UNSECURITY Podcast – Ep 103 Show Notes – PsyberReslience Project Pt. 2

Happy Tuesday (again)!

There are always 100s of things to talk about each week, and if you’re ADHD like me, you know how hard it can be to stay focused on one thing for too long!

Here are a few things that are top of mind right now:

  • Security ABCs:
  • Election is next week. Please vote. Regardless of who you vote for, you have a voice. The voice might seem insignificant, but when millions of voices speak together, you have something special. This election season has been crazy, just like 2020 has been crazy. I’m looking forward to it being over, so we can return our focus to serious issues facing all of us.
  • Last week on the Security Shit Show, we talked about election security. The title of the show was “Is My Vote Secure?”. This week it’s Chris Roberts‘ topic, and he hasn’t announced it yet. Stay tuned!
  • Business is good – FRSecure is running at or near full capacity and SecurityStudio is serving people well with simple, fundamental, and effective information security risk tools. Good things! FRSecure is hiring BTW.
  • Incidents and calls for our incident response team continue to roll in. There was an incident that occurred this past weekend. Sadly, the way the incident was handled by the client provided good examples of what NOT to do. I’ll right a separate blog post on this story later, but here’s two things you need to do RIGHT NOW. Drop what you’re doing and make sure you’re squared away on:
    1. Check your incident response plan and be sure you know who to call.
      • Double-check the contact information.
      • Is there 24×7 response? Incidents will inevitably happen at the worst time.
      • Who do you call, and who do you call first? Your incident responders, your insurance provider, your legal team, executive management, law enforcement, or…?
    2. Make sure your preferred 3rd-party incident handler/provider is on your insurance provider’s approved list for reimbursement.
      • You waste precious time, energy, and money when you don’t know.
      • Engaging with a 3rd-party incident responder who isn’t on the list will force you into declined reimbursements and/or changed providers (losing more time).
  •  Not a sales push at all, but here’s what FRSecure provides. At a minimum, it makes sense to register with your incident responder (See: IR Registration Services).

  • Not digging the cold weather, but I do live in Minnesota, so…

Episode 102 Quick Recap

Originally, we weren’t planning on making the discussion with Neal O’Farrell into a series, but the talk in episode 102 was too AWESOME! Brad was out sick for the show, but Neal and I had a great talk about his 40(ish) years in our industry, his background growing up in Ireland, his organization (the PsyberResilience Project), our personal mental health issues (stress, burnout, etc.), and mental health in our industry. This is a serious issue in our industry, and we’re not doing a good enough job in tackling our problems.

I’m VERY excited to welcome Neal back again! We’ll talk about resources people can use to improve their lives. Sure to be another great discussion!

These are my (Evan) notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 103

Date: Tuesday October 27th, 2020

Episode 103 Topics

  • Opening
  • Special Guest – Neal O’Farrell from the PsyberReslience Project
    • Recap episode 102 – Where we left off.
    • Mental Health Discussion.
    • Specific self-help approaches, what we’ve learned from trying them.
    • Other resources and what you can do to help.
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Hi everybody. Welcome to another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast! This is episode 103, the date is October 27th, 2020, and I’m Evan Francen, your host. Joining me is my good friend and co-worker, Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad.

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] Also joining us, for the second week in a row is our good friend and founder of the PsyberResilience Project, Neal O’Farrell. Good morning Neal.

[Neal] Cue Neal.

[Evan] How are you guys today? What’s new?

Quick Catch-up

Discussion about any current events, life or otherwise…

Transition

 

Special Guest – Neal O’Farrell from the PsyberReslience Project

[Evan] Neal, thanks for joining us for the podcast again this week. Last week we had a great talk. So great, in fact, we didn’t leave any time for news stuff. No matter though, people can always read news things for themselves.

Anyway, we talked about your background, both of us shared our personal struggles with mental health, and we talked about your organization (the PsyberResilience Project). This week Brad’s joining us, and we’re going to focus on specific self-help approaches that we’ve tried. Before we jump in, Brad, did you get a chance to listen to last week’s podcast?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] What did you think about it?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] Great! Let’s dig in.

Begin Discussion

Topics to discuss (or ideas):

  • Recap episode 102 – Where we left off.
  • Mental Health Discussion.
  • Specific self-help approaches, what we’ve learned from trying them.
  • Other resources and what you can do to help.

Discuss whatever else comes to mind.

[Evan] Excellent discussion, and I’m sure our listeners found value in it!

Now, we’re at the part of the show where we review a few news items that caught our eye this past week. Neal, please feel free to comment anytime too!

News

[Evan] Some interesting nation-state stuff caught my attention this week. God knows, there’s always plenty of nation-state stuff going on!

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] Great! Episode 103 is just about complete. Thanks guys! Neal, it was great having you on the show again this week. I’m looking forward to working together to make our industry better. Brad, always happy when you’re here. Glad you’re feeling better this week!

Any shout outs for either of you?

[Brad and/or Neal] We’ll see.

[Evan] Always grateful for our listeners! Send things to us by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Neal, remind our listeners again how they can get in touch with you.

[Neal] Cue Neal.

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more things we do when we do what we do.

That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Ep 102 Show Notes – PsyberReslience Project

Happy Tuesday (again)!

There are always 100s of things to talk about each week, and if you’re ADHD* like me, you know how hard it can be to stay focused on one thing for too long!

Here are a few things that are top of mind right now:

  • Security ABCs – I’ve been writing the information security ABCs the last week or two. This is a journey through the basics and fundamentals of information security. The “experts” can use the reminders and the inexperienced can use the direction (I think). The reception has been great so far, and I love the comments I’ve been getting, in my LinkedIn feed and on Twitter! So far, I’m through “D”. Stay tuned for “E” and “F” which are both scheduled for this week.
  • Election is only two weeks away – Have you already voted or are you planning to? If not, shame. Every U.S. citizen should voice their support for who they want leading this country. If you’re like me, I’m not wild about either of the two leading candidates, but it won’t stop me from casting a vote for who I think is best (out of my limited options). Last week, we talked about election security in episode 101. The notes for that episode have some good resources in them.
  • Disinformation is rampant – Last Thursday, Ryan Cloutier, Chris Roberts, and I opened our three-part series about election disinformation on the Security Shit Show. This first episode was titled “Disunited States of America (Election Disinformation)” and despite our share of technical difficulties, it was a great talk!
  • Business is good – FRSecure is running at near full capacity and SecurityStudio is serving people well with simple, fundamental, and effective information security risk tools. Good things! FRSecure is hiring BTW.
  • Cold/Winter

Lot’s of blessings, despite the crazy society we’re living in.

*Speaking of ADHD, mental health is a serious issue in our society and our industry. Helping people with mental health disorders is important for all of us, and it’s a cause that I’m deeply committed to. This is the topic for today’s show.

I’m VERY excited to welcome a special guest this week. He’s the Founder of the PsyberReslience Project, and a long time information security advisor and expert; Neal O’Farrell!

On to the show! Brad is out with a sinus infection (or something), so it’s just me and our guest. These are my notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 102

Date: Tuesday October 20th, 2020

Episode 102 Topics

  • Opening
  • Special Guest – Neal O’Farrell from the PsyberReslience Project
    • Introduction to Neal
    • About the PsyberReslience Project
    • Mental Health Discussion
    • What can we do to help?
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Hi everybody. Welcome to another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast! This is episode 102, the date is October 20th, 2020, and I’m Evan Francen, your host.

Unfortunately, Brad Nigh, my good friend and regular co-host, is out with a sinus infection (I think) today. So, it’s me flying solo, but not really.

I’m REALLY excited to introduce you to a great guy and tremendous asset to the information security community; Neal O’Farrell.

Hi Neal.

[Neal] Cue Neal.

Special Guest – Neal O’Farrell from the PsyberReslience Project

[Evan] Neal, thanks for joining us for the podcast. Tell us about you and your journey through the information security industry.

Begin Discussion

Topics to discuss (or ideas):

  • Neal’s background.
  • The PsyberResilience Project
    • Its purpose.
    • Why Neal started it.
    • What makes it different?
    • Current initiatives and goals.
    • How can people find you?
  • Mental Health
    • What’s wrong with our industry, in terms of mental health?
    • Have problems gotten worse, especially with today’s current events?
    • Have we fixed/solved anything?
    • Personal mental health issues.
    • What do we need to do?
  • What we’re doing together (SecurityStudio and the PsyberResilience Project

Discuss whatever else comes to mind.

[Evan] Thank you Neal! Great discussion and I’m thrilled to be doing good things with you.

Now, we’re at the part of the show where we review a few news items that caught our eye this past week. Neal, please feel free to comment anytime too!

News

[Evan] Just one large news reference for this week. From the Register:

First, Patch Tuesday. Now, Oh Hell, Monday: Microsoft emits bonus fixes for Visual Studio, Windows 10 security bugshttps://www.theregister.com/2020/10/19/security_in_brief/

[Evan] For the most part, I like reading the Register for news. Neal, do you have a favorite news source in our industry?

[Neal] Cue Neal.

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] Great! Episode 102 is just about complete. Thanks Neal! It was great having you join us this week and I’m very happy to have you fighting on the good side. Once again, how can we help?

[Neal] Cue Neal.

[Evan] Always grateful for our listeners! We’re behind on email still, but we’ll get there! Send things to us by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Neal, do you have a way you prefer people get in touch with you?

[Neal] Cue Neal.

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more things we do when we do what we do.

That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Ep 101 Show Notes – Election Security

Well, it’s already mid-October and the election is 21 days (three weeks) away. Things have never seemed crazier or more divided, at least not in my lifetime. Good fodder for discussion in episode 101 of the UNSECURITY Podcast!

Work-wise things are also crazy, but good. Fourth quarter is always nuts for an information security company, and doesn’t matter is it’s consulting (FRSecure) or SaaS (SecurityStudio). Everyone is running at full capacity and finding life margin is a challenge!

Hope you’re happy and healthy! On the the show; I’m (Evan) leading this show and these are my notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 101

Date: Wednesday October 14th, 2020

Episode 101 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up (as per usual)
  • Election Security
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Hey there, thank you for tuning into this episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast. The date is October 14th, 2020 and this is episode 101. I’m Evan Francen, your host for this show. Joining me is my good friend and co-host Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad.

[Brad] Brad does Brad.

[Evan] I know we’re a day late getting the podcast out again this week, but holy cow we’ve been busy! We’ll try to get back on track next week.

Brad, I want to reiterate how I enjoyed our discussion the past couple of weeks about the social dilemma, a Netflix documentary about social media and its effects on society. Lots to think about. In fact, I’m planning to watch it again this week.

[Brad] He might comment here.

Catching Up

[Evan] So, what’s new? Tell us what a day in the life of Brad looks like.

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] I’ll share some stuff too (probably).

Transition

Election Security

[Evan] As you know, we’re only 20 days from the election. If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you should. Go to vote.gov and check it out. Brad have you registered to vote?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] I’m registered and ready to cast my ballot! The date is November 3rd.

There’s been much said about election security. A simple Google search of “election security” produces over 2.2 million results! Election security isn’t a new thing, even though it’s been front and center the past few election cycles.

There’s more to election security than protecting voting machines, so let’s talk about this.

Resources

[Evan] There’s a lot more to election security than infrastructure. What about voter intimidation, disinformation, and security after election night? We’re talking about disinformation on Thursday night’s Security Sh*t Show because this is a significant issue in today’s society.

Election Security Discussion

Open discussion

[Evan] Good discussion! Securing an election has never been more difficult. Let’s catchup on some news quick.

News

[Evan] Here are some recent and interesting news stories to talk about.

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] Great! Episode 101 is just about complete. Thanks Brad, do you have any shout outs this week?

[Brad] We’ll see.

[Evan] Always grateful for our listeners! We’re behind on email, but we’ll promise to respond soon. Send things to us by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @evanfrancen and Brad’s @BradNigh.

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more things we do when we do what we do.

That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Ep 100 Show Notes – The Social Dilemma Pt2

Hard to believe that this is episode 100 already! I’ll have to write a recap of the journey sometime soon.

Crazy things all over the place here at FRSecure and SecurityStudio. If you’ve been an information security consultant, or if you know one, you know that 4th quarter is a crazy time of year. Turns out, COVID-19 and 2020 is NOT the exception. We’re happily swamped.

Having said all that, we’re a day late getting the podcast out again this week. Not because we didn’t try, but because life and work get in the way sometimes.

Hope you’re happy and healthy! On the the show; Brad’s leading and these are Brad’s notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 100

Date: Wednesday October 7th, 2020

Episode 100 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up (as per usual)
  • the social dilemma, Part Two
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Brad] Welcome back! This is episode 100 of the UNSECURITY Podcast, and I’m your host this week, Brad Nigh. Today is October 6th, and joining me this morning as usual is Evan Francen.

[Evan] Talks about how busy things have been

[Brad] Last week we had a really good discussion about The Social Dilemma and we didn’t get to everything so we are doing part 2 today. But before we get going let’s recap our week.

Catching Up

[Evan] Evan’s cool story

[Brad] A recap of my week

Transition

the social dilemma, Part Two

[Brad] Okay let’s pick up where we left off. There are no shortage of takes on the movie, here are some I found interesting.

[Brad] Great discussion here are some news stories

News

[Brad] Here are news stories that caught me eye this week:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Brad] That’s it for episode 100. Thank you Evan, do you have any shout outs this week?

[Evan] We’ll see.

[Brad] Thank you to all our listeners! Thank you to our listeners! Keep the questions and feedback coming. Send things to us by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com. If you’re the social type, socialize with us on Twitter, I’m @BradNigh, and Evan is @evanfrancen.

Lastly, be sure to follow SecurityStudio (@studiosecurity) and FRSecure (@FRSecure) for more goodies.
That’s it! Talk to you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Ep 99 Show Notes – The Social Dilemma

Happy Tuesday! Here we are again, and lots going on…

The big news (sort of) is the first presidential debate is tonight. I wonder how many people will tune in. Personally, I’m not sure if I will. We’ll see.

A few weeks ago my wife asked me to watch the social dilemma with her on Netflix, so I did. I’d heard about the documentary/movie from some friends, but didn’t get around to watching it until then. Wow!

The opening quote from the movie:

Nothing vast enters the life of mortals without a curse

-Sophocles

He was right. Today, Brad and I will give your our reviews about the social dilemma and talk about our thoughts. These are my (Evan) show notes for episode 99.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 99

Date: Tuesday, September 29th, 2020

Episode 99 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  • the social dilemma
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Good morning everyone. Thanks for tuning in to episode 99 of the UNSECURITY Podcast. Today is September 29th, 2020 and joining me is my co-host and friend Brad Nigh.

Good morning Brad.

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] We’ve got a special show planned for our listeners this week. Brad, you and I both watched the social dilemma on Netflix. It’s a documentary about social media in our society that was released in January. Funny how neither of us had watched it until recently, and now (as of this morning) it’s trending as the #6 most popular video on Netflix. I guess it’s better late to the party than not showing up at all!

Before we jump in, I’m dying to hear your thoughts, let’s catch up quick. This is customary.

Catching Up

[Evan] Brad, how you doing? What’s new?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] Cue Evan.

Transition

the social dilemma

[Evan] You watched the social dilemma, right?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] What did you think?

Our review and discussion

  • What if I’m not a social media user/addict, why should I care?
  • We see different realities? Different news feeds?
  • Data (you and I) sold to the highest bidder.
  • Where does this all end if we don’t act (now)?

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

-Arthur C. Clarke

[Evan] If you haven’t seen the social dilemma yet, I highly suggest you do. Sit down, spend the hour and a half, and consider it all. If you’ve got a spouse, invite them to watch it with you. If you’ve got teenage kids, see if you can peel them away from their phones long enough too.

We’ve got to do more about this, and we’ve got to move much quicker than we are.

[Evan] OK, news. Let’s do some quick news stories.

News

[Evan] Three news stories to talk about briefly this week:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] OK. That’s about it. Episode 99 is almost a wrap. Brad, any shout outs this week?

[Brad] Shout out…

[Evan] We’re very grateful for our listeners and we love hearing from you. Send us messages by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com or check us out on Twitter, @UnsecurityP.

If you wanna socialize with me or Brad directly, we dare you! I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. We work for people and if you want to follow those people, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it, talk you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 98 Show Notes

Here we are again, another Tuesday, and another episode of the UNSECURITY Podcast!

Tons going on, as usual.

Last week we released a couple new FREE things at SecurityStudio:

  • Work From Home Security Policy Template – Located at the bottom of our S2Team page. If you don’t know what S2Team is, you should definitely take a look. If you just want the template and don’t care, here it is.
  • Ransomware Recovery Contract – A simple contract between executive management and IT to ensure accountability for ransomware recovery. Executive management likes it because they finally know what to ask for, and IT likes it because they can use it to show they’re doing what they should/can to prevent a prolonged ransomware outage. I’ve uploaded the contract to my site here.

ADDED: Brad reminded me on the show that FRSecure made a free Incident Response Plan Template available last week. Take a look. It’s really, really good (and free)!

Other goings on include developing and improvement of new services (including the release of SecurityStudio v3.9 and an incident response capability assessment), continued collaboration with great partners, a few speaking engagements, episode 19 of the Security Shit Show, deployment of S2Team, and other things.

Alright, enough about that. Let’s get to the show notes, shall we? These are my (Evan) notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 98

Date: Tuesday, September 22nd, 2020

Episode 98 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  • Accountability
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Good morning everyone. Thanks for tuning in to episode 98 of the UNSECURITY Podcast. Today is September 22nd, 2020 and joining me is my co-host and friend Brad Nigh.

Good morning Brad.

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] I think we have a good show planned for listeners this week. This episode is all about accountability. I’d like to discuss how accountability works in information security, who should be accountable for what, and give some tips for improving accountability where we work and in the world around us.

Lots to cover on the topic of accountability. Before we jump in, quick catchup with Brad.

Catching Up

[Evan] Brad, how you doing? What’s new?

[Brad] Cue Brad.

[Evan] Cue Evan.

Transition

Accountability

[Evan] Alright, let’s talk about accountability, or maybe the lack of accountability, in information security. This has been a topic that’s been dominating my thoughts again for the past couple weeks. I say “again” because this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about it.

During an episode of the Security Shit Show a couple weeks ago, I think it was episode 18, we were talking about ransomware. The talk was great, but the frustration we all felt was apparent. Why do we keep doing the same things over and over again? Why don’t people do the basics? My take was the lack of accountability. So, I drafted a Ransomware Recovery Contract to help.

Have you seen the Ransomware Recovery Contract?

[Brad] Cue Brad (I’m sort of springing this on him).

[Evan] So, the greater issue of accountability in general. Let’s talk about it here, for our benefit and the benefit of our listeners.

  • The importance of accountability.
    • Repeating the same mistakes over and over.
    • Safe to assume people know?
    • People die now.
  • When to define accountability.
  • Who’s ultimately accountable for what?
    • In tech – buggy software, social media (see the social dilemma), etc.
    • Big organizations.
    • Small organizations.
    • Public organizations.
    • School districts.
  • Examples of accountability disfunction.
  • Examples of good accountability.
  • What to do about it.
    • Get out ahead. Better now than never (or later).
    • Will CEOs be personally liable someday?

[Evan] This is a deep subject with much to be said. Everything moves so fast, and sadly accountability is severely lagging behind.

[Evan] For listeners who are wondering about us doing a series titled “Politics and Information Security”, it’s still being considered. We just have to put it all together.

[Evan] OK, news. Let’s do some quick news stories.

News

[Evan] Three news stories to talk about briefly this week:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] OK. That’s about it. Episode 98 is almost a wrap. Brad, any shout outs this week?

[Brad] Shout out…

[Evan] We’re very grateful for our listeners and we love hearing from you. Send us messages by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com or check us out on Twitter, @UnsecurityP.

If you wanna socialize with me or Brad directly, we dare you! I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. We work for people and if you want to follow those people, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it, talk you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 97 Show Notes

Good morning! Happy Tuesday!

Thinking Brad is back again this week. I dig that because I dig Brad!

Last week, Brad was out feeling sick. This led to a solo recording of the UNSECURITY Podcast; go check out episode 96 if you want to hear me do my most awkward podcast yet.

Busy, Busy, Busy

We’ve been very busy around here, and it sounds like many of you are too. There are many good signs recently that the economy may be rebounding. The positives:

  • Elections – although the next 50ish days are going to be chaotic, there will be some settling in after the elections are complete. Regardless of which way you swing (blue or red), the completion of an election cycle brings a sense of stability.
  • COVID-19 – there’s been a lot of positive news about medical treatments and possible vaccines. The sooner we can put the pandemic behind us, the better. Once the pandemic is behind us (closer with each passing day), the economy should settle.
  • Markets – the stock and housing markets have held there own through all the chaos of 2020. This is a good sign of good things ahead in our opinion.

Busy is good, and it would take a small book to tell you all the good things going on at SecurityStudio and FRSecure! SecurityStudio is well on it’s way to being a very healthy and profitable SaaS company and FRSecure is exploring expansion (acquisition, merger, and/or geographic expansion).

I sincerely hope you and your family are well!

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Today’s topic is about our divisiveness in world today and what it means to our industry. We’ll be careful to be respectful of other people’s opinions as we navigate these waters, and this may be a good segue into a future series we’ve been thinking about recently; “Politics and Information Security”.

Let’s get on it. The show notes…


SHOW NOTES – Episode 97

Date: Tuesday, September 8st, 2020

Episode 97 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  • Why Can’t We All Just Along?
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Good morning everyone. Thanks for tuning in. The date is September 15th, 2020 and this is episode 97 of the UNSECURITY Podcast! I’m your host, Evan Francen, and back with me this week is my good friend, Brad Nigh! Good morning Brad.

[Brad] Good things from this dude.

[Evan] Well, you were out ill last week. How you feeling? What’s new?

Catching Up

[Evan] Regular listeners to our show know that Brad and I normally start off with catching up with each other. Let’s do it.

Topics:

[Evan] Did you get a chance to hear last week’s episode? It was definitely awkward doing the show alone for the first time!

Transition

Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

[Evan] It’s crazy how much information security reflects life and vice versa. I’ve been thinking about what our next series should be, and I’m always interested in tackling serious topics. We’re in the middle of an election cycle right now and I can’t remember a time when our country has been more divided than it is today. Me being me, I want to talk about it with you (Brad).

What are your first thoughts about the divisiveness in our country today?

[Brad] Chimin’ in.

[Evan] Here’s what I’d like to explore with you:

  • General divisiveness (political, social, information security, etc.)
    • Intimidation/bullying for sharing your thoughts, opinions, disagreements, etc.
    • When you find someone being a jerk or speaking/writing nonsense.
  • Outside Influences to Information Security
    • Today’s political climate.
    • Where do we find facts vs. opinions?
  • Within Information Security
    • How do we think our divisiveness affects information security?
    • Putting down others (competition, other professionals, etc.).
    • The divide between us and the business.
  • A couple of podcast reviews.

 

[Evan] I’m thinking about doing a series titled “Politics and Information Security”. We could interview special guests form both sides of the isle and get their opinions on all sorts of things. What would set us apart is respectfulness. We would do this in a way that respects opinions without attacking and bullying. This could be a great opportunity to set an example for others on how to discuss hot topics without beating each other up. What do you think?

[Brad] We’ll see what he thinks…

[Evan] The timing seems right to do a series like this. Alright. More to come on that! Let’s do newsy stuff now.

News

[Evan] Here’s some news I thought was interesting:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] OK. That’s about it. Episode 97 is almost a wrap. Brad, any shout outs this week?

[Brad] Shout out…

[Evan] It’s nice to have you back man. We’re very grateful for our listeners and we love hearing from you. Send us messages by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com or check us out on Twitter, @UnsecurityP.

If you wanna socialize with me or Brad directly, we dare you! I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. We work for people and if you want to follow those people, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it, talk you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 96 Show Notes

Hope you had a fantastic Labor Day weekend! Personally, it was nice to get away with family and disconnect for a while!

Did you know the history of Labor Day?

It’s always the first Monday in September, ad it’s dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. The first state to recognize the holiday was Oregon in 1887, and it became a federal holiday in 1894. So, this year we celebrate more than 125 years of American work!

Read more about the history of Labor Day on the U.S. Department of Labor website.

Brad’s out today.

Like most weeks, I’m writing the show notes last minute. On the way into work this morning (2:30am), Brad sent me a text message informing me that he is not feeling well. We think it might be a bout of food poisoning, so he should be OK with some rest. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

No Brad today, so this means I’m left to my own devices. This will be the first episode I’ve done by myself. We’ll see how this shakes out.

Let’s get on with it! These are my (Evan) notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 96

Date: Tuesday, September 8st, 2020

Episode 96 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  • Context Means Everything A Lot
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Good morning everyone. Thanks for tuning in. The date is September 8th, 2020 and this is episode 96 of the UNSECURITY Podcast! I’m your host, Evan Francen, and my buddy is out sick today. Normally Brad Nigh joins me as co-host, but he informed me early this morning that he might have a case of some food poisoning.

Wishing Brad a fast and full recovery!

Be warned. Without Brad, I might end up rambling a bit!

Catching Up

[Evan] Regular listeners to our show know that Brad and I normally start off with catching up with each other. No Brad today, so I’ll bore you with some of the stuff I’ve been up to:

  • Great weekend camping with my wife, my daughter, my good friend Ryan Cloutier, and his wife Aimee
  • Bunch of meetings last week, including 11 last Tuesday; Chubb, the Cybercrime Support Network, Schneider Downs (makers of Red Lure), etc.
  • Lots of great work going on at both companies; FRSecure and SecurityStudio.
    • New service offerings at both companies.
    • S2Org – working on a global S2Score, integrating S2Team, S2Vendor, and new deeper-dive risk assessments.
    • S2Vendor – working on customized workflows, custom due dates, integration of something called the “Cowbell Factor”, vendor breach data/news, etc.
    • S2Me – Redesign based on user feedback, definition of four new “normal” language dialects, and the introduction of “Sam”.
  • The Security Shit Show last Thursday night; topic was “Negativity is Bullsh*t”.
  • Some other miscellaneous things…

Crazy week, but it appears as though business is really picking up and market sentiment is positive(r).

[Evan] Alright, again, no Brad to catch up with. Hoping he had a great week and weekend, minus the food poisoning thing. Now on to the topic for today’s show.

Transition

Context Means Everything A Lot

[Evan] If you know me, you know I use many sayings/themes to try to get my point across. One saying I’ve muttered many times:

One of the easiest tells for determining a good information security advice from bad is using context.

Context is critical. Think about it. You make decisions all day, from the seemingly insignificant ones to the critical ones, and everything in between. How does the lack of context effect your decision-making? Without context, the quality of your decisions will suffer.

Without context people make crappy decisions

Recent conversation with “James”:

  • [James] We get the importance of a risk assessment, but we’re just not focusing on that right now. We’re focusing on partnering with firms with forensics capabilities and setting up a security operations center (or “SOC”).
  • [Mike] Are these our most significant risks to focus on right now?
  • [James] We think so. We don’t have any forensics capabilities and we don’t feel like we’re able to identify events happening in our environment.
  • [Mike] What’s the environment look like? How many servers, how many systems, how many applications, etc.?
  • [James] We’ve probably got 100(ish) servers and a couple hundred applications I’d guess.
  • [Mike] You guess?

A recent article “Most cyber-security reports only focus on the cool threats

A recent conversation with “Bill”. Bill is the CEO:

  • [Bill] Hey Mike. We need to stop everything we’re working on and take care of this exploit I heard about from a friend.
  • [Mike] I’ve never heard of this exploit. Why do we need to stop everything and focus on it?
  • [Bill] My buddy over at XYZ company was just telling me about how his company got hit.
  • [Mike] OK, we’ll get right on it.

Regulators and auditors are notorious for missing context and often take us down the road of compliance management versus risk management.

Penetration testers, especially those who are newer to our industry are notorious for getting things out of context. Context is critical.

Same concept applies to the world Around Us

The information security industry is unique, but it’s not unique in the fact that human beings are the ones making decisions. Context works the same way.

Take COVID-19 for instance:

  • The headline reads “South Dakota dismisses ‘elite class of so-called experts,’ carries on with state fair after Sturgis rally fueled COVID-19 surge” – The words “Sturgis rally fueled COVID-19 surge” is troubling. If we made a decision based on these words it might be different than a decision with some context. The article goes on to say (buried in 6th paragraph) “Nationally, about 300 cases have been linked to the rally.” For context, there were an estimated 460,000 attendees. 300 cases out of 460,000 attendees works out to about .065%. Granted, there will likely be more, but the rally was a month ago now.
  • Another headline reads “New challenges in US battle against Covid-19 come with the approaching fall season” – This article goes on to say “The holiday crowds mark the unofficial end to a devastating summer across the country, with Covid-19 infections surging to more than 6.3 million and deaths topping 189,000.” The word “devastating” is not only subjective, but it lacks context. A single infection and a single death is bad, but in context it seems a little less devastating. 6.3 million people is about 1.91% of the U.S. population. More than 640,000 people die each year from heart disease and almost 600,000 die from cancer.

IMPORTANT: COVID-19 is a pandemic and it is VERY serious. I don’t mean to minimize the coronavirus in any way, but I do want to put it into context. Be courteous to others. Wear a mask and follow the CDC’s guidance. Speaking of the CDC, this is a great source for context!

Racism and police violence is another hot button issue. Judging from some of the news and reactions from some of the public, you’d certainly think this was worth burning down the “establishment”. I’m someone who wants to fix broken things, so if I’m interested in fixing broken things, I need to make good decisions in context. Here’s some context.

Spend some time reviewing the statistics and graph above. Don’t jump to any conclusions yet! There is a significant issue here, but I’d prefer to use logic versus emotion to drive my reaction.

Now, here’s a couple more things to think about:

Interesting information for sure, and I’m NOT going to draw any conclusions for you. Racism is a thing and it’s a very bad thing. Decisions about what we’re going to do about the problem will be more effective with context.

IMPORTANT: Racism is real and I’m praying for constructive solutions to end it versus destructive solutions that will probably make it worse.

Context is VERY important for decision-making and problem-solving.

Here’s another saying I use often:

Empty spaces get filled.

Without context, what do we rely on to make our decisions? Usually it’s assumptions, bias, and/or emotions. Where we lack information to make a good decisions, some of us have a tendency to make up our own information to fill the gap. You know what they say about assumptions, right? Bias is prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair, and this doesn’t sound like a good base for decision-making. Emotions are variable and always play a role in decision-making, but it can become a problem when it’s the dominant role. Emotions like fear, anger, and frustration can easily be played against you and drive you to make a decision you’ll come to regret.

So, what to do?

First, understand that information security is about risk management. Risk is the likelihood of something bad happening and the impact if it did. This requires context!

Slow down. Think about the data your consuming and ask yourself if there’s more to the story. Is the new exploit your boss read about the most critical thing you should be attending to? If someone asks you what your most significant risk is, would you have an answer? Could you defend your answer if challenged?

About the world stuff, in short:

  • Will COVID-19 be the end of the world? – No, it’s highly unlikely. COVID-19 is a pandemic and all pandemics come to an end.
  • Is COVID-19 serious? – Absolutely! People get sick and people die. It’s 100% serious and we should all do what we can to help ourselves and each other be safe.
  • If you’re a black man in America, are you going to die at the hands of police? – Even by the most credible research I could find, there’s a 99.9% chance that this will NOT happen. Even .1% is way too high! We need to do everything we can to drive this number much lower. In context, the problem goes beyond the police though.

Well, I hope this helped. Remember to put things into context as much as you are able.

[Evan] Let’s move on to some news topics.

News

[Evan] Here’s some news I thought was interesting:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] OK. That’s about it. Episode 96 is coming to an end. Lonely without Brad, but hopefully useful to our listeners.

[Evan] Shout out…

[Evan] We’re very grateful for our listeners and we love hearing from you. Send us messages by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com or check us out on Twitter, @UnsecurityP.

If you wanna socialize with me or Brad directly, we dare you! I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. We work for people and if you want to follow those people, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it, talk you all again next week!

UNSECURITY Podcast – Episode 95 Show Notes

I don’t have any words to describe 2020. COVID-19, social justice events (George Floyd, Black Lives Matter, protests, riots, etc., etc.), economic issues, the election cycle, and on and on. This is going to be a helluva year to recap come December, and it’s a helluva year to remember (or forget).

One thing that struck me this morning is the fact that it’s already the last day of August. With everything going on this year, I might be grateful it’s flying by.

Despite all the craziness, there’s been good things too. The family time has been great, we’ve gotten a ton of work done around the house, Chris Roberts, Ryan Cloutier and I started the Security Shit Show, business is relatively good, and the optimist in me says the future looks bright.

Well, let’s get on with the show, shall we? I’m (Evan) leading the show this week, and these are my notes.


SHOW NOTES – Episode 95

Date: Tuesday, September 1st, 2020

Episode 95 Topics

  • Opening
  • Catching Up
  • What has this crazy year done for information security?
  • News
  • Wrapping Up – Shout outs
Opening

[Evan] Good morning listeners! My name is Evan Francen, the date is August 31st, and this is episode 95 of the UNSECURITY Podcast. I’m your host today, and joining me is my good friend Brad Nigh. Good morning Brad!

[Brad] Brad’s a nice guy. He’ll say “hi” or something.

[Evan] For our listeners who were expecting our show to come out yesterday, we’ve switched things up. We are recording the shows on Tuesday mornings now due to crazy schedules with getting kids ready/off to school and other things. For the time being, we’ll be recording on Tuesday mornings and releasing the podcast around noon.

Catching Up

[Evan] Same thing each week man. We start by catching up. New listeners might not know that we originally started the UNSECURITY Podcast so that you and I could find an hour each week to catch up with each other. So, let’s catch up! What’s new with you?

Quick discussion about last week, the weekend, or whatever else comes to mind.

  • How’s family?
  • New stuff at home or at work?
  • How’s work?
  • Anything got you excited or ticked off?

[Brad] Things and such probably…

[Evan] Things and such probably too…

[Evan] Good to catch up with you man. Let’s hope this is a great week!

Transition

What has this crazy year done for information security?

[Evan] Obviously, there’s lots going on in the world this year. It was about six months ago (March) when our reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic flipped the world on it’s head, at least that’s what it was like around here. For many, COVID-19 is old news, and people are tired of talking about it. I don’t want to talk about COVID-19 as much as I want to discuss how our reaction to it has affected information security.

COVID-19 Information Security Effects

[Evan] I remember the day like it was yesterday, March 16th. This was the day we closed our physical office at FRSecure and SecurityStudio. Let’s talk about how information security has changed since then and what we think the future of information security will look like.

COVID-19 & Information Security Discussion

[Evan] May 25th and 26th are also days I remember well. May 25th was Memorial Day and it started off like any other Memorial Day. I was camping with my family, and being a military family, we were honoring those who gave their lives while serving our country. It wasn’t until May 26th that I heard the news about George Floyd. Things haven’t been the same since. I’m not going to use our time to discuss social justice issues, but I want to discuss how the events of May 25th have affected our profession (information security).

Social Justice Issues & Information Security Discussion

NOTE: We know that social justice and racism are very sensitive topics. We will discuss these issues only in how we think they relate to information security. This DOES NOT mean anything more, and please DO NOT read anything more into it.

[Evan] This is a year like no other, that’s for sure. I’m hoping and praying that love will prevail. Great discussion Brad! Let’s move on to some news topics.

News

[Evan] Yay! Newsy things. Here’s some news I thought was interesting:

Wrapping Up – Shout outs

[Evan] Sheesh. Thinking maybe we should have done an episode on insider threats! Maybe next week, eh Brad?

[Brad] Cue the Brad.

[Evan] Well, that’s about it folks. Episode 95 is almost in the can. Brad, you have a shout out to give?

[Brad] We’ll see if he does.

[Evan] We’re very grateful for our listeners and we love hearing from you. Send us messages by email at unsecurity@protonmail.com or check us out on Twitter, @UnsecurityP.

If you wanna socialize with me or Brad directly, we dare you! I’m @evanfrancen, and Brad’s @BradNigh. We work for people and if you want to follow those people, SecurityStudio is @studiosecurity and FRSecure is @FRSecure.

That’s it, talk you all again next week!