The Product-Process chasm – and how to bridge it

product-process gap

Have you implemented a firewall? An IPS? An AV? An IAM solution? A DLP? A DRM? An APT solution? A gateway proxy? An MDM solution? An SIEM? Chances are that you have answered “Yes” to at least two questions. (If not, please leave the information security industry right away and do something else. Really. Anything else will do!)

All these are very good technologies. They solve an information security problem, and they solve it well. What worries me, is that many (if not most) implementations of these technologies are not as effective as they can me. The problem? - Lack of well defined processes.


The Info-Sec Idiots Guide



Info-Sec Idiots Classification

Info-Sec Idiots Classification

“Can you get us a security certificate in a week’s time?”

If you have been in the infosec consulting business long enough, you will, for sure, have come across this sentence. In this post, I want to vent my frustration and tell you the answers that I actually want to give - not the answers that I actually give!


The HeartBleed FAQ

The dust seems to be settling over the Heartbleed storm. Questions have been asked and answered. The experts and the newbies have voiced their opinions. This, I feel, is a good moment to answer those little questions that we have always been meaning to ask, but feared being thought of as stupid. Here is my attempt to explain Heartbleed in simple question and answer format. I have provided as many references as possible for further exploration. Feel free to suggest changes / corrections!



Terrorist Outfit Seeks ISO 27001:2013 certification

I generally write long and boring stuff about obscure standards and esoteric practices. Sometimes, I do get bored of this and want to write some fiction. I tried to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle here. This post is my attempt at faking a news report!

TORA BORA: An infamous terrorist outfit has decided to implement and get certified on ISO 27001:2013 as information related to critical projects it undertakes keep getting leaked to outsiders.


The truth about the information security industry

The information security industry is in doldrums. If it is not, it probably should be.

For the past decade, there has been no change in the basic way we operate. For an industry that is reasonably new and supposedly at the cutting edge of technology, it has not done anything different. Don’t get me wrong here. We have improved out tools. We have dutifully automated stuff. We have created more glamorous reports and siphoned of truckloads of money from unsuspecting customers. BUT, there is no change that we bring in the VALUE that information security adds to the industry.


The case of the missing PDCA cycle

‘My dear Watson!’ exclaimed Holmes. “You are no doubt wondering about how they work in Japan.” I looked up in surprise. I was indeed pondering about the work culture in Japan.

“Have you started performing black magic, then, Holmes? There can be no other explanation to this” I spake with wide eyes. “How can you even know what I am thinking?”

“Elementary! I have been observing you for the past ten minutes. You started reading the new ISO 27001:2013. A few minutes later, your eyes widened. You left your seat, went to the shelf and retrieved the ISO 27001:2005.”

“And how can that possibly tell you that I am thinking about Japanese work culture?”


Top 5 posts on PracticalInfoSec – 2013

top 5 2013

Yet another year goes by in the infosec world. This is probably my first year of regular blogging. By regular, I mean at least one post a month (as opposed to the promised one post a fortnight!) Rather than think of anything new at this time of the year, I thought of going with the flow and posting a top 5 list (going against my cardinal rule, of course!). So, here is a list of the top 5 most read posts from my blog:


Life and Probability


God controls the averages, not the individual.

I was impressed by this line when I read it in Scott Adam’s brilliant  book - God’s Debris’.

I could almost imagine God to be looking at data and tweaking it (like a benevolent central banker) to control the averages. Too many people? Hmm…. Increase lifestyle diseases. Too much pollution? Clear out an area with a typhoon. Too many low quality apps? Release a computer virus… It sort of explains why some people suffer and some have a gala time. We are just an average. A statistic.


Conversations with an Infosec Consultant…

You know you are a consultant when you are unable to describe what you do for a living to an acquaintance you meet. Most of my casual conversations go like this: Me: “So, what do you do?” Acquaintance(ACQ): “I work at a bank/ an IT services firm/  a manufacturing organisation.” ACQ: “And what do you Read more about Conversations with an Infosec Consultant…[…]

The new ISO 27001

So, the new ISO 27001 is here. After 8  years, the entire ISMS approach has been revamped. The newer version of ISO 27001 aka. ISO 27001:2013 is a much slimmer document. There is no introduction to the process approach and – surprise surprise, no diagram of the Deming’s cycle. No beating around the bush for Read more about The new ISO 27001[…]