The InfoSec Blog

The Truth About Best Practices

Posted by Anton Aylward

An article on Linked entitled 'The Truth about Practices" started a discussion thread with some of my colleagues.

The most pertinent comment came from Alan Rocker:

I'm not sure whether to quote "Up the Organisation", ("If you must have a
policy manual, reprint the Ten Commandments"),  or "Catch-22" (about the
nice "tidy bomb pattern" that unfortunately failed to hit the target), in
support of the article.

Industry-wide metrics can nevertheless be useful, though it's fatal to
confuse a speedometer and a motor.

However not everyone in the group agreed with our skepticism and the observations of the author of the article.
One asked

And Anton aren't the controls you advocate so passionately best practices? >

NOT. Make that *N*O*T*!*!*!  Even allowing for the lowercase!

"Best practices" is an advertising line of self-aggrandization invented by the Big Name Accounting Firms when operating in Consulting Mode.Information Security SWOT Analysis

Information Gathering and Risk Assessment

Posted by Anton Aylward

On the ISO2700 forum one user gave a long description of his information gathering process but expressed frustration over what to do with it all all, the assets, the threats and so forth, and trying to make it into a risk assessment.

It was easy for the more experienced of us to see what he was missing.

He was missing something very important -- a RISK MODEL
The model determines what you look for and how it is relevant.

Network Segmentation is Common Sense

Posted by Anton Aylward

On one of the professional forums I subscribe to there was a request for "references" to justify the separation of development and production networks and facilities.  It seems some managers "don't get it" when it comes to things like change control and undocumented and unplanned changes.  Many guidelines discuss this, but its seems that some key ones like NIST and ISO-27001 do not explicitly mandate it, and some managers use this as a reason to not do it.

Some of us security droids find this frightening.

My colleague Miriam Britt managed to sum up the reasons why one should have separation quite sussinctly and forcefully.  With her permission I have copied her reasoning here and I hope many people will either reference this or copy it to their own blogs.  This kind of straight forward statement needs a wide exposure.