Tag Archives: Risk and Network Threat

A Fortress or a Modern City? That is the question

Before he found international fame with his, to all intents, groundbreaking action-novel The Da Vinci Code, American author Dan Brown released a number of novels that later went on to become best-sellers.

The first novel he ever released was entitled Digital Fortress, a thriller about a cryptographer who is called in by the National Security Agency to help break a code that its all-powerful device cannot break. Cue lots of Browninian twists and turns and cliff-hangers.

It’s an interesting title, one that presages the digital world we live in. A lot has happened in the 13 years since it was released with regards to cyber security, information risk, ethical hacking and other things pertinent to this industry.

The next RANT topic coming up at the end of the month deals with the idea of so-called digital fortresses, contrasting it against the open approach, otherwise known as de-perimeterisation.

What will be discussed at this networking event, which all professionals operating in the information security industry – including those with expertise in governance & compliance, digital forensics and penetration testing – are advised to attend, is a number of topics including physical defence strategy of past civilisations, a comparison with how modern towns and cities are secured and the pros and cons of a digital fortress strategy or an open approach.

The latter is referred to, or at least known as de-perimeterisation. This term, coined by Jon Measham in 2001 and popularised by the Jericho Forum, describes “the erosion of the traditional secure perimeters, or network boundaries, as mediators of trust and security”.

This so-called erosion has been made possible by consumerisation online, meaning that firewalls can easily be bypassed and security overhauled. As such, if an open approach is desired, then the argument goes that every level needs to be secured using a myriad of strategies including data-level authentication, encryption, and inherently secure communications. Traditional boundaries, once take for granted, are fast disappearing as the internet continues to evolve at a startling pace.

It’s a fascinating subject, one which is occupying the thoughts of many security professionals to no end at the moment. Attend the next event and join the discussion by emailing Gemma at Acumin to be added to the guest list.

“Protecting our Assets; Fortress or Modern City?”is being held on November 30th and will be the last in 2011.

For more information visit the RANT website or join us on Twitter @RANTforum or @Acumin.  You can also get in touch with the discussion host Paul Vincent of Cyber Security Limited at his Twitter profile @cybersecurer.

– Gemma Paterson, Acumin


Everyone needs to (attend) RANT

It’s good to RANT.

The Oxford Dictionary definition of a rant by the way is: “speak or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.”

We like impassioned, there’s a positive in that description. The word angry we don’t like so much.

So, it’s good to RANT.

You might have observed the capitalisation of RANT, which is deliberate. It’s the acronym for Risk and Network Threat, a monthly, informal networking forum held by Acumin Consulting and NGS Secure.

It’s an event where senior end users in the information security and risk management industry meet with other professionals and experts to discuss – or rant if you will – about pertinent industry issues. It’s not only a great platform for debates, discourse and blue-sky thinking, but also an apt, focused and beneficial space in which to network.

Note – there are no security vendors or consultancies in attendance at such events. It’s not about sales. RANT exists as a genuine meeting place for like-minded thinkers to convene, whether it’s to query issues, rant about projects highlight certain topics or simply to listen and be informed. All under Chatham House rules.

If anything is sold, then it would be knowledge, and the price of that is, so long as you’re a member of the RANT community, absolutely zilch.

So why is face-to-face networking important? In a digital age where conversations occur over screens, where we can comfortably ring one another wherever we may be, send a tweet and get a tweet back almost instantaneously, it could be argued that such events are redolent of a bygone era.

Which would be a huge mistake. Human beings are, after all, sociable creatures – actual human interaction, as opposed to virtual relations, is almost innate, part of our DNA. Furthermore, 80 per cent of our communication – in fact, some studies suggest as much as 90 per cent – is non-verbal.

That in itself, without the need for me to elaborate, speaks volumes. An informal chat with one of your peers at an event like RANT, beer in hand, in comfortable surroundings, is conducive to creating a productive environment. Not to mention the invaluable face-time with the Acumin consultants who have their ear to the ground on all industry developments every month beofre RANT.

There’s the classic saying that “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. A classic for a reason, there is, of course, a semblance of truth in the maxim, but we like to go one step further and come up with a modified version:

“It’s what you know and who you know combined that provides you with a strong foundation.”

From which the opportunities are abundant. You just have to look for it, be amongst your professionals and get talking.

Let’s get ranting at RANT…impassionedly of course.

A little RANT Poetry!

I think I would call this fan mail! Thanks to all our RANT
Risk and Network Threat Forum
members for your dedication and support over the years.
Come and join our RANT,
Come expound your views,
There’s everything for risk folk,
From technology to news,
We get together monthly,
To drink and chew the fat,
We listen quite intently,
Now what’s so wrong with that?
A speaker with a slide show,
Stands up and takes the floor,
If the subject piques our interest,
We won’t show them the door,
But heckling is so de rigueur,
Within our fabled band,
We stand and shout opinions,
With a pint held in our hand,
So tell your friends; come one, come all,
Come join the RANT and have a ball,
If you have heard the clarion call,
If Managed risk is how you roll.