Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Partner Perspectives //

Carbon Black

9/13/2016
01:01 PM
Rick McElroy
Rick McElroy
Partner Perspectives
50%
50%

Lets Get Smarter About Security By Working Together

We all need help, and only by working together can we move the needle on security.

I know, I know. It’s another teamwork quote.

As a collective information security group, we know that we need teamwork, but it often feels like we aren’t a single team rowing together. We have a common cause. We preach working together with IT and the business to achieve security goals. But we still aren’t working together as well as we could be.

I travel all over the country and meet with information security teams on a regular basis. From large to small, companies are struggling to do everything. It amazes me how often we are not talking to each other. Within verticals, information security teams still are not working together to solve shared security problems. We are solving the same problems and challenges that have been solved hundreds of times by other teams, yet we try to solve them alone.

Why do we choose to silo information so that our individual programs can “ensure” security, but we’ve given nothing back to the community as a whole? We’ve done nothing to drive down shared risk of similar business models. When one of us gets better, all of us should get better.

CISOs have gotten better about meeting to discuss challenges. They have roundtables and meet on a regular basis. This needs to trickle down to team members; individual team members are still assigned work that they are expected to solve alone.

My question to all of us is “Why?”

Why are we still not talking to teams from competitors and others with the same challenges? Is it that we are too paranoid? Is it that we are afraid we will get fired for talking to “the other team”? Or is it that we put blinders on, put our heads down, and solve things alone to be the hero?

Unlock The Collective Brainpower

I am not quite sure what all the reasons are, but I do know it’s hurting us. I learn things whenever I meet with teams. Very cool things. Things I never would have thought of when I was leading programs. I see unique solutions that solve real challenges, but they remain inside the walls of the individual organizations. It’s been said before, but if we are not unlocking the combined brainpower of all individuals in our profession, we will continue to lose.

We pay “experts” crazy amounts of dollars to advise and architect, but maybe the architects at the company that shares a parking lot have free advice that is just as effective (maybe more so since they sit in the same seat as you). A cup of coffee, lunch, or a beer are really cheap ways to entice teams to meet up.

We spend so much time with our heads down working or studying for the next certification that we aren’t taking to time to talk and share. We think that ISACs (information sharing and analysis centers) and vendors will solve this problem for us, but they won’t. Until we adopt a better mindset as information security professionals, we will continue to lose.

We need to talk to each other. We need to share good processes. We need to talk about what tech works and what doesn’t. We need to share our fixes, our code, our wisdom and experience.

I challenge all of us to open up a bit. You don’t need to talk about business strategy or the next product your organization is putting out. Talk about the challenges that are the same. Talk about the threats, the risks, and the solutions. Share more and open up.

It’s what I love about events like Black Hat and DEF CON -- sitting around talking to people smarter than me who have solved challenges in really interesting ways. Talk about how you solved a problem or where your head is as you look toward the needs of your organization. Maybe you wrote a cool parsing script or some rad automation. That’s awesome. Pass the knowledge on. We all need help, and only by working together can we move the needle on security. I almost guarantee the struggles are real and generally the same. Let’s all wise up together.

Rick McElroy, Head of Security Strategy for Carbon Black, has 20 years of information security experience educating and advising organizations on reducing their risk posture and tackling tough security challenges. He has held security positions with the US Department of ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Aviation Faces Increasing Cybersecurity Scrutiny
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
Microsoft Tops Phishers' Favorite Brands as Facebook Spikes
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/22/2019
MoviePass Leaves Credit Card Numbers, Personal Data Exposed Online
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  8/21/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
7 Threats & Disruptive Forces Changing the Face of Cybersecurity
This Dark Reading Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at the biggest emerging threats and disruptive forces that are changing the face of cybersecurity today.
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2016-6154
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The authentication applet in Watchguard Fireware 11.11 Operating System has reflected XSS (this can also cause an open redirect).
CVE-2019-5594
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
An Improper Neutralization of Input During Web Page Generation ("Cross-site Scripting") in Fortinet FortiNAC 8.3.0 to 8.3.6 and 8.5.0 admin webUI may allow an unauthenticated attacker to perform a reflected XSS attack via the search field in the webUI.
CVE-2019-6695
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
Lack of root file system integrity checking in Fortinet FortiManager VM application images of all versions below 6.2.1 may allow an attacker to implant third-party programs by recreating the image through specific methods.
CVE-2019-12400
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
In version 2.0.3 Apache Santuario XML Security for Java, a caching mechanism was introduced to speed up creating new XML documents using a static pool of DocumentBuilders. However, if some untrusted code can register a malicious implementation with the thread context class loader first, then this im...
CVE-2019-15092
PUBLISHED: 2019-08-23
The webtoffee "WordPress Users & WooCommerce Customers Import Export" plugin 1.3.0 for WordPress allows CSV injection in the user_url, display_name, first_name, and last_name columns in an exported CSV file created by the WF_CustomerImpExpCsv_Exporter class.