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Emerging Threats

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Strong cryptography done correctly can’t be defeated! Wrong, a practical attack was published in 2009 against 10 round AES 256, quantum key distribution proved to be flawed in May 2010. You have ...

Strong cryptography done correctly can’t be defeated! Wrong, a practical attack was published in 2009 against 10 round AES 256, quantum key distribution proved to be flawed in May 2010. You have to have anti-virus! Well, fine, but it no longer works in a world that generates 30k new variations of malware some days. You should never have more than one service on a server. What about blades and virtualization? Data centers must have raised floors; funny, ours uses risers instead. If you are writing software, put all of your housekeeping such as getting file handles of input and opening scratch files in one function; because if those fail, your program will fail, and this way you can exit with a nice tidy error message. Of course, that introduces a number of TOC/TOU race conditions. If you are registering a domain name, be sure to also get the .net and .org ones to prevent people from using your brand. Okay, what about all the other domain extensions and country codes? The Blackberry is the only PDA that truly has enterprise class management tools and a securable configuration. Hmmm, we read about organizations switching to the iPhone all the time, Apple must have done something right.

I have been a security researcher for seventeen years and even though I spend a part of almost every week researching new stuff, I have to be aware that much of what used to be the basic blocking and tackling of information security just doesn’t work, isn’t relevant, or may even be dangerous today. This talk will not just be about what was once true and is no longer; it will be a discussion of how to lead when much of the information flow you are receiving is suspect, as well as where we appear to be heading in the future (and I will make every effort to avoid using the terms cloud and Advanced Persistent Threat.)

Stephen Northcutt, SANS Faculty Fellow

Stephen Northcutt founded the GIAC certification and currently serves as president of the SANS Technology Institute, a postgraduate level IT security college (www.sans.edu). Stephen is author/coauthor of Incident Handling Step-by-Step, Intrusion Signatures and Analysis, Inside Network Perimeter Security 2nd Edition, IT Ethics Handbook, SANS Security Essentials, SANS Security Leadership Essentials and Network Intrusion Detection 3rd edition. He was the original author of the Shadow Intrusion Detection system before accepting the position of chief for information warfare at the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization. Stephen is a graduate of Mary Washington College. Before entering the field of computer security, he worked as a Navy helicopter search and rescue crewman, white water raft guide, chef, martial arts instructor, cartographer, and network designer.

Since 2007 Stephen has conducted over 34 in-depth interviews with leaders in the security industry, from CEOs of security product companies to the most well-known practitioners in order to research the competencies required to be a successful leader in the security field. He maintains the SANS Leadership Laboratory, where research on these competencies is posted as well as SANS Security Musings. He is the lead author for ExecuBytes, a monthly newsletter that covers both technical and pragmatic information for security managers. He leads the Management 512 Alumni forum, where hundreds of security managers post questions. He is the lead author/instructor for Management 512: SANS Security Leadership Essentials for Managers, a prep course for the GSLC certification that meets all levels of requirements for DoD Security Managers per DoD 8570, and he also is the lead author/instructor for Management 421: SANS Leadership and Management Competencies. Stephen also blogs at the SANS Security Leadership blog.

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