CISO-Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

By David Spark, Founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft

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Description

Discussions, tips, and debates from security practitioners and vendors on how to work better together to improve security for themselves and everyone else.

Episode Date
When Abusing Our Privacy, Does Size Matter?
34:06

Do the biggest tech companies abuse our privacy because they have no competitive incentive to protect it? That debate and more on the latest episode of CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson. Our guest this week is Emilio Escobar (@eaescob), head of information security for Hulu.

Endgame

Endgame makes military-grade protection as easy as anti-virus. Their converged endpoint security platform is transforming security programs – their people, processes and technology – with the most powerful endpoint protection and simplest user experience, ensuring analysts of any skill level can stop targeted attacks before damage and loss. To learn more visit www.endgame.com.

On this episode

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Why can't security vendors get CRM right? One week after RSA I have received cold phone calls and emails from companies for which I"m already engaging with multiple people at said company, some I've actually interviewed their CEOs, actually worked for the company, and/or they've sponsored this very podcast. Other industries use their CRM. Why does it appear en masse the cybersecurity industry is failing at basic CRM?

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren wrote an opinion piece on Medium saying that if elected President her administration would seek to breakup Amazon, Facebook, and Google. She cited them as monopolies squashing innovation and competition and damaging our privacy for their profit. She said, "With fewer competitors entering the market, the big tech companies do not have to compete as aggressively in key areas like protecting our privacy."

What's Worse!?

What's the best kind of CISO to have?

What's a CISO to do?

Last year at Black Hat I produced a video where I asked attendees, "Should DevOps and security be in couples counseling?" Everyone said yes. Are security leaders taking on the role of couples counselor as they try to get security and DevOps working together?

What do you think of this pitch?

We've got two pitches for the show and the second one has a response that veers into insulting.

 

Mar 18, 2019
We’re Releasing Security Studies of Made Up Numbers
42:01

Since no one ever checks a research study's methodology, why not just make up all the numbers? You're in the risk analysis business, right? Chances are very good they'll never check and research studies are a great way to get free press.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson. Our guest this week is Melody Hildebrandt (@mhil1), CISO of FOX.

Thanks to this week's sponsors, Axonius and New Context.

New Context

New Context helps fortune 500s build secure and compliant data platforms. New Context created “Lean Security”, a set of best practices designed to help enterprises manage and secure data for critical infrastructure, and offers professional services and a software solution, LS/IQ, to help enterprises build a secure and compliant data platforms for their business.

Axonius

Huge congrats to Axonius for their two big wins at RSA this year. They were named Rookie Security Company of the Year by SC Media and they also won top prize at RSA’s Innovation Sandbox. They’ve been touted as the company trying to solve the least sexy part of cybersecurity, asset management. Go to Axonius’ site to learn more.

On this episode

Ask a CISO

It’s been reported many times, that the average life of a CISO is 18 months and Mike Johnson lasted 18 months at Lyft. At the time of Mike’s departure so many people were forwarding me articles regarding the stress level of CISOs, most notably around Nominet’s study that claimed that about 1 in 5 CISOs turn to alcohol or self-medicating. With two CISOs on the panel we discuss if this was the most high-pressured job they had and would you be eager and willing to jump back into the CISO role again.

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Couple weeks ago I wrote an article entitled “30 Security Behaviors that Set Off a CISO’s BS Detector.” There was quite a response from the community to this. Now that we’ve just finished RSA, did our CISOs see or hear anything that set off their BS detectors.

What’s Worse?!

We play two rounds of “What’s Worse?!” Both rounds are cases of employees putting security in very compromising positions.

What’s a CISO to do?

When we talk about security we’re often talking about protecting customer and employee data. While all companies have intellectual property they need to protect, at FOX, Melody Hildebrandt is having to deal with some very high profile individual assets that are of interest to many hackers. What are the factors a CISO must consider, that most security people probably aren’t thinking about, when you’re trying to secure a single media asset that’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars?

What do you think of this pitch?

After you hear this pitch, every security professional may be out of a job. Tip of the hat to Christopher Stealey of Barclays for providing this pitch he received.

You’re a CISO, what’s your take on this?

Ameer Shihadeh of Varonis asks a question of trying to overcome the objection from a security professional that they don’t have any security initiatives or projects.

And now this…

We field questions from our audience for the CISOs.

Mar 12, 2019
A Pesticide-Free Podcast Made with 'All Natural' Intelligence
29:28

We eschew those cybersecurity firms touting claims of artificial intelligence for our organic conversation-based approach to podcasting.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson. Our sponsored guest this week is Mike Wiacek (@Mikewiacek), co-founder and CSO for Chronicle.

Thanks to this week's sponsor, Chronicle

Chronicle - Backstory

Chronicle’s Backstory is a global security telemetry platform for investigation and threat hunting within your enterprise network. Backstory makes security analytics instant, easy, and cost-effective. Backstory is a specialized, cloud-native security analytics system, built on the core infrastructure that powers Google itself.

On this episode

What's a CISO to do?

As we brace for RSA this week, we expect most companies on the floor will be touting some form of artificial intelligence or machine learning. CISOs are no longer even slightly moved by those terms. What should vendors be saying? And what should a savvy security shopper demand to know about a company's AI or ML?

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Allan Alford, CISO of Mitel, and my co-host on the other CISO Series podcast, Defense in Depth, created a very funny "Cybersecurity Startup Name & Mission Generator!" chart that got a lot of response. We've seen a lot of these name generators, but this one seemed creepily too real. We discuss InfoSec company names and how not to let your eyes glaze over as you walk the trade show floor.

What's Worse?!

How do you feel when big security companies acquire smaller security companies?

Please, enough. No, more.

This week's topic is "threat hunting." We talk about what we've heard enough of on "threat hunting," and what we'd like to hear a lot more.

What's a CISO to do?

A great challenge question from an anonymous source: "My users learned security from the evening news. Now I can't see their traffic due to their VPN tunnel and they are using programs that delete evidence to be more secure." What's a CISO to do?

Mar 03, 2019
You Get a Private Network! You Get a Private Network!
32:40

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and series is available at CISOSeries.com.

We're giving away private networks to everybody. Even if you think you don't need one, you want one. It's all on this week's episode of CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson. Our sponsored guest this week is Francis Dinha, CEO of OpenVPN.

Francis Dinha, CEO, OpenVPN

Thanks to this week's sponsor, OpenVPN

OpenVPN

Create an economical and secure private network for your company with OpenVPN. Used by Fortune 500 companies and IT, Access Server keeps your internal data safe with end-to-end encryption, secure remote access, and extension for your centralized unified threat management. Go to openvpn.net/ciso-series to test drive Access Server for free.

On this episode

What's a CISO to do?

A few years back I interviewed Francis Dinha about hiring talent. Dinha had the fortune to be able to mine his own community of people of open source volunteers. It's become a great resource for hiring talent. Finding those passionate communities are key for finding talent. We discuss other possible resources and why it's critical or maybe not critical to hire people who've contributed to the open source community.

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Given the number of default passwords being used and connected devices with little to no security, does achieving "zero trust" have to be the InfoSec equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest? We discuss simplifying security architecture so achieving "zero trust" isn't a badge of honor but rather something everybody can easily do.

"What's Worse?!"

Another round where we debate an open source conundrum.

Please, enough. No, more.

What have we heard enough with VPNs and what would we like to hear a lot more?

Let's dig a little deeper

John Prokap, CISO of HarperCollins, said on our live NYC recording, "If you patch your systems, you will have less threats that will hurt you." I posted John's basic security advice as a meme, and it got a flurry of response. My favorite came from Greg Van Der Gaast of CMCG who said, "The fact that this is quote/post-worthy in 2019 boggles my mind." The issue of "why aren't you doing this" came up and people discussed integration issues, hard to keep up, and the fact that patches can often break applications. Is this a cycle that's impossible to break?

 

Feb 26, 2019
Productivity Tip! Get More Done By Refusing To Do Anything
34:03

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

We tip our hat to the much maligned "Department of No" for having the foresight to see that refusing service is probably the most efficient and secure response.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is April Wright (@AprilWright), CEO, ArchitectSecurity.org.

Thanks to our sponsor, Endgame

Endgame makes nation-state grade protection as easy as anti-virus. Their converged endpoint security platform is transforming security programs – their people, processes and technology – with the most powerful endpoint protection and simplest user experience, ensuring analysts of any skill level can stop targeted attacks before damage and loss. To learn more visit www.endgame.com. Endgame will be at RSA this year in booth 1827 in the south hall.

On this episode

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

In an effort to improve security before the 2020 Olympic games, the government of Japan will try to hack its own citizens by using default passwords on webcams, routers, and other Internet connected devices. If they break through they will alert the people that their devices are susceptible to attacks. How good or bad is this idea? Will this give way to easy phishing scams?

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Online, Mike brought up the subject of security rockstar culture and specifically pointed this comes from the security staff playing offense vs. the ones playing defense who really need a team behind them to be effective. We look at the difference between a healthy leading voice in security vs. “a look at me” security rockstar.

It’s time to play, “What’s Worse?!”

Two rounds and the first one Mike spends a lot of time debating.

Ask a CISO

Brad Green of ObserveIT asks, “Do CISOs pay attention to competitive market conditions of different vendors?”

Are you aware of what’s going on and what impact do analysts have?

What do you think of this pitch?

Two pitches to critique. Lots of insight.

 

Feb 19, 2019
We’re 99% Sure Our Malware Protection Will Fail 1% of the Time
44:15

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

Do you want a security vendor that’s good at protecting you from malware or a vendor that’s honest with you about their failure rates? Whatever happens you’ll take it on the latest episode of CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast recorded live in NYC for the NY Information Security Meetup (@NYInfoSecurity). Thanks for hosting our recording!

This super-sized special episode features drop-in co-host, John Prokap (@JProkap), CISO of HarperCollins Publishers, and our guest Johna Till Johnson (@JohnaTillJohnso), CEO of Nemertes Research.

Check out all the awesome photos from the event.

Context Information Security

Context Information Security is a leading technical cyber security consultancy, with over 20 years of experience and offices worldwide. Through advanced adversary simulation and penetration testing, we help you answer the question – how effective is my current cyber security strategy against real world attacks?

On this episode

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

To Facebook, our data in aggregate is very valuable. But to each individual, they view it as essentially worthless as they're happy to give it away to Facebook for $20/month. I don't see this ever changing. Does an employees carelessness with their own privacy affect your corporation's privacy?

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Rich Mason, former CISO at Honeywell posted about the need to change the way we grade malware. He noted that touting 99 percent blocking of malware that allows for one percent failure and network infection is actually a 100 percent failure. It's the classic lying with statistics model. How should we be measuring the effectiveness of malware?

What's Worse?!

We play two rounds trying to determine the worst of bad security behavior.

What's a CISO to do?

A CISO can determine their budget by:

1: Meeting compliance issues or minimum security requirements
2: Being reactionary
3: Reducing business risk
4: Enabling the business

Far too often, vendors have preyed on reactionary and compliance buyers. But the growing trend from most CISOs is the reduction of business risk. How does this change a CISO's budgeting?

Let's dig a little deeper

We bring up "do the basics" repeatedly on this show because it is often the basics, not the APTs, that are the cause of a breach or security failure. Why are the basics so darn hard and why are people failing at them?

What do you think of this pitch?

We've got two pitches for my co-host and guest to critique.

And now this...

We wrap up our live show with lots of questions from the audience.

Feb 12, 2019
We're Selling Your Data at Unbeatable Prices
31:10

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

We've got so much data we've got to liquidate. Whatever private information you want - location, purchase history, private messages - we've got it! Call us now before our users realize what we're doing.

Your privacy, unleashed, on the latest episode of CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

OpenVPN

Create an economical and secure private network for your company with OpenVPN. Used by Fortune 500 companies and IT, Access Server keeps your internal data safe with end-to-end encryption, secure remote access, and extension for your centralized unified threat management. Go to openvpn.net/ciso-series to test drive Access Server for free.  

 

On this episode

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Oh Facebook, not again. Appears they were paying teenagers for the right to snoop on their phone. The most telling part of this story is that this app was activated by clicking a button that said, "Trust." How does Facebook's untrustworthy behavior affect a CISO's ability to maintain trust with their audience?

How are CISOs digesting the latest security news?

From the UK, the Cyber Skills Impact Fund will receive a nice boost of £500,000 to attract more people to cybersecurity, but specifically a diverse workforce. We have talked at great length about the need to have a diverse security staff, and Mike has said on a previous show that not having diversity actually makes you less secure because you fall into "one think." How does a diverse staff change the thinking dynamic of your security team?

It's time to play "What's Worse?!"

We play two rounds of the game. One round is far more challenging than the other.

Ask a CISO

Tip of the hat to Schaefer Marks of ProtectWise for his suggestion about RSA pitching. I'm starting to get RSA meeting requests. They all follow the same format: assuming we're getting ready, and asking if we would like a meeting with a VP, CEO, some expert. We discuss what pre-event pitching we like and don't like.

What do you think of this pitch?

We have two pitches, one that's pretty good, and one that's disastrous.

 

Feb 05, 2019
We're the Ellen of Cybersecurity Podcasts
45:40

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

We're comparing ourselves to media you already know in hopes you'll better understand our product and listen to our show. It's our first self-produced live recording of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast from San Francisco and it came out awesome.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest for this live show is Andy Steingruebl (@asteingruebl), CSO of Pinterest.

Check out all the awesome photos from our first self-produced live recording.

Thanks to our sponsors

The Synack Crowdsourced Security platform delivers effective penetration testing at scale. Synack uses the world’s top security researchers and AI-enabled technology to find what scanners and regular testing do not. It’s used by US Dept of Defense and leading enterprises for better security. To learn more, go to synack.com.

New Context helps fortune 500s build secure and compliant data platforms. New Context created “Lean Security”, a set of best practices designed to help enterprises manage and secure data for critical infrastructure, and offers professional services and a software solution, LS/IQ, to help enterprises build a secure and compliant data platforms for their business.

 Create an economical and secure private network for your company with OpenVPN. Used by Fortune 500 companies and IT, Access Server keeps your internal data safe with end-to-end encryption, secure remote access, and extension for your centralized unified threat management. Go to openvpn.net/ciso-series to test drive Access Server for free.  

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Chris Roberts with Attivo Networks caused a flurry of discussion when he argued that using the term "security" is meaningless. He said, "There is no such thing as security. There is just a measurement of risk." He went on to say we shouldn't be talking about security risk, but only business risk. Would it be a good idea to change the terminology?

How are CISOs are digesting the latest security news?

France’s data protection regulator, CNIL, issued Google a $57 million fine for failing to comply with its GDPR obligations. Not the first GDPR fine, but it's first big tech giant. And it's not nearly as much as it could have been. But it's the biggest fine so far. Are GDPR fines starting to get real? Will this embolden even more fines?

Hey, you're a CISO, what's your take on this?

On LinkedIn Mike Johnson brought up the discussion of security vendors marketing what they're not. He claimed that this tactic is doomed to fail, and should just stop. Why is it a failed tactic?

It's time to play, "What's Worse?!"

We get a little philosophical in this round of "What's Worse?!"

Um...What do they do?

I read the copy from a vendor's website and the two CISOs try to figure out, "What do they do?"

Ask a CISO

A listener asks, "What are the signs that tell you that a vendor is serious about improving the security of their product?"

How are CISOs are digesting the latest security news?

A caustic attendee to DerbyCon brings down the entire event because the organizers didn't know how to handle his behavior. How can event producers in the security space avoid this happening in the future?

And now this...

We take questions from our audience.

 

Jan 28, 2019
Introducing Defense in Depth: Security Metrics
25:42

Our new podcast, Defense in Depth, is part of the CISO Series network which can be found at CISOSeries.com.

This is a special episode introducing this new podcast. To get more of Defense in Depth, subscribe to the podcast.

What are the most important metrics to measure when building out your security program? One thing we learned on this episode is those metrics change, as your security program matures.

This episode of Defense in Depth is co-hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), the creator of CISO Seriesand Allan Alford (@AllanAlfordinTX), CISO at Mitel. Our guest is my co-host of the other show, Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft.

Fluency's correlation and risk scoring technology combined with their approach of using pseudonyms in place of certain PII data greatly facilitates your organization's path towards compliance. Over time, machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms detect anomalies at an impressive level of scalability. Run Fluency as a standalone or integrate it into your existing SIEM. Learn more by visiting us at booth #4529 at the RSA® Conference 2019.

On this episode of Defense in Depth, you'll learn:

  • There is no golden set of security metrics.
  • Metrics you use to measure your security program this year won't necessarily be the same ones you use next year.
  • Use the NIST model to determine your security program maturity.
  • Unlike B2C, B2B companies can use metrics to build a closer tie between security and the business.
  • Regulations and certifications is one easy way to align security with the business.
Jan 24, 2019
You're the Expert, You Figure Out Our Software
32:06

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

We don't have to make our software any simpler to use. You just need to get smart enough to use it. We're all attitude on the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our sponsored guest this week is Mike Nichols (@hmikenichols), VP of product at Endgame.

Endgame makes nation-state grade protection as easy as anti-virus. Their converged endpoint security platform is transforming security programs - their people, processes and technology - with the most powerful endpoint protection and simplest user experience, ensuring analysts of any skill level can stop targeted attacks before damage and loss. To learn more visit www.endgame.com. Endgame will be at RSA this year in booth 1827 in the south hall.

On this episode

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

Is this yet ANOTHER security breach? A massive document of usernames and passwords. These are all available in text files, pretty much for anyone to see. We're not sure, but this may be a collection of usernames and passwords from historical hacks, but it's not clear. Most of us have potentially more than a hundred usernames and passwords. How are we supposed to go through all our accounts and change them all? Can we slap 2FA on top of everything? What should be the best reaction to this kind of news?

Hey, you're a CISO, what's your take on this?'

In the area of user experience, B2B software seems neglected. All the wonderful usability goes to consumer apps, because everybody needs to be able to use them. But B2B software can cut corners and add extra layers for usability because heck, these people are experts, they're hired to do this job. They should know what they're doing. But that type of thinking is hurting the industry as a whole.

What's Worse?!

We've got a scenario of two CISOs with two different companies. Which one has the worst security posture?

Please, Enough. No, More.

Our topic is endpoint protection. We talk about we've heard enough about on endpoint protection, and what we'd like to hear a lot more. Endgame's machine learning engine, Ember, is open source.

What's a CISO to do?

Why is it so difficult to hire InfoSec professionals? Is there not enough skills, not enough people interested, tough to hire diversity, way too competitive environment, or is it the nature of the recruiting industry itself?

Jan 22, 2019
Get Out! The Data Leak Is Coming from the Inside
27:05

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

Be afraid. Be very afraid of the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast where it's possible that 90 percent of your security breaches are coming from within your own company.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is Leon Ravenna, CISO, KAR Auction Services.

Synack provides crowdsourced security testing that provides more than older style penetration testing. Instead of using a few researchers who output a final report, Synack uses a globally-sourced crowd of researchers backed by a purpose-built hacking platform. This gives organizations access to security talent that is not available from any one company, and data and insights into the testing process. All Synack security testing is recorded, measured, and analyzed to not only output results like new vulnerabilities and compliance checks, but displays attack patterns and quantities in real-time. By using bug bounties as incentives, researchers are rewarded for the great finds that Synack verifies and shares with its customers. To find out more about the Hacker-Powered Security used by the Internal Revenue Service and many other organizations, go to synack.com.

On this episode

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

According to a new report from Kroll, "Human Error, Not Hackers, to Blame for Vast Majority of Data Breaches." They report that 2,124 incidents could be attributed to human error, compared to just 292 that were deliberate cyber incidents, They say that's a 75% increase over the past two years but that could be because reporting breaches wasn't mandatory before GDPR. One user commented, these numbers seem to conflict with what the Verizon Breach report says. According to this data it appears a security leader should be spending close to 90 percent of their budget and effort trying to prevent inside data leakage. How would your security plan change if that was your charge?

Hey, you're a CISO, what's your take on this?'

An article and video published last week on this site written and featuring Elliot Lewis, CEO of Encryptics, talks about the need to get cozy with your legal team because when a breach occurs, you're going to need to have possession, custody, and control of your data. If you can't answer those questions you're putting your legal team in a bind. Mike and our guest talk about being able to answer these questions and building relations with the legal team.

It's time to play, "Um... What Do They Do?"

It's a brand new game where I read copy from a vendor's website, and Mike and our guest try to guess, "What do they do?"

What's a CISO to do?

Kip Boyle, past guest, friend of the show, and author of a new book, "Fire Doesn't Innovate," which comes out today asks this question, "Could good cyber risk management be the basis for a competitive differentiator for your business? How?"

Kip's book is available at firedoesntinnovate.com and for the first week it's out it's only $.99 via Kindle.

Ask a CISO

Thomas Torgerson of Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama asks, "How do CISO's feel about presenting webinars or speaking at other events regarding products that they use in their environment?" Are there incentives promoting a vendor solution? Or is it too risky to let threat actors know your security toolsets? 

 

Jan 15, 2019
Shoving Money Down Security's Bottomless Pit
32:38

No matter how much money we shove into security, it never seems to fill up. That's good for vendors. Not so good for buyers of security who don't have a bottomless pit of money to fill the bottomless pit of security.

 

This week's episode is sponsored by Red Canary. Red Canary is a security operations ally to organizations of all sizes. They arm customers with outcome-focused solutions that can be deployed in minutes to quickly identify and shut down adversaries. Follow their blog for access to educational tools and other resources that can help you improve your security program.

Got feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn

On this episode

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

Wayne Rash of eWEEK wrote a piece on what to expect in cybersecurity in 2019. Most of the stuff is more of the same, such as nation state attacks, ransomware, phishing, and assume you're going to get attacked. But, he did bring up some issues that don't get nearly as much discussion. One was cryptomining which is hijacking your cloud instances, encrypting ALL data, moving away from usernames/passwords, and getting a third-party audit. So what's on CISOs' radar in 2019

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Dutch Schwartz of Forcepoint brought up the issue of collaboration. This is not a new topic and we all know that if we don't share information the attackers who do share information will always have leverage. There are obvious privacy and competitive reasons why companies don't share information, but I proposed that if the industry believes collaboration is so important, then it should be a requirement (think GDPR) or we should build incentives (think energy incentives) with a time limit. Is this the right approach? Is the collaboration we're doing already enough?

What's Worse?!

We play yet another round on an issue that really annoys my co-host.

What's a CISO to do?

Thom Langford, CISO of Publicis Groupe, said that cybersecurity should be seen as a long term campaign. And if you keep at it, you will see results. Think anti-smoking or seat belt campaigns. Yet we see more and more companies treating security as a one-off project and not looking at dealing with it in the long term. Could this be more a problem of how we view security in the media?

Ask a CISO

Brijesh Singh, Inspector General of Police, Cyber at Government of Maharashtra said, "A young student asked me a very basic question, isn’t Cybersecurity just a branch of IT? Why should it be treated separately?" It's an awesome question that resulted in a flurry of responses. Is there a difference?

Got feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn

 

Jan 08, 2019
Real Housewives of Cybersecurity
31:53

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series is available at CISOSeries.com.

We're clawing each other's eyes out in the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is Darren Death (@darrendeath), VP of InfoSec, CISO, ASRC Federal.

Special thanks to Virtru for sponsoring this episode. As a reader, I know you’re always worried about your data. That’s why Virtru is providing a free copy of Forrester’s 14-page report on the Future of Data Security and Privacy to readers for a limited time. Click here to grab your copy while it’s still available.

On this episode:

How CISOs are digesting the latest security news

A nasty fight between two security vendors becomes public because one of the CEOs decides to expose the other CEO. But did he really? What's really going on? Thanks to Nathan Burke of Axonius for bringing this story to our attention.

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Is calling someone a "blocker" the most weaponized word in the tech industry? How can this be avoided and what are the scenarios this term comes up?

What's Worse?!

We've got a split decision on this week's question on trust.

What's a CISO to do?

Robert Samuel, CISO, Government of Nova Scotia asks our CISOs, "What does success look like?" How do CISOs define success?

Ask a CISO

Where should an SMB, that may have little to no security team, begin building out its security program?

Dec 17, 2018
America's Next Top Data Privacy Violator
32:30

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series can be found at CISOSeries.com.

A newly proposed provision in the Consumer Data Protection Act (CDPA) could result in jail time for intentional data privacy violations.

We're not scared. We're still peeping into your digital lives on the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our sponsored guest this week is Will Ackerly, co-founder and CTO of Virtru.

Special thanks to Virtru for sponsoring this episode. As a reader, I know you’re always worried about your data. That’s why Virtru is providing a free copy of Forrester’s 14-page report on the Future of Data Security and Privacy to readers for a limited time. Click here to grab your copy while it’s still available.

On this episode

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Huge fines and massive jail time for intentional violations of data privacy. Do the new provisions in the CDPA go too far or are they just right?

What's a CISO to do?

Listener Bradley Teer of Armor Cloud Security asks, “What’s the scariest moment or event that's ever happened in your career as a security practitioner?"

What's Worse?!

Two listeners, Rick McElroy of Carbon Black and Jamie Leupold of PreVeil asked the same question for this week's game. It's a question Mike knew was eventually going to be asked.

Please, Enough. No, More.

We talk about data privacy in today's segment. Can we get beyond the discussion of GDPR?

Ask a CISO

On a previous episode we talked about the meager adoption of multi-factor authentication. We concluded that it was still too complicated to use. So what's encryption's excuse? Why isn't encryption available and used by all? How does the security paradigm change if everyone is sending encrypted messages?

Dec 10, 2018
A 'Single Pane of Glass' for Ignoring Vendor Pitches
34:08

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series has moved to CISOSeries.com.

Tired of deleting pages of vendor pitches? Wouldn't it be more efficient if  you could see them altogether on one screen so you could simply choose which ones to ignore? We're improving vendor non-engagement efficiency in the latest installment of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is Chris Castaldo (@charcuteriecoma), sr. director of cybersecurity, 2U.

This episode is sponsored by Vulcan Cyber, your automated vulnerability remediation solution. Put an end to manual-only patch management and reduce vulnerability risk with a cloud-based solution that bridges the vulnerability remediation gap. Automate and orchestrate the vulnerability remediation process with Vulcan Cyber.

Got feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn.

On this episode:

Why is everybody talking about this now?

Six months ago Mike Johnson proposed the idea of "Demos for charities" and it got mixed results, but some people took on the challenge from both the practitioner and the vendor side. See how our guest offered up 45 minutes of his time in exchange for a donation to his favorite charity.

What's a CISO to do?

In light of the most recent Marriott breach, Brian Krebs wrote a great thought piece about our new acceptance of "security" and that is we can't count on companies security our data. How do security professionals communicate that to their team and users and still maintain trust?

What's worse?!

This week's challenge comes from William Birchett, Sr. Manager IT Security at City of Fort Worth. Both options are annoying and we have a split decision on what's worse.

First 90 days of a CISO

Tony Dunham of the Professional Development Academy asks how can InfoSec professionals develop the soft skills needed for leadership prior to being put in the pilot seat?

Ask a CISO

We talk about user-centric design and my co-host has some not-so-nice-words for vendors selling a "single pane of glass" solution.

 

Dec 04, 2018
The Latest Unnecessary Stats on Marginal Security Threats
33:08

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series has moved to CISOSeries.com.

If we let you know that 90 percent of break-ins happen because of a little known threat we happen to mitigate, you'd purchase our product, right? Ignore basic security practices as you listen to the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our sponsored guest this week is Yaniv Bar-Dayan, CEO of Vulcan Cyber.

This episode is sponsored by Vulcan Cyber, your automated vulnerability remediation solution. Put an end to manual-only patch management and reduce vulnerability risk with a cloud-based solution that bridges the vulnerability remediation gap. Automate and orchestrate the vulnerability remediation process with Vulcan Cyber.

On this episode:

Why is everybody talking about this now?

How do you reaffirm that dynamic leadership stance so people aren't just responding to the title, but are actually responding to you and the way you're proving your leadership on a day-to-day basis?

Ask a CISO

Why do we keep recommending "go back to security basics"?

What's Worse?!

In honor of our guest, this one is about vulnerability management.

Please, enough! No, more!

What have we heard enough about on vulnerability management and what would we like to hear a lot more?

Ask a vendor

How do security vendors work differently with enterprises vs. smaller and mid-size companies?

 

Nov 26, 2018
We Turn Our Backs on Cybersecurity Rock Stars
30:05

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series has moved to CISOSeries.com.

We're no longer buying their albums because we've had enough of the "can do no wrong" toxic culture of cybersecurity rock stars. On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast we are elevating the little known indie InfoSec professionals.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is independent analyst, Kelly Shortridge (@swagitda_). Follow her musings at Swagitda.

This episode is sponsored by Vulcan Cyber, your automated vulnerability remediation solution. Put an end to manual-only patch management and reduce vulnerability risk with a cloud-based solution that bridges the vulnerability remediation gap. Automate and orchestrate the vulnerability remediation process with Vulcan Cyber.

On this episode:

Why is everybody talking about this now?

We do a health check on where we are in terms of security enabling the business. What have been the greatest strides and where are we falling behind? We reference a post by CISO of Mitel, Allan Alford.

Please, Enough. No, More.

We discuss the phenomenon of cybersecurity rock stars and why their “they can do no wrong” pass is toxic to the industry.

What’s Worse?!

Tip of the hat to Kip Boyle, CEO of Cyber Risk Opportunities for this week’s question.

Ask a CISO

The phenomenon of security buzzwords. When is it actually used to describe a product and when is it used to fill up space in a marketing campaign?

What’s a CISO to do?

We talk about people being the problem in security, but it’s not in the way you think it is.

 

Nov 19, 2018
We'd Feel Safer if This Legitimate Email Was a Phishing Attack
30:59

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series has moved to CISOSeries.com.

Why is our financial institution sending us an email suggesting we click on a link to log into our account? On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast we educate your customers and your marketing department about suspicious looking emails.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is Chenxi Wang, managing general partner, Rain Capital.

Special thanks to Virtru for sponsoring this episode. As a reader, I know you’re always worried about your data. That’s why Virtru is providing a free copy of Forrester’s 14-page report on the Future of Data Security and Privacy to readers for a limited time. Click here to grab your copy while it’s still available.

On this episode

Why is everybody talking about this now?

While many security professionals' eyes roll when they hear the word "blockchain," it is currently the second most popular area of security research, according to IDG. What is it about blockchain that VCs and security professionals find so attractive?

Question for the board

What responsibility does the board bear for educating the C-suite about cybersecurity competency? PwC put together a great list of questions the board should be asking regarding cybersecurity competency.

It's time to play "What's Worse?!"

There's a visual attached to this game. Go ahead and look here and tune in to hear the question.

What's a CISO to do?

Our guest, Chenxi Wang, provided some excellent advice for startups on getting on the diversity train early on. If you don't, you'll find it's incredibly hard to build in diversity with an established and non-diverse team.

And now this...

How do VCs play a crucial role in the relationship between buyers and sellers of security products?

Nov 13, 2018
Is This a Vendor Dinner or an Escape Room?
34:34

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series has moved to CISOSeries.com.

Why were we brought to this event? Why can't we leave? I don't think we have enough clues to get out of this vendor meeting. We struggle to remember our safe word in the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is Richard Seiersen (@RichardSeiersen), former CISO of LendingClub.

Enormous thanks to our sponsor this week, Axonius, simple asset management for cybersecurity.

Got feedback? Join the conversation on LinkedIn

On this episode:

Opening

We realize that Mike's comment about burning found USB drives was spot on. According to an experiment conducted by Sophos, about 2/3rds of found USB drives were infected.

What's a CISO to do?

You've been invited to a vendor dinner, but you feel trapped. Where can you go?

We discuss what constitutes a good vendor dinner and which ones make you feel trapped? Here's a link to that Onion article I referenced on the show: "‘First Date Going Really Well,’ Thinks Man Who Hasn't Stopped Talking Yet."

Ask a CISO

Are CISOs swayed when a vendor sells themselves as "market leading?" Could it actually be a detractor? What about the array of current clients? Does that have any impact?

What's Worse?!

Mike Johnson says this could be the most even comparison ever!

How a vendor helped me this week

We talked about an article I released last week, "How to Make a Huge Impact in the Security Community with Zero Marketing," which told the story of building thought leadership and industry influence through open source and related contributions, but not marketing.

Ask a CISO

How quickly is risk being created in your environment and how quickly can you reduce it? More importantly, can you measure that? Our guest, Richard Seiersen, author of the upcoming book, "The Metrics Manifesto: Confronting Security With Data" (Wiley 2019), explains.

Nov 05, 2018
STAND BACK! We're Plugging In USB Drives We Found on the Ground
33:00

CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast and Series has moved to CISOSeries.com.

We gear up in HAZMAT suits and get ready for some dangerous USB drive analysis. We're taking all precautions on the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our sponsored guest this week is Dean Sysman (@DeanSysman), CEO of Axonius.

Enormous thanks to our sponsor this week, Axonius, simple asset management for cybersecurity.

On this episode:

Opening

We talked about how the history of the Enigma machine speaks volumes to how users react when they're forced to use a way too complicated security solution. They will find ways to simplify even if means weakening the overall security. Learn more from Mark Baldwin, Dr. Enigma.

Why is everyone talking about this now?

I challenged Mike and Dean to this question posed on Quora, "What is the safest way to check the content of a USB stick I found on the ground?"

What's a CISO to do?

Traditionally, CISOs rise through the ranks as security practitioners and slowly learn the business. But what if you're a CISO that never held the title of practitioner, but is very well versed in the business. How is selling to that type of a CISO different?

What's Worse?!

Mike and Dean are challenged with two horrible scenarios in asset management. Both are very risky, it's just one will probably result in a breach faster than the other.

Please, Enough. No, More!

We talk about asset management, and what's shocking is there isn't much to complain about in the "Please, Enough" portion of the segment. The reality is it's all "No, More!"

Ask a CISO

Dennis Leber, CISO for Cabinet for Health and Family Services for the Commonwealth in Kentucky asked if traditional sales pitches for the latest and greatest threat are really detracting companies from dealing with the basics of security.

Oct 30, 2018
We Get to Know Our Bodies and Our Security Program
34:20

We're just a bunch of immature teenagers who can't seem to control ourselves or our security program. We're definitely exploring new solutions in the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guests this week is Michael Makstman, CISO of the City and County of San Francisco.

Enormous thanks to our sponsor this week, Axonius, simple asset management for cybersecurity.

Read the full article on CISOseries.com.

Oct 23, 2018
Why it’s Critical for CISOs to Proactively Engage with Vendors
18:30

This is a bonus episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast with former guest, Allan Alford, CISO of Mitel, who was also the subject of a story I wrote in September entitled "One CISO's Grand Experiment to to Engage with Security Vendors." At that end of that discussion, Alford and I agreed that I would follow up with him in a month to see how the experiment went. This conversation is that story.

Find the full article here.

Oct 17, 2018
CHEAT! Best Practices to Win at Monopoly and Security
49:47

Check out more at our site CISOseries.com.

We don't play fair and we're not ashamed to admit it. This week's episode of the podcast is super-sized because it was recorded in front of a live audience at the Silicon Valley Code Camp conference held at PayPal in San Jose.

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guests this week for the live show were Ahsan Mir (@ahsanmir), CISO, Autodesk and Geoff Belknap (@geoffbelknap), CSO, Slack.

(from left) Geoff Belknap, CSO, Slack, Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft, Ahsan Mir, CISO, Autodesk, David Spark, Founder, Spark Media Solutions

Special thanks to our sponsor, Electronic Frontier Foundation. Please support their efforts to protect your digital privacy.

On this super-sized episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast:

Ask a CISO

Is cybersecurity an IT problem or not? Do non-security executives pigeon-hole the role of security? Is this an unfair assessment? Is it dangerous to only view InfoSec as an IT problem?

Why is everyone talking about this now?

A hot discussion by Jason Clark of Netskope got everyone discussing why CISOs fail. In general, our panel believes it's a situation of poor alignment with the functions and risk profile of the business.

What game best prepares you for a job in InfoSec?

A few years ago I wrote an article entitled, "What 30 Classic Games Can Teach Us About Security," in which security professionals point to video games, board games, gambling games, and sports as great metaphors and training grounds for a life in security. Our panel debates the value of games as InfoSec teaching tools.

"What's Worse?!"

We play two rounds of the game and we get split decisions! The first round touches upon a major pet peeve Mike Johnson has had since our very first episode.

What's a CISO to do?

Security is often seen as a thankless job. It's though the role of the CISO to make sure everyone knows how awesome their security staff is and what they can do for the rest of the business.

What do you think of this pitch?

We critique another pitch and with this one a CISO does a rewrite that hopefully the security vendor will use.

How do CISOs know they're getting a good deal?

Not only do CISOs need to come up with a security program for the company, but they need to understand whether or not they're getting good price for the security tools they purchase. Do CISOs have a method to actually insure they're getting the best price possible? Do they even care?

Oct 16, 2018
We Acknowledge We've Received and Are Ignoring Your Support Ticket
33:56

Our CISOs don't have much confidence they'll receive any support when they hit the 'Send' button on your web form. 

Check out our NEW SITE: CISOseries.com

This show, like all the previous ones is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder of Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft. Our guest this week is Aaron Peck, CISO of Shutterfly.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ConnecTech, producer of intimate custom executive events for IT professionals.

Executives: Register to be notified when one of their events will be coming to your city.

Vendors: Sponsor one of their events to get meetings with executives that are looking for solutions that your company provides.

On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast:

Ask a CISO

What were the turning points that led you to achieve the title of CISO? We've got a shout out to Mike Rothman's book, "The Pragmatic CISO" and the desire to find and solve the toughest most needed security problems.

How a security vendor helped me

CISOs have heard the stories from all the major InfoSec vendors. They're tired of playing second and third fiddler to a vendor's hundreds if not thousands of other clients. While a young startup company, potentially in stealth mode, doesn't necessarily have a track record, they do have eagerness and are willing to make their earliest and first customers extremely happy. This hand-holding-type relationship is very attractive to a CISO.

What's Worse?!

This entry into our weekly game is all about the following two images. There's so much going on in these pictures of a man who has decided to start day trading in public at a local Starbucks. Can you determine what's worse in these two pictures? Our CISOs debate. For more, check out the avid discussion on LinkedIn.

What do you think of this pitch?

Mike delivers probably the most thorough analysis of a vendor pitch I've ever heard on the show.

What's a CISO to do?

Hiring great InfoSec talent is an extreme challenge. Our guest, Aaron Peck, makes an argument for speedy hiring to get value for the company as quickly as possible.

Oct 09, 2018
How to Help Your Best Employees Leave
35:53

In such a hyper-competitive market for security talent, the natural inclination would be to try everything you can to keep your best employees. Unfortunately, even when you do everything right, your best employees just get up and leave. Can you and should you fight it? Or should you go out of your way to make the exit as smooth as possible for your staff? What's the benefit to you when they do leave?

On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast, we discuss:

  • 10-second security tip: Vanity metrics aren't going to create a more secure environment.
  • Pitching the latest crisis: We've talked endlessly about how CISOs don't respond well to fear pitches. Similarly, salespeople need to understand that CISOs are aware of last week's Facebook hack. Don't bring the news they already know. Provide some insight.
  • Selling the latest APT: If it's a new threat, it's sexy. It may make for great news, but focusing on it doesn't necessarily make for good security. Shouldn't you be starting with the boring basics? Can security basics ever be sexy?
  • We play "What's Worse?!" Listen up security vendors. You're going to want to pay attention to this one.
  • What do you think of this pitch? This week's pitch comes from a CISO. It's not his pitch to us, but a pitch he received. It kind of misses the mark. We explain why.
  • Retaining security talent: We discuss the InfoSec manager's role in retaining security talent. How do you form a relationship that all exits or near exits go as smoothly as possible?

This show, like all the previous ones are hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Justin Berman (@justinmberman), CISO of Zenefits.

Special thanks to our sponsor, SentinelOne, for supporting this episode and the podcast. Learn more about their autonomous endpoint protection.

Oct 02, 2018
I Wish I Didn't Post That... But I'm Glad I Did
29:33

We admit we've posted some rather embarrassing posts on social media. In particular, my co-host, Mike Johnson, talks about a post he initially regretted, but then realized it's what brought all of us together. In fact, it's a post that initiated much of the discussion we're having today about the relationships between CISOs and security vendors.

On this week's episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast, we discuss:

  • A CISO that eagerly wants to talk to security vendors: CISO of Mitel, and former guest, Allan Alford sent a shock through the industry when he said he was going to reserve time to actually speak with security vendors. Why was this announcement such a big deal?
  • One CISO and one CTO admit to posts they regret: Turns out posts you wish you didn't write actually shake up the pot so much that they form relations, like the two you hear on this show.
  • We play "What's Worse?!" Possibly our toughest round of the game ever. Hint: think security policies.
  • What Do You Think of This Pitch? Mike and our guest dissect a pitch from a listener. They advise what should be taken out, and what should be put in its place.
  • Ask a CISO: Do CISOs need consultative resellers? When are they valuable? If not now, were they valuable?
  • And as always, we've got launch with a great 10-second security tip.

Today's episode is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Mike D. Kail (@mdkail), CTO of Everest.org.

Thinkst - Canary

This episode is sponsored by Thinkst, makers of Canary deception devices. Read how much their customers love their product here. We thank Thinkst for sponsoring this episode of the podcast.

Sep 25, 2018
Our All White Male Panel Discusses Diversity in Cybersecurity
31:43

With absolutely no irony three white men discuss the value of diversity in cybersecurity in the latest episode of CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast. So before you tell me we're three white men talking about diversity, I'm letting you know ahead of time we're three white men talking about diversity. We have no shame!

On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast, we debate the following:

  • Microsoft Office macros still top the malware attack vector charts: After apparently three decades it appears that MS Office macros are still the attack point of choice of malicious hackers. What legacy nonsense are enterprises still holding onto?
  • What's the real value of diversity? As I readily admitted, our all white male panel confesses that lack of diversity results in group think and unconscious bias.
  • We play a round of "What's Worse?!" This one has to do with budget and there's a split decision! Which one do you think is worse?
  • Please, Enough. No, More. (on endpoint security): There is a very long list of stuff Mike and our guest don't want to hear anymore about with regard to endpoint security. And similarly, there's plenty more they do want to hear about. Listen to know what you should be paying attention to regarding endpoint security.
  • Does complicating security infrastructure make us safer? What's the right balance of security complexity and simplicity to make your environment safer? If you've got more systems and more security applications in place that means you've got more vectors to exploit.
  • Ten second security tip: And as always, we've got a quick security tip so you don't have to listen to more than a minute of the show before you get some value of this podcast.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Tomer Weingarten, CEO, SentinelOne.

Special thanks to our sponsor, SentinelOne, for supporting this episode and the podcast. Learn more about their autonomous endpoint protection.

Catch up on past episodes plus read articles and watch the latest videos from the series at CISOseries.com.

Sep 18, 2018
Our Latest Product Release Includes Shiny New Security Vulnerabilities
31:30

We have an exciting announcement. Our latest version of the podcast is packed with new features and they're riddled with security holes. We know you wanted the features. The security vulnerabilities are just a bonus.

On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast, we discuss:

  • Cybersecurity burnout: How bad is it? What can be done to mitigate it? And what are the warning signs? All tech professionals have burnout issues, but InfoSec has it toughest because it's very hard for them to get a sense of accomplishment for their work.
  • CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast is making an impact in the vendor community: We hear multiple stories from vendors how the advice from Mike and the guests is really changing the way they reach out to security professionals.
  • Are you willing to release a product with known security vulnerabilities? What if the customer really demands the new feature next week and they're expecting it, but remediation may take much longer. Do you give the customer what they want, or are there other solutions?
  • What's Worse?! We play a round of picking the worse of two evils. This one is all about training your staff.
  • We unleash another pitch on the security professionals: Their response will surprise you as will the outcome of this pitch.
  • Dumb CISO mistakes: This one actually may not be so dumb. It could actually be good advice when it comes to product testing.
  • Ten-second security tip: This one offers up a more holistic view of security that you may have not considered, but definitely should.

Special thanks to Signal Sciences for sponsoring this episode. If you’re using WAFs, make sure you read “Three Ways Legacy WAFs Fail,” by their head of research, James Wickett.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest is Anne Marie Zettlemoyer, a security strategist and independent researcher who is also on the board of directors for SSH.

 

Sep 10, 2018
Security Made the Mess. They Should Clean It Up.
29:53

Security is suffering from a serious Rodney Dangerfield "I get no respect" problem. What has often been seen as the department of "no" is struggling under that brand image. That's probably because security is often seen as an inhibitor rather than an enabler. If InfoSec wants to fix that perception, it'll be their responsibility to dig themselves out.

Here's what you'll hear on the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast:

  • Nobody thinks security is their friend: How can security rid itself of this highly negative branding? Be problem solvers vs. problem creators.
  • Techniques to integrate AppSec into the DevOps process: It comes down to measurement, respecting an engineer's time, and learning from the success of one process and putting it into another. Read more great insight by Chris Steipp of Lyft.
  • We play "What's Worse?!" In this episode of the game we question the worst scenario of an encrypted or unencrypted laptop, but with qualifications.
  • Uggh, WAFs are NOT magical boxes: In a round of "Please, Enough. No, More." we challenge the way web application firewalls (WAFs) are being sold. WAFs need to be more friendly and flexible. No one believes you if you sell them as magical boxes that stop all attacks.
  • How can you be a great customer? We turn the tables from "Ask a CISO" to "Ask a Vendor" and ask what it takes to be a great customer. Vendors would like you to ttop kicking the tires and talk about solving real problems.
  • Plus a ten-second security tip: It may be cliche, but if security departments want to be more effective, they should be moving away from blocking to enabling.

Special thanks to Signal Sciences for sponsoring this episode. If you’re using WAFs, make sure you read “Three Ways Legacy WAFs Fail,” by their head of research, James Wickett.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Zane Lackey (@zanelackey), co-founder and CSO for Signal Sciences and author of the new book from O'Reilly, "Building a Modern Security Program."

Sponsor the Podcast

If you'd like to sponsor the podcast, contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

Aug 27, 2018
BONUS: What's So Awesome About Being a CISO?
04:14

This is an extra segment we recorded with Dan Glass, former CISO, American Airlines for our last episode. It didn't make it into the last episode, but I thought it was still worthwhile to release as a short bonus mini episode of only four minutes. As always, the show includes myself, David Spark, founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Enjoy.

Aug 23, 2018
Job Opportunity: Unqualified AND Underpaid
31:24

We spend a good portion of this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast mocking unrealistic job listings that ask for too many unnecessary credentials and on top of it aren't willing to pay a fair market rate. Did companies forget that it's a buyers' market right now in security?

On this episode of the podcast we discuss:

  • The security semantics of "responsibility" vs. "accountability": Which one drives which behavior? And it is possible to try to compel one to the detriment of the other? See Chad Loder's post for more.
  • How do you motivate employees to be concerned about security outside of hammering them with pen tests and fake phishing emails? If it hasn't happened already, those tests to see how secure your environment is may backfire. What can you do to instill secure behavior without testing employees to the point of annoyance?
  • What do you think of this pitch? We get a split decision on a pitch of a company that's operating in a new category. Plus, advice on what never to do in a pitch.
  • Unrealistic expectations for position descriptions: Job descriptions in the security field seem to be getting longer, with more certification requirements, and lower pay. What's going on and do companies who list these types of jobs realize they're only hurting themselves? In a buyers' market you can't just put out an unrealistic job posting to "see who will respond." It will actually damage your brand.
  • Plus, a 10-second security tip (that's a few seconds longer): It's what you should be doing, but probably aren't doing.
  • And a visit from the host of The Cyberwire: Dave Bittner, from The Cyberwire, joins us for a discussion about his daily security tech news show and to tell us about the launch of two more security podcasts.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Dan Glass, former CISO (as of just a couple days ago) of American Airlines.

Special thanks to SpyCloud for sponsoring this episode. Learn more about how you can protect employees and customers from account takeover with SpyCloud.

Contributions. Contributions. Contributions.

I am cranking out a ton more content for not just the podcast, but also the entire series so I am very open and receptive to story ideas, suggestions for segments of the podcast, or anything else. Just connect with me on LinkedIn.

Sponsor the podcast

If you're interested in sponsoring the podcast, contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

Aug 21, 2018
How CISOs Stay Current When They're Ignoring Vendor Pitches
36:18

We promise to keep your identity private while we discuss the troubles of two-factor authentication.

On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast we discuss:

  • Why don't more people use two-factor authentication? Does the UX still suck? Why can't we agree on a common model for how to authenticate? Will U2F be the saving grace for 2FA? Story on the debate.
  • What are the signs your employees are going rogue? We debate the need to monitor employees this way. Are internal intrusions the same as external? Is monitoring the monitoring devices enough? What are the signs? Discussion on LinkedIn and a recommended book: "Nothing to Hide: The False Tradeoff between Privacy and Security."
  • We play a round of "What's Worse?!" It's the game where we determine which is the worst of two really bad practices. In this case, the CISOs have to choose between two unpleasant marketing practices.
  • How do CISOs balance compliance and security: The two aren't equal, but compliance is a means to prove that you're doing security right. Our guest hits it out of the park with a very clear explanation and also how to use compliance to better market your company.
  • How do CISOs discover new solutions: This might as well be the title of this podcast, but we delve into some unique angles that CISOs are taking as they're avoiding traditional pitches from security vendors. Discussion on LinkedIn.
  • Ten-second security tip touting the value of passphrases: See this cartoon for more.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Allan Alford (@AllanAlfordinTX), CISO, Mitel.

SentinelOne-Autonomous endpoint protection

Special thanks to our sponsor, SentinelOne, for supporting this episode and the podcast. Learn more about their autonomous endpoint protection.

Contributions. Contributions. Contributions.

I am cranking out a ton more content for not just the podcast, but also the entire series so I am very open and receptive to story ideas, suggestions for segments of the podcast, or anything else. Just connect with me on LinkedIn.

Sponsor the podcast

If you’re interested in sponsoring the podcast, contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

Aug 14, 2018
Use Your CRM. CISOs Are Tired of Repeating Themselves.
29:27

Just because you have a new salesperson, doesn't mean you have to restart the sales process. If you've been properly entering information into your CRM, you shouldn't have to.

On this episode of the podcast we discuss:

  • Are you ready for...Black Hat: Techniques to get the most value out of the conference. We've got some really good post-conference suggestions.
  • What do you think of this pitch? We have one of those follow up pitches that just rubs CISOs and security professionals the wrong way.
  • It's time to play, "What's Worse?!" Both host and guest agreed on this one. It's possibly the worst of the worst.
  • Please, Enough. No, More: We discuss account takeover. What we've heard enough on this subject, and what we'd like to hear a lot more. Make sure to read Lyft's article about fingerprinting fraudulent behavior.
  • What's a CISO to do? Beyond blocking and responding, we discuss different tactics for offense and defense against cybercriminals. Which ones are most effective and which ones are ethically and morally wrong?
  • It's time for "Ask a Vendor!" Working off the same model as "Ask a CISO," we turn the tables and security professionals ask questions of vendors. This time, we asked about the use/non-use of CRMs.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Ted Ross (@tedross), CEO, SpyCloud.

Special thanks to SpyCloud for sponsoring this episode. Learn more about how you can protect employees and customers from account takeover with SpyCloud.

Contributions. Contributions. Contributions.

I am cranking out a ton more content for not just the podcast, but also the entire series so I am very open and receptive to story ideas, suggestions for segments of the podcast, or anything else. Just connect with me on LinkedIn.

Listen and Subscribe to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

So many ways to connect and listen to the podcast.

Aug 06, 2018
Ultra Enhanced Deluxe AI with a Drop of Retsyn
29:44

Just like so many security products are infused with artificial intelligence, we've also got plenty of meaningless modifiers to describe this podcast.

On this episode we've got:

  • First 90 Days of a CISO. How do you assess talent already there, and how do you prioritize the new hires you need?
  • Please, Enough! No, More! We delve into the overexposure of AI (artificial intelligence) and machine learning. Are they the same thing? And what do CISOs actually want to hear more about on both of these topics?
  • "What's Worse?!" This is a brand new game where I ask the CISOs to determine which of two really bad security practices is worse.
  • What Do You Think of This Pitch? We've got another vendor pitch that the CISOs critique.
  • Ask a CISO. How are CISOs involved in purchase decisions that are not security related (e.g., cloud, networking, infrastructure).

Special thanks to Signal Sciences for sponsoring this episode. If you're using web application firewalls (WAFs), make sure you read "Three Ways Legacy WAFs Fail" by their head of research, James Wickett.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Dennis Leber (@dennisleber), CISO, Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Commonwealth of Kentucky and the self proclaimed "Most Interesting Man in Information Security."

We Want More of "What's Worse?!"

In this episode, I introduced a new segment, a game called "What's Worse?!" where I introduce two comparably bad security practices and ask the CISOs to debate on which is worse, and why. Fortunately in this episode the CISOs disagreed on both comparisons posed. I'm eager to challenge CISOs with more "What's Worse?!" questions. So if you've got a good one, please contact me here or on LinkedIn.

I'm also interested in:

  • “Ask a CISO” questions.
  • A vendor pitch you want us to critique.
  • A hot security discussion (please provide a link).
  • A quick security tip.
  • A big industry story and what it means to security professionals.

In all cases, we can mention you and your company name or keep you anonymous. Just let me know which you prefer.

Listen and Subscribe to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

So many ways to connect and listen to the podcast.

Sponsor the Podcast

If your company would like to sponsor this podcast, please contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

Jul 31, 2018
How to Choose a Bad Security Product
32:02

If I knew more about your current security needs, I'd probably be able to tell you what security product to buy. But that would require me to spend time understanding your needs and this podcast is only 30 minutes long. Instead, we decided to uncover the universal truths of what security product you shouldn't buy.

In this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship podcast, we uncover failed CISO product purchases plus:

  • Do temporary dips in hacker attacks change your security posture?
  • What CISOs LOVE to see in their inbox. For this week, we're talking about their favorite reports.
  • What metrics are CISOs following? And what are the metrics CISOs use to determine those metrics? Oh, and are there any metrics CISOs should ignore?
  • Our CISOs digest a vendor pitch.
  • And for "Ask a CISO," we question the value of case studies in print or video form.
  • And as always, we launch the show with a 10-second security tip!

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Randall (Fritz) Frietzsche (@frietzche), CISO, Denver Health, Denver ISSA distinguished fellow, and teaches at Harvard University.

We Want Your Input and Critiques

For every episode we want input from listeners!

Please contact me here or on LinkedIn and send me the following:

  • “Ask a CISO” question.
  • A vendor pitch you want us to critique.
  • A hot security discussion (please provide a link).
  • A quick security tip.
  • A big industry story and what it means to security professionals.

In all cases, we can or can’t mention you and your company name or keep you anonymous. Just let me know what you want.

Listen and Subscribe to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

So many ways to connect and listen to the podcast.

Sponsor the Podcast

If your company would like to sponsor this podcast, please contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

 

Jul 24, 2018
We Have the Silver Bullet for BS Detection
33:27

We're fed up with vendors who think they can detect any breach, but we're not fed up with breach detection.

On this week's episode:

  • Are millennials excited or not excited about working in security? Supposedly, nine percent of all millennials are interested in a job of security. Is that good news/bad news/misrepresented news? (Read the story)
  • Haroon Meer's amazingly open story of the money Thinkst spent at RSA 2018. Was it worth it? Great advice for anyone else sponsoring a big tech conference. (Read the story)
  • Are you sponsoring Black Hat or another big tech conference? Pick up my book, Three Feet from Seven Figures: One-on-One Engagement Techniques to Qualify More Leads at Trade Shows.
  • We talk about breach detection and the use of deception devices.
  • When a breach happens, should you or shouldn't you blame the victim?
  • How should security sales managers pump up their team for sales? Is letting people know that they're the only ones to fix their customers' problems the right tactic?

Thinkst - Canary

This episode is sponsored by Thinkst, makers of Canary deception devices. Read how much their customers love their product here.

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Haroon Meer (@haroonmeer), founder and researcher of Thinkst.

We Want Your Input and Critiques

For every episode we want input from listeners!

Please contact me here or on LinkedIn and send me the following:

  • “Ask a CISO” question.
  • A vendor pitch you want us to critique.
  • A hot security discussion (please provide a link).
  • A quick security tip.
  • A big industry story and what it means to security professionals.

In all cases, we can or can’t mention you and your company name or keep you anonymous. Just let me know what you want.

Listen and Subscribe to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

So many ways to connect and listen to the podcast.

Sponsor the Podcast

If your company would like to sponsor this podcast, please contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

Jul 17, 2018
Is Password2 More Secure Than Password1?
30:38

Are you managing your passwords the same today as you did five years ago? On this episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship podcast, we discuss the changing landscape of what we once thought were best practices, but aren't anymore.

On this episode:

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Maxime Rousseau (@maxrousseau), CISO, Personal Capital.

We Want Your Input and Critiques

For every episode we want input from listeners!

Please contact me here or on LinkedIn and send me the following:

  • “Ask a CISO” question.
  • A vendor pitch you want us to critique.
  • A hot security discussion (please provide a link).
  • A quick security tip.
  • A big industry story and what it means to security professionals.

In all cases, we can or can’t mention you and your company name or keep you anonymous. Just let me know what you want.

Listen and Subscribe to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

So many ways to connect and listen to the podcast.

Sponsor the Podcast

If your company would like to sponsor this podcast, please contact David Spark at Spark Media Solutions.

Jul 10, 2018
Stop Asking CISOs if They Care about Security
27:15

Want to get under a CISO's skin? Ask them if they have a concern for security in their environment. It's like asking a chef if they're concerned about preparing food. In this week's episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast we learn how the following:

  • Dumbest mistakes you can make as a CISO
  • What to do on day 1 when you're a CISO
  • Why is everyone talking about this now? Questioning a CISO's job interests.
  • Please, Enough. No, More on GDPR.
  • We critique a vendor pitch.
  • And "Ask a CISO."

As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Richard Greenberg (@ragreenberg), CISO, LA County Department of Health Services as well as chapter presidents of ISSA and OWASP in Los Angeles.

This episode is sponsored by Signal Sciences. We thank them for their support.

We Want Your Input and Critiques

For every episode we want input from listeners!

Please contact me here or on LinkedIn and send me the following:

  • “Ask a CISO” question.
  • A vendor pitch you want us to critique.
  • A hot security discussion (please provide a link).
  • A quick security tip.
  • A big industry story and what it means to security professionals.

In all cases, we can or can’t mention you and your company name or keep you anonymous. Just let me know what you want.

Listen and Subscribe to the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast

So many ways to connect and listen to the podcast.

Sponsor the Podcast

If your company would like to sponsor this podcast, please contact David Spark at http://www.sparkmediasolutions.com/contact/Spark Media Solutions.

Jul 03, 2018
Katy Perry Recommends Two-Factor Authentication
29:06

Did Katy Perry provide sound security advice, or didn’t she? You’ll have to listen to the latest episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast to find out. In this episode:

  As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Richard Rushing (@secrich), CISO, Motorola Mobility. The written content for this podcast was first published on Security Boulevard.

Jun 26, 2018
Your ‘Go-To Source’ for Unnecessary Cyber Terror Alerts
29:03

On this week’s episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship podcast we ask, “What good is a security alert if there’s no actionable item?” As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Wendy Nather (@wendynather), director, advisory CISOs, Duo Security.   On this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Flex your incident response muscles.
  • Does your cybersecurity policy change around high-profile events?
  • What’s the definition of cybersecurity and why do so many people care?
  • How a security vendor helped me a long time ago, but Mike thought about them this week.
  • A couple of vendors submit their pitches for a critique. One is confusing and one is almost perfect.
  • And a couple of “Ask a CISO” questions.

  The written content for this podcast was first published on Security Boulevard.

Jun 19, 2018
CISOs Don’t Care About Your Funny Sales Pitch
31:02

Don’t bother trying to craft a potentially clever, funny and adorable email that you hope will tickle a security practitioner; it’s simply not going to work. When it comes to security pitches, practitioners just want the facts. While humor is appreciated, a cold email pitch is not the time to showcase your creative writing skills. As always, the show is hosted by me, David Spark (@dspark), founder, Spark Media Solutions  and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft. Our guest this week is Jeremiah Grossman (@jeremiahg), CEO, Bit Discovery.   On this week’s CISO/Security Vendor Relationship podcast, You’ll discover that InfoSec truism and:

  • 10-second security tip (do you have these security controls in place?).
  • The correct pronunciation of CISO (and whether anyone cares).
  • Consumers and activists issuing lawsuits in the name of GDPR and why that’s a good thing for the future of GDPR.
  • The increasing cost of breaches.
  • A new method to get a security practitioner’s time (Is the idea so crazy it will work? Or do we just need more crazy ideas?).
  • How a security vendor helped me this week.

  The written content for this podcast was first published on Security Boulevard.

Jun 13, 2018
Security Vendors Buy Their First Pack of Condoms
27:59

After tackling some dodgy audio issues, we have released the second episode of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship podcast with our guest Kip Boyle (@KipBoyle), CEO of Cyber Risk Opportunities. Subscribe to Kip’s podcast. As always, the show is hosted by myself, David Spark (@dspark), Founder, Spark Media Solutions and Mike Johnson, CISO, Lyft.   In this episode, “Security Vendors Buy Their First Pack of Condoms”:

  • 10-second security tip.
  • Amazon Alexa hacked or just a failure of the technology?
  • Does rebooting your router help or is it just security theater?
  • Will automation replace entry-level SOC jobs and if so, how do we bring in new security talent?
  • How security vendors helped me this week.
  • Security vendors padding their pitches.
  • Mitigating new risks or getting back to security basics?

  The written content for this podcast was first published on Security Boulevard. Creative Commons photo attribution to Peter Rivera.

Jun 04, 2018
A Privacy Policy Written in English (Introducing the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast with Mike Johnson and David Spark)
30:14

I’m proud and excited to announce the launch of the CISO/Security Vendor Relationship Podcast based on the series of articles and videos I produced that examine the relationship between security buyers and sellers. That series was heavily inspired by the writings, posts and insane engagement that Mike Johnson, CISO of Lyft, continues to drive on LinkedIn. And what’s even more awesome, Mike agreed to be my co-host! For our first episode, Mike and I invite Dwayne Melançon (@ThatDwayne), CTO, Innovyze.   In this episode we have:

The written content for this podcast was first published on Security Boulevard.

Jun 01, 2018