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Threat Adaptation and Guns – Security 101 June 14, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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PirateSmallLet me start by saying that I, like everyone, am horrified by the events in Orlando. That being said, it is important to understand some concepts inherent to security and why the argument of gun control to prevent attacks like those in Orlando is flawed.

Before I delve into my post I want to give some of  my own background. I started my professional career in the US Marine Security Forces providing armed physical security for a critical national asset.  I have provided Force Protection in a combat zone, was a Marine Scout/Sniper, and I have provided unarmed security in a level 3 psychiatric ward. I have conducted anti-piracy operations in and around the Gulf of Aden and finally, I have been an information security professional for nearly 20 years.  I am also working in a Doctorate in CyberSecurity.  I have written scores of articles and spoken at many dozens of security events.  I may not know much in life but I understand security.

I read a letter from a mother of a Sandy Hook victim.  In the letter she said:

“I am sorry that our tragedy here in Sandy Hook wasn’t enough to save your loved ones,”

While I feel for the mother and understand her very normal and appropriate response to losing her child, the argument simplifies the issue.  Unfortunately, what we are dealing with is not a gun issue…it is a people issue. (more…)

Boycott! – “Special Ed’s Brewery” June 13, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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SpecialEd.jpgUPDATE- It looks like Mr. Mason took his Facebook site down.  He did post an ‘apology’ in which he stated that his “African American Friend” laughed at the “back of the bus brown ale” so he (Mason) thought the name was acceptable.  There were some heated exchanges on his FB page (I was certainly not shy about my own opinions).  Overall, he understood his mistake (hopefully) and has taken action to correct.  The power of the Internet does work.

Today I came across a post for Special Ed’s Brewery.  If the name is not offensive enough their slogan is “Ride the short bus to a special beer” and their mottoes include: “Tard Tested, Tard Approved” and “Back of the brown bus ale”.  As the father of a special needs child and the friend of numerous people with disabilities, I am horrified by the owner (Ed Mason and his wife Cheryl Mason)’s callous indifference to those with disabilities.  It is more than indifference.  They believe that those who are disabled should be used as targets of ridicule and that such ridicule should be used to generate profit.

In a world where we struggle with inclusion, acceptance, and equality Mr. Mason has decided to brand his “company”   by targeting the most vulnerable of our society.  Those with disabilities may not understand nor be able to defend themselves against bullies like Ed and his (no doubt wonderful) wife.  I can picture Ed in high school tripping the disabled kids in hallway and posting the pictures to Instagram.  Think about this for a minute…not too hard to imagine from a gem like this asshole.

Ed was called out more than once on his Facebook page.  His defense: “His friends heard the name and approved”  Seriously?  Clearly his friends are ignorant jerks like him.  Please send Ed or his company a message and let them know you will not tolerate nor support a company that treats anyone like he does.  You can also call Mr. Mason: (209) 331-6071

General Patraeus (Betray-Us) and Gun Control June 13, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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121113033840-david-petraeus-horizontal-large-galleryWhen I first read this story I thought it was a joke.  Famous betrayer of his own country David Patraeus (pronounced Betray-US) and retired astronaut Mark Kelly have started a new gun control group called Veterans Coalition for Common Sense. The next by Mark Kelly  is priceless.

“As service members, each of us swore an oath to protect our Constitution and the homeland. Now we’re asking our leaders to do more to protect our rights and save lives,”

As a reminder, General Patraeus (head of the CIA at the time) was forced to resign after it was discovered he was having an affair with his biographer.  After pleading guilty to a misdemeanor (many felt his actions warranted a felony conviction), Patraeus was sentenced to 2 years probation and a $100,000 fine for giving classified information to his mistress.

Here is a man armed with a PhD and who spent 37 years serving his country that compromised the safety and security of his own country and those with whom he served to help his lover.  He betrayed his wife, his family and his country.  Patraeus “…swore an oath to protect our Constitution…” and instead violated the oath for his own selfish purposes.

He espouses the need for ‘common sense’ yet did not have the common sense to not compromise national security for his mistress and does not have the ‘common sense’ to recognize the hypocrisy of his own actions.

Patraeus could not be convinced under the threat of prison to not share secrets with his lover yet now expects that tougher gun laws will prevent other criminals (since he is a criminal) to be deterred from violating new laws related to guns.

Let that sink in for a moment..

Chris Mark in “Using Security Metrics” Book June 9, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in cybersecurity, Uncategorized.
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Screen-Shot-2016-06-09-at-10.55.59-AM.pngA number of months ago I was interviewed regarding my opinion on the effectiveness of security metrics.  I was notified today that the eBook has been published.  Titled “Using Security Metrics” the book includes 33 authors and according to the publisher:

“We asked 33 security experts how they communicate security program effectiveness to business executives and the Board.

They share their recommendations and best practices in this ebook. If you’re a security professional, you’ll find their insights indispensable for helping you better communicate with business executives and Board members who often do not speak the security language. Download this ebook to learn about:

  • Security Metrics That Tell a Story to the Board
  • Security Metrics That Help Boards Assess Risk
  • Security Metrics for Threat Management
  • Security Metrics that Drive Action in the Financial Services Industry

My contribution can be found starting on page 39.  You can download the eBook here!.

Chris Mark to speak at 2016 TASSCC Annual Conference June 3, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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I wTASCCas excited to receive a call yesterday evening in which I was informed that my presentation abstract was accepted for the 2016 TASSCC Annual Conference being held in August in Galveston, TX!  If you are not familiar TASSCC is Texas Association of State Systems for Computing and Communications.  They host a great event every year and are pretty selective about choosing speakers.

My topic will be a variation of my dissertation study related to adversarial analysis.  As opining on Bayesian Inference, Proximate reality, and apophasis as they relate to security events would likely put the crowd to sleep I am going to cover some important topics at a high level and then provide a live demonstration of the dark web.  People are always shocked to see in real time where they can hire a hitman, or have a Kilo of Cocaine delivered to their door using only BitCoins.


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