Charles Herring's blog

18 Years of Getting SOAR to Fly

Long Live and Prosper with Jon

On Emergency Leave on 9/11

In September of 2001, I had been on active duty in the US Navy for 6 years. I was stationed with the World-Famous Golden Dragons of VFA-192 in Atsugi, Japan, running the night shift of the Integrated Weapons Team. On the morning of September 11th, 2001, I was in South Carolina on emergency leave from my squadron-mates because my mother was in intensive care. It was already a traumatic time in my life before the news of the Twin Towers woke me from my sleep. A few minutes later, my division officer called to see how much time I needed before getting on the first plane back to Japan. I fully expected to join my squadron on another tour of the Persian Gulf on the USS Kitty Hawk and extend my tour overseas. I had no idea how much my life was about to change and how different it would be from what I had planned.

Triangulating a Sustainable Revolution

Forrest Gump Charles

By the end of 2015 it was clear to me that the craft of cybersecurity was broken. My mind continuously compared SECOPS with other mature crafts that I had observed and executed, and it bothered me to the point of stealing peace and sleep. I decided I was going to start a revolution to “Build the tools and data needed to enable the craft of cybersecurity operations to mature.” This focus formed the mission of WitFoo and the battle cry for the revolution. Most revolutions fail because there is a myriad of devious factors stacked against them. Most Davids are murdered by Goliath. It is very rare for bold, underdog revolutions to succeed. We knew that even before we filed Articles of Incorporation. We knew to deliver sustainable, healthy change into a toxic market, we were going to have to have a set of plans resilient to the dangers and evils that existed.

The Rock & Roll of Startup Development

Fun Night at the Luxor

Rock On

For the last 4-5 years of running with the WitFoo revolution, I have constantly had to defend our small team. In the early days, potential investors would remark, “You can’t get all this done with such a small team.” Now that we have accomplished building the product, the go-to-market strategy, have many happy customers we are still told, “I don’t see how you can get so much done with such a small team.” I want to respond with “that seems to be a problem with your ability to see since we’ve already done it and you are looking at it,” but I realize that is not going to help the situation.

In dealing with customers, analysts, partners and investors I am regularly faced with having to decide whether I should acquiesce and deliver what they want or try to teach them why they should change their minds and accept what I believe they need.

WitFoo Global Community Indicator of Compromise (IOC) Feed Demo

On top of Mt. Fuji

WitFoo’s Global Indicator of Compromise feed is a secure and reliable way for the WitFoo community to share intelligence about emerging threat sources.

The feed is updated in near-real time as attacks occur across the WitFoo Community. It consists of the IP address and hostname of the attacking source, the tools and methods that the community is using to detect the threat and how many incidents the source has been a part of across the community.

Hits in the feed are automatically shared across the entire community and big data stacks of each deployment are retrospectively analyzed to find hits that may have been missed. All records including firewall, proxy, EDR and NetFlow records are checked for communications with the known bad indicators.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of SOAR

American Gothic
Tool Effectiveness

Later today I am headed to see my surgeon to schedule a proceedure. I need to have a surgery that is going to leave me off my feet for a week or more. My family will have to pick up the slack at home and my co-workers will have to take on my share of the work. The surgery is disrupting to my life and carries with it a measure of enduring risk. The most troubling thing is it could have been prevented had I adopted some healthier habits earlier in life. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. 

Metric Driven Development

Golden Gate Bridge

Abstract

Developing software that changes the world, exceeds customer expectations, provides turn-key functionality in diverse scenarios while meeting security and compliance requirements is the holy grail of Security Development Operations (SECDEVOPS). There are thousands of variables that need to be constantly addressed to find the balance that delivers sustainable and secure success. In this session, WitFoo’s chief engineers will outline an innovative approach to secure devops called Metric Driven Development. It will cover the following topics:

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