VerIS, the Verizon Incident Sharing Framework which presents how metrics are captured and used in preparation of the DBIR.

I took the Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA) exam on June 12, 2010 and am patiently waiting to learn my fortune or fate!  The process stimulated a new appreciation of ISACA Auditing Standards, Procedures and Guidelines  and CobiT 4.1, prompting me to send the former to FedEx for printing and to order the latter in book form from the ISACA Bookstore.  My wife picks it up and says “Can’t you find a good novel to read?  Its Summer!”

I guess you had to be there to appreciate it…

Cheers mates!

by Bill Wildprett, Suspicious Minds blog, Copyright 2010

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