Forget Solutions for a While, Let’s Think Differently About Security

As many of you may know, this has been my mantra for the last couple of years. It was the perspective that gave birth to HoneyPoint and many of our service offerings that we have launched in the last couple of years.

I was very pleased when SANS ran this article a few days ago and when they made their initial call for ideas.

Many of the ideas that they uncovered were excellent! I especially think that there might be a future in organized education of young people around cyber-ethics, security behaviors and deeper understandings of privacy in the physical and online world. I am an obvious believer in new technical frameworks and thought processes that dynamically change the nature of the game from responsive to proactive. Further, I am a stronger and stronger believer in Honey-based technologies and in adapting attacker techniques and strategies for use against attackers. The last two years have incredibly strengthened my belief that a true key to future security is to manipulate the ability for threat agents to tell the real assets from the pseudo-assets and the true exposures from the ones that only lead to capture. I am a true evangelist of the idea that active manipulation of threat agents is a both a productive mechanism for defense and an effective control for differentiating between real, dangerous risks and non-persistent “noise” risks. While these solutions do not apply to every situation, their leverage and power do apply to a number of them and provide both excellent feedback and education as well as an intense level of engagement.

The ideas of adopting principles of genetic engineering are excellent and should be a basis for research in the future. I think the cyber world could learn a lot about data analysis, correlation and visualization by looking at the physical and medical worlds as a baseline for exploration. The data sets of the cyber world are large, but nearly as large, complex or dynamic as some human and physiological systems that scientists are tackling.

I think that if we step back from the day to day security problems we face and spend some time considering and researching “game changing” ideas, we might just find some amazing ways to change the very essence of what we do. I know attackers will always have a say in how the game is played. I know how history shines and enumerates the role of the defender. But, I also know that true evolutionary leaps are possible. True change is powerful, violent and often obvious once it has been discovered, branded and explained to us. Maybe what we need now is more discovery, more exploration and more application of free flowing thought.

As always, let me know what you think about it. You can send email responses to me or comment through the blog. The more brains thinking about the problem – the better!

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About Brent Huston

I am the CEO of MicroSolved, Inc. and a security evangelist. I have spent the last 20+ years working to make the Internet safer for everyone on a global scale. I believe the Internet has the capability to contribute to the next great leap for mankind, and I want to help make that happen!

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