A night on the town

Last night, I went to a Fishnet Security event. Fishnet is a nationally focused information security solutions provider.
The features speaker was Suzanne Hall CIO of the Washington Nationals and Lerner Enterprises. She has had some interesting experiences. Opening Nationals Park. Having the Pope at Nationals Park. (talk about security!)
The topic of her talk was moving CSO to CIO, but it was really relevant to anyone that has to sell their projects to C-level people.
The regulatory approach (FISMA PCI HIPPA SOX GLB says we have to) only goes so far. Meeting regulations is really the bare minimum. Its not about Return on Investment. Security protects your ability to generate revenue. It does not generate revenue itself. FUD (“The sky is falling” also known as Fear Uncertainty and doubt) doesn’t work any more. The sky already fell and we’re still here. Risk based approaches are great. Suzanne working for a private company doesn’t have regulations to blame for needing this security stuff. Instead she appeals to “Core Values”. To me that puts a much more positive spin on it. Imagine that, doing the right thing. Appealing to that wouldn’t have worked at Enron, but at companies where the motto is more than just something on the corporate letterhead that has some promise.
After the featured presentation we heard from some sponsoring vendors.
Bradford Networks spoke about NAC.
Crossbeam is a virtualization/consolidation solution that uses blade systems and working with security companies so you have one platform that could house your firewall, url filtering, gateway antivirus, IDS, etc. Currently many datacenters have an over abundance of appliances. And if the network grows the solution is to add another appliance. If you’re running out of space or running out of power then that might be an interesting solution.
Secure Computing presented and I spoke with one of their people for a bit. Since I first heard of them in the HTTP area that is how I think of them. They feel they have a great application layer firewall.
I also spoke with a rep from Varonis. They make a really interesting product to report on access to file shares. Many years ago I had looked for this exact feature set, couldn’t find it and cobbled something together using a Access database and dumpsec exports of permissions. It would be good to replace that homebrew with something a little more solid. Additionally Varonis will be adding support for Sharepoint next year.