Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Dalibor Siroky, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, John Katrick, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: Cloud Security, Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, Agile Computing, Release Management

Cloud Security: Article

What Is the Future of Security Incident Response?

An interview with CyberSponse CEO Joseph Loomis

With the common theme in today's security management conversations being "your security will fail" and "expect to be breached," there's no question that there has been increased interest in the area of incident response. The industry is realizing that the addition of regulations, people, or even product features, is not going to cut it - a next generation incident response offering is needed.

To get a view of what the next-generation incident response solution might look like, Web Security Journal sat down with entrepreneur and life-long incident response veteran, Joseph Loomis, a cooperative member with the FBI and DEA's divisions on Cybercrime and founder and CEO of Phoenix-based CyberSponse.

WSJ: Tell us a little bit about yourself - why does incident response interest you enough to start a company that appears to be all IR all the time?

Joseph Loomis: The desire to help people and businesses in need is in my bones. In fact, my experience with incident response goes all the way back to my childhood days when my father and his friends saw a gap in community protection and emergency "incident" response, and in turn created an entirely new fire department for our town. What I saw was that most people aren't aware that nearly every medical emergency - even if not fire related - is responded to by the fire department. My father and his friends came up with their own incident response program - they saw the need and made it a reality. They took the bull by the horns, figured it out, and worked on it until they got it right. Watching them, I repeatedly got to see how people responded during traumatic/chaotic events.

Like my father, I too served six years in the military, an experience that allowed me to help individuals, organizations, and countries alike. Shortly after completing my service with the armed forces and attending the University of Florida for Electrical Engineering, I was working for an electronics manufacturer in California. While working as the director of engineering, I saw the need for businesses to protect their assets in the online world. In response to this need, I founded NetEnforcers, a company chartered with protecting online brands and intellectual property. After successfully growing the company and securing customers like Apple, Microsoft, Cisco, Samsung, LG and Pfizer, I sold NetEnforcers, both debt-free and very profitable. Soon after, I began to look for the next area where I could help the world become a better place.

As a formally licensed Private Investigator and a cooperative member with the FBI & DEA's divisions on Cybercrime, I have been fortunate to connect with other entrepreneurs and security industry experts that share the same goals as I do. In 2011, I looked to Spyro Malaspinas, a proven, trusted, and innovative information security leader and a long time friend, to partner with me as a co-founder for CyberSponse - a Phoenix-based company chartered with helping organizations successfully respond to the inevitable security breach. Together Spyro and I developed the business case that would make CyberSponse a reality.

WSJ: What do you see as the biggest challenge faced by organizations with respect to security incident response?

Loomis: As you can imagine, my exposure to fire response, medical response, and military response presented me with far worse situations than a firewall breach. It's safe to say that these experiences taught me how to remain calm under pressure, to recognize how important planning is, and to appreciate how critical communication is during a crisis. Relating this back to cybersecurity, I find the biggest challenge in IR is having the right information available to the right people on the IR team at the right time, and being able to communicate and collaborate throughout the entire response process.

For example, most IR programs involve the use of panicky conference calls and drawn-out email communications, both of which seem to get in the way when something really serious is happening. If you haven't been through it, it may be hard for you to understand. But think about it for a minute - speed of communication is critical during an incident. Even if the right people are included in an email thread, if the critical person is not looking at their email program when it really matters, something can get missed. Similarly, oftentimes the IR leads don't have a clear view of who's doing what and when, regardless of the communication methods used.

WSJ: If you were to pick one big thing that has to change for IR, what would that be?

Loomis: Collaborative communication. The problem is that most IR personnel only know the email/conference call method to incident response. The improvement of standard IR methods needs to be the focus of organizations. In my mind, this is exactly where IR necessitates transformation. New methods of communication need to be leveraged; we need to move things from an ad-hoc model where organizations are forced to jump the tracks, to a cohesive experience that enables teams to communicate and collaborate. We could look to "The Computer Incident Response Planning Handbook" by Neal K McCarthy as a starting point for how to begin this transformation as it is a great source for what works during IR..

WSJ: What prompted you to tackle these challenges with your founding of CyberSponse?

Loomis: I know from first-hand experience that leadership, coordination, communication, planning, and collaboration are key elements to controlling a chaotic situation. Reaching out to old friends that were familiar with security, Spyro included, we decided to form CyberSponse. After digesting the business model and vetting it and the technology plans with some great contacts in the security world, I elected to personally invest over what will be 2M when we hit the market. Our founding management team has been developed through a close network of experienced and trusted friends and partners. And, rather than building an engineering team from the ground up, we looked to a development genius who already had an experienced and functional team, Paul Janisko. He quickly joined the march, and right from the start, we found ourselves with a solid plan, a solid team, and a solid solution to a problem that is not going away.

We are well positioned to succeed and intend to make CyberSponse a reality very soon, a reality that will change the face of IR forever, a reality that will seen by the world at the upcoming launch at RSA 2013 in San Francisco.

WSJ: How will CyberSponse shape the future of incident response?

Loomis: While our solution is far from simple to develop, simply put, CyberSponse is going to bring the efficiency, economics, transparency, and analytics that IR has needed for a long time. No more relying solely on ticketing systems, no more conference calls lasting 6 hours, no more meetings to have meetings. The CyberSponse solution has been tailored to handle the future of IR, designed specifically to streamline the use of a variety of technologies such as SMS, instant messaging, secure document collaboration, and mobile (to name a few). One example I can share pre-launch is that the CyberSponse system will offer built-in tools and training which will help teams become more prepared for a breach when it occurs. Also, by partnering with cutting edge providers like FireHost, Carbon Black, and Blackhills InfoSec, CyberSponse is going to put the power of IR back in the hands of the IR team in a way they've never experienced before, giving them the ability to respond with confidence from wherever they are.

WSJ: What does the future hold for CyberSponse?

Loomis: Legacy technologies like email and ticketing systems are holding the IR teams back, forcing them to operate outside even the best laid out IR plans. In fact, best practices such as NIST SP800-61 and ISO-27035 call for organizations to stay out of email when an incident occurs - not use it as the main tool for communication. With several patents pending, this is the future for CyberSponse - we will bring the IR teams up to date with a next generation IR solution so they can actually follow industry standards, guidelines, regulations, and more - while becoming more effective and efficient in their IR programs while doing so. CyberSponse will provide the perfect solution for companies small and large, leveraging a cyber-response community we help build where companies help each other fight cyber-crime and respond to cyber-attacks.

One final thought that I would add with respect to standards and regulations is the IR audit trail. CyberSponse, effectively operating as a secure bunker for all IR activities, will keep track of everything IR related and keep it secure within the bunker. Organizations will be able to see and report on what Resource A did and what Resource B forgot to do - even if one of those resources is an external service provider bound to an IR SLA. This will be an auditors dream - and will help the organization improve upon future IR activities.

More Stories By Liz McMillan

News Desk compiles and publishes breaking news stories, press releases and latest news articles as they happen.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
The nature of test environments is inherently temporary—you set up an environment, run through an automated test suite, and then tear down the environment. If you can reduce the cycle time for this process down to hours or minutes, then you may be able to cut your test environment budgets considerably. The impact of cloud adoption on test environments is a valuable advancement in both cost savings and agility. The on-demand model takes advantage of public cloud APIs requiring only payment for t...
"Codigm is based on the cloud and we are here to explore marketing opportunities in America. Our mission is to make an ecosystem of the SW environment that anyone can understand, learn, teach, and develop the SW on the cloud," explained Sung Tae Ryu, CEO of Codigm, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Many enterprise and government IT organizations are realizing the benefits of cloud computing by extending IT delivery and management processes across private and public cloud services. But they are often challenged with balancing the need for centralized cloud governance without stifling user-driven innovation. This strategy requires an approach that fundamentally reshapes how IT is delivered today, shifting the focus from infrastructure to services aggregation, and mixing and matching the bes...
"CA has been doing a lot of things in the area of DevOps. Now we have a complete set of tool sets in order to enable customers to go all the way from planning to development to testing down to release into the operations," explained Aruna Ravichandran, Vice President of Global Marketing and Strategy at CA Technologies, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
While we understand Agile as a means to accelerate innovation, manage uncertainty and cope with ambiguity, many are inclined to think that it conflicts with the objectives of traditional engineering projects, such as building a highway, skyscraper or power plant. These are plan-driven and predictive projects that seek to avoid any uncertainty. This type of thinking, however, is short-sighted. Agile approaches are valuable in controlling uncertainty because they constrain the complexity that ste...
Cavirin Systems has just announced C2, a SaaS offering designed to bring continuous security assessment and remediation to hybrid environments, containers, and data centers. Cavirin C2 is deployed within Amazon Web Services (AWS) and features a flexible licensing model for easy scalability and clear pay-as-you-go pricing. Although native to AWS, it also supports assessment and remediation of virtual or container instances within Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), or on-premise. By dr...
"This all sounds great. But it's just not realistic." This is what a group of five senior IT executives told me during a workshop I held not long ago. We were working through an exercise on the organizational characteristics necessary to successfully execute a digital transformation, and the group was doing their ‘readout.' The executives loved everything we discussed and agreed that if such an environment existed, it would make transformation much easier. They just didn't believe it was reali...
It’s “time to move on from DevOps and continuous delivery.” This was the provocative title of a recent article in ZDNet, in which Kelsey Hightower, staff developer advocate at Google Cloud Platform, suggested that “software shops should have put these concepts into action years ago.” Reading articles like this or listening to talks at most DevOps conferences might make you think that we’re entering a post-DevOps world. But vast numbers of organizations still struggle to start and drive transfo...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
"We're developing a software that is based on the cloud environment and we are providing those services to corporations and the general public," explained Seungmin Kim, CEO/CTO of SM Systems Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The cloud revolution in enterprises has very clearly crossed the phase of proof-of-concepts into a truly mainstream adoption. One of most popular enterprise-wide initiatives currently going on are “cloud migration” programs of some kind or another. Finding business value for these programs is not hard to fathom – they include hyperelasticity in infrastructure consumption, subscription based models, and agility derived from rapid speed of deployment of applications. These factors will continue to...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
Let's do a visualization exercise. Imagine it's December 31, 2018, and you're ringing in the New Year with your friends and family. You think back on everything that you accomplished in the last year: your company's revenue is through the roof thanks to the success of your product, and you were promoted to Lead Developer. 2019 is poised to be an even bigger year for your company because you have the tools and insight to scale as quickly as demand requires. You're a happy human, and it's not just...
DevOps teams have more on their plate than ever. As infrastructure needs grow, so does the time required to ensure that everything's running smoothly. This makes automation crucial - especially in the server and network monitoring world. Server monitoring tools can save teams time by automating server management and providing real-time performance updates. As budgets reset for the New Year, there is no better time to implement a new server monitoring tool (or re-evaluate your current solution)....
We just came off of a review of a product that handles both containers and virtual machines in the same interface. Under the covers, implementation of containers defaults to LXC, though recently Docker support was added. When reading online, or searching for information, increasingly we see “Container Management” products listed as competitors to Docker, when in reality things like Rocket, LXC/LXD, and Virtualization are Dockers competitors. After doing some looking around, we have decided tha...
"Opsani helps the enterprise adopt containers, help them move their infrastructure into this modern world of DevOps, accelerate the delivery of new features into production, and really get them going on the container path," explained Ross Schibler, CEO of Opsani, and Peter Nickolov, CTO of Opsani, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The benefits of automation are well documented; it increases productivity, cuts cost and minimizes errors. It eliminates repetitive manual tasks, freeing us up to be more innovative. By that logic, surely, we should automate everything possible, right? So, is attempting to automate everything a sensible - even feasible - goal? In a word: no. Consider this your short guide as to what to automate and what not to automate.
identify the sources of event storms and performance anomalies will require automated, real-time root-cause analysis. I think Enterprise Management Associates said it well: “The data and metrics collected at instrumentation points across the application ecosystem are essential to performance monitoring and root cause analysis. However, analytics capable of transforming data and metrics into an application-focused report or dashboards are what separates actual application monitoring from relat...