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BREACH FIXATION
HOW BREACHES DISTORT REALITY AND HOW WE SHOULD RESPOND
MY BACKGROUND
• 20+ Year Security Professional
• Denim Group Principal
• MBA Strategy Guy
• ISSA Distinguished Fellow
• Security Conference Speaker
• Dark Reading Columnist
• Twitter: @johnbdickson
DENIM GROUP | COMPANY
BACKGROUND
• Trusted advisor on all matters of software risk
• External application & network assessments
• Web, mobile, and cloud
• Software development lifecycle development (SDLC) consulting
• Network and infrastructure where applications reside
• Secure development services:
• Secure application development & remediation
• Managed security services
• Developed ThreadFix
ANYBODY REMEMBER THIS GUY?
4
HIS NEW HOME
5
WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?
6
The day security became
important to business executives
BREACH FIXATION OVERVIEW
7
• What is Breach Fixation?
• How Does Breach Fixation Manifest Itself?
• How you can Use Breach Fixation to Your Advantage
BREACH FIXATION OVERVIEW
8
BREACH FIXATION
9
• A phenomena created by media fixation on breach
stories
• Breach Fixation distorts reality by putting most of the
focus on external activities that we don’t control…
• At the expense of internal security activities that we do
• Affects strategy and resource allocation in a potentially
negative way
• Takes focus away from addressing the root cause while
treating the symptom
WHAT DRIVES MEDIA
CONSUMPTION?
10
BREACH FIXATION
11
• Does anyone know the top security stories consumed
by readers of the major security publications?
A RUBBERNECKING CULTURE?
12
WHAT’S HOT IN SECURITY
13
• Breaches
• APT & Zero Days
• External Threats
• Cyberwar
• Russians, Chinese, Iranians, oh my!
• Finding Vulnerabilities
WHAT’S NOT…
14
• Internal Security Practices
• Coding Standards
• Patch Management
• User Awareness
• Actually Fixing Vulnerabilities
WHAT DOES THAT CREATE?
15
• A Situation Where Basic Security Blocking & Tackling
Remains Problematic
• Window of Exposure of Application Vulnerabilities Remains Egregious
• Well-known Security Weaknesses Continue to be an Avenue of Approach for
Attackers
• Outside the largest and most sophisticated organizations, security only covers a
subset of the enterprise
WHAT DOES THAT CREATE?
16
• A Situation Where External Threats Might Distract
Security Focus
• Whipsawed by #ToD (Threat of the Day) or #YABS (Yet Another Breach Story)
• “Incumbent Spend” around FW, Endpoint, AV, dwarf other areas
• Focus on latest outwardly-focuses security “shiny rock” technologies as panaceas
THE RISK?
17
• Returning to a FUD Culture…
EXAMPLES OF IMPACT
18
• Press DDoS on speaker by the entire media
• Gartner: By 2020, 60% of enterprise information
security budgets will be allocated for rapid detection and
response approaches, up from less than 20% in 2015.
• EY: A Shift to “Active Defense” and its implications
• A cautionary tale: State of Texas Public Utilities
Commission war story
HOW CAN YOU ADDRESS BREACH
FIXATION
19
• Recognize Breach Fixation When a Layperson (e.g.,
“Executive”) References it.
• The First Step to Recovery is Admitting you have a Problem!
HOW CAN YOU ADDRESS BREACH
FIXATION
20
• Constantly Quantify Internal Security Posture
• Measure, measure, measure
HOW TO USE BREACH FIXATION TO
YOUR ADVANTAGE
21
• Use the Positive Force from the Attack Side & Map to
Your Strategy
OTHER STRATEGIES USE BREACH
FIXATION…
22
WRAP UP
23
• Breach Fixation distorts reality by putting most of the
focus on external security activities that we don’t control
at the expense of internal security that we do.
• Sophisticated security practitioners understand how
Breach Fixation can help or hurt them, if not managed
• Once recognized, there are several basic strategies that
one can use to take advantage of Breach Fixation
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
John B. Dickson, CISSP
@johnbdickson

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Breach Fixation: How Breaches Distort Reality And How We Should Respond- John Dickson, Principal at Denim Group, Ltd

  • 1. BREACH FIXATION HOW BREACHES DISTORT REALITY AND HOW WE SHOULD RESPOND
  • 2. MY BACKGROUND • 20+ Year Security Professional • Denim Group Principal • MBA Strategy Guy • ISSA Distinguished Fellow • Security Conference Speaker • Dark Reading Columnist • Twitter: @johnbdickson
  • 3. DENIM GROUP | COMPANY BACKGROUND • Trusted advisor on all matters of software risk • External application & network assessments • Web, mobile, and cloud • Software development lifecycle development (SDLC) consulting • Network and infrastructure where applications reside • Secure development services: • Secure application development & remediation • Managed security services • Developed ThreadFix
  • 6. WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? 6 The day security became important to business executives
  • 7. BREACH FIXATION OVERVIEW 7 • What is Breach Fixation? • How Does Breach Fixation Manifest Itself? • How you can Use Breach Fixation to Your Advantage
  • 9. BREACH FIXATION 9 • A phenomena created by media fixation on breach stories • Breach Fixation distorts reality by putting most of the focus on external activities that we don’t control… • At the expense of internal security activities that we do • Affects strategy and resource allocation in a potentially negative way • Takes focus away from addressing the root cause while treating the symptom
  • 11. BREACH FIXATION 11 • Does anyone know the top security stories consumed by readers of the major security publications?
  • 13. WHAT’S HOT IN SECURITY 13 • Breaches • APT & Zero Days • External Threats • Cyberwar • Russians, Chinese, Iranians, oh my! • Finding Vulnerabilities
  • 14. WHAT’S NOT… 14 • Internal Security Practices • Coding Standards • Patch Management • User Awareness • Actually Fixing Vulnerabilities
  • 15. WHAT DOES THAT CREATE? 15 • A Situation Where Basic Security Blocking & Tackling Remains Problematic • Window of Exposure of Application Vulnerabilities Remains Egregious • Well-known Security Weaknesses Continue to be an Avenue of Approach for Attackers • Outside the largest and most sophisticated organizations, security only covers a subset of the enterprise
  • 16. WHAT DOES THAT CREATE? 16 • A Situation Where External Threats Might Distract Security Focus • Whipsawed by #ToD (Threat of the Day) or #YABS (Yet Another Breach Story) • “Incumbent Spend” around FW, Endpoint, AV, dwarf other areas • Focus on latest outwardly-focuses security “shiny rock” technologies as panaceas
  • 17. THE RISK? 17 • Returning to a FUD Culture…
  • 18. EXAMPLES OF IMPACT 18 • Press DDoS on speaker by the entire media • Gartner: By 2020, 60% of enterprise information security budgets will be allocated for rapid detection and response approaches, up from less than 20% in 2015. • EY: A Shift to “Active Defense” and its implications • A cautionary tale: State of Texas Public Utilities Commission war story
  • 19. HOW CAN YOU ADDRESS BREACH FIXATION 19 • Recognize Breach Fixation When a Layperson (e.g., “Executive”) References it. • The First Step to Recovery is Admitting you have a Problem!
  • 20. HOW CAN YOU ADDRESS BREACH FIXATION 20 • Constantly Quantify Internal Security Posture • Measure, measure, measure
  • 21. HOW TO USE BREACH FIXATION TO YOUR ADVANTAGE 21 • Use the Positive Force from the Attack Side & Map to Your Strategy
  • 22. OTHER STRATEGIES USE BREACH FIXATION… 22
  • 23. WRAP UP 23 • Breach Fixation distorts reality by putting most of the focus on external security activities that we don’t control at the expense of internal security that we do. • Sophisticated security practitioners understand how Breach Fixation can help or hurt them, if not managed • Once recognized, there are several basic strategies that one can use to take advantage of Breach Fixation
  • 24. QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS John B. Dickson, CISSP @johnbdickson

Editor's Notes

  1. Have done a tremendous amount of mobile testing for our clients, including Fortune 500 and sensitive Have assessed MDM systems And made recommendation to sensitive .gov and .mil clients surrounding application testing
  2. TJX hacker Albert Gonzalez was sentenced to 20 years and a day
  3. The Leavenworth Federal Maximum Security Prison, Leavenworth, Kansas!
  4. - More and more sensational stories.. Press doesn’t understand – or want to understand – the very hard business of security in an organization Now front and center to popular and business press – consumed by executives and boards of directors Vendor marketing campaigns also add to the hype
  5. Share Dark Reading click-through stories
  6. But is critically important….
  7. Sources: WhiteHat Security 2015 Website Security Statistics Report Veracode 2015 State of Software Security Verizone 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report Eye is not on the prize! Security posture built on buying the shiny object….security ADHD – limited patience and or dilligence to do what’s necessary to reduce risk.
  8. Sources: WhiteHat Security 2015 Website Security Statistics Report Veracode 2015 State of Software Security Verizone 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report
  9. Texas PUC moved its two cybersecurity staff working on Smart Meter security to the State’s Emergency Operations Center. No backfill Source: "Shift Cybersecurity Investment to Detection and Response,” Ayal Tirosh & Paul E. Proctor, Gartner, January 2016. Source: “Global Information Security Survey 2015” EY