Happy New Year, Same as the Old Year

First, this is not one of those far reaching blog posts full of marketing speak, fear, uncertainty or doubt to get you to buy blinky lights.

My personal goals for 2018 include, writing, sharing, and helping others more often. This past weekend, I started thinking about how I would accomplish this in 2018, when a Talking Heads song popped into my head, and I found it very apropos. Growing up in the 70s and 80s I was introduced to a lot of great music (some call it classic rock, but it is just great music). The song that came to me was “Once In A Lifetime” and I found so many corollaries to Cyber Security in this song, I felt I should share with you.

‍ “And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?”

How Did I (we) Get Here?

2018. We humans like to mark time with milestones, 12 months to a year, certain number of days per month etc. All that matters is time progresses, at the same speed it always has.

“Same as it ever was.”

Unbelievable that a year has gone by and we are still in fact faced with many threats that should not be occuring. We have hundreds (if not thousands) of products, services and startups that according to them should have mitigated most of these types of threats long ago. And yet, here we are in 2018 and we will continue to talk about the same types of threats. During 2017 a number of our new customers were repeating the same process they had always done, chasing after blinky lights and dashboards, forgetting that what they needed was not a panacea, because such things still don’t exist, but coming to the realization that it is about managing risk. We were able to help them manage that risk.

“Same as it ever was.”

We have been in the past 12-18 months inundated with lots of cool words, cool startups, cool overfunded marketing machines, that over-power us with words like Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Machine Learning.

“Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground
And you may ask yourself
How do I work this?”

How Do I Work This?

Not only, how do you work all those new buttons, lights and machines that go ping (like in Monty Python), but who in fact is watching all of the intelligence and raw logs from these devices and your infrastructure. Owning a log management system (SIEM) is just a single checkbox; actually using it 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and hunting in that data continuously, not just during normal business hours, that would be a good start.

“Water dissolving and water removing
There is water at the bottom of the ocean
Under the water, carry the water
Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean!”

Remove the water at the bottom of the ocean.

Sometimes Cyber Security does in fact seem like a Sisyphean task, but it doesn’t have to be. Starting small, with getting a better understanding of all of your systems, taking inventory of what you have, understand the real risk to your organization for each source group type. Risk is what you are trying to solve. Minimizing risk, for there is no such thing as perfection in the Cyber Security world in 2018. Plan, Prepare, Monitor and Mitigate.

“Look where my hand was
Time isn’t holding up
Time isn’t after us
Same as it ever was”

Time isn’t after us.

If you keep buying the newest blinky lights and tools with AI/ML/Hype, the cyber risk will at least the same as it ever was, or in most cases, greater than they were before, since you are relying on a panacea. Mitigating risk is about people, process, monitoring and hunting, not the newest hype-curve.

Happy New Year – From everyone here at Milton Security.

If you are interested in talking about how we can help you plan, prepare, monitor, hunt and mitigate for you, feel free to drop me an email directly [email protected] or to Evan [email protected]

P.S. : The song is by The Talking Heads, they were clearly ahead of their time: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IsSpAOD6K8