Friday, February 18, 2011

108 to 3

A few weeks ago, I heard a story in the news.  The story is not what bothered me, though.  It’s the response to the story – and to others like it in recent years.  A high school girls’ basketball team in Utah beat another team by the score of 108 to 3.  The response was outcry against the victorious team.  The victor should have quit trying, quit making baskets, avoided making the other team look bad.  At the risk of controversy, I’m going to say that’s the wrong message to send the next generation.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A home network security primer

I just gave a career-day talk on computer security to the 1st grade class at my kids' elementary school.  If you think public speaking in front of adults is hard, try talking to 75 six- and seven-year-olds!  While they seemed to love the various hacking and countermeasure stories, for some reason they latched on to the idea of hacking cars, and for the rest of the talk kept asking questions about air bags...

During my talk, one of the adults asked how I recommend securing a home network, and what I do at home.  The answer would have been over the heads of 1st-graders, and taken longer than the time I was alotted, so I thought I'd address it in the form of a blog. There are four things I see as the foundation to a secure home network: always installing the latest patches, a firewall to keep bad stuff from coming in, a web filter to keep you from accidentally getting to bad stuff, and an antivirus program to catch and remove the bad stuff that will inevitably fall through the cracks.

Whois David?

My photo

I have spent the better part of two decades in information technology and security, with roots in application developer support, system administration, and network security. My specialty is cyber threat intelligence - software vulnerabilities and patching, malware, social networking risks, etc. In particular, I strive to write about complex cyber topics in a way that can be understood by those outside the infosec industry.

Why do I do this? A common comment I get from friends and family is that complex security topics give them headaches. They want to know in simple terms how to stay safe in a connected world. Folks like me and my peers have chosen to make a profession out of hacking and defending. I've been doing this for the better part of two decades, and so have a high degree of knowledge in the field. Others have chosen different paths - paths where I would be lost. This is my effort to share my knowledge with those that are experts in something else.

When not in front of a digital screen, I spend my time raising five rambunctious teens and pre-teens - including two sets of twins. Our family enjoys archery, raising show and meat rabbits, and simply enjoying life in the Texas hill country.

For a decade I served as either Commander or a division leader for the Awana Club in Dripping Springs, Texas; while I have retired from that role I continue to have a passion for children's ministry. At the moment I teach 1st through 3rd grade Sunday School. Follow FBC Dripping Springs Kids to see what is going on in our children's ministries.