Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Small Word Security: Security knowledge without all the big words

Small word security: security knowledge without all the big words
Do stories about Raspberry Pi's with Kali Linux and Snort used as an IDS to detect C&C traffic and phishing make your head spin? Then I have good news. 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, so I would hope I have a high degree of knowledge in the field. Others have chosen different paths - paths where I would be lost. I'm just about the last person you would want to perform a root canal on you, or to rebuild your carburetor (well ... I might be able to figure out the latter, but you certainly don't want me working on your teeth!).

Over the next couple of months, tune in here for a new series entitled "Small Word Security." There are many big words and acronyms that would seem arcane to those not in the field. This series will address some of the security challenges that face consumers and businesses alike, and explain real steps you can take to protect your self, both digitally and in the physical world.

Some of the topics you will read about are simple ways to keep your computer up to date and secure; ways to make passwords less of a nuisance; and how to avoid - and recover from - credit card fraud. I'll still write more in-depth articles as I learn new tools, and break and fix devices on my network, but anything tagged "Small Word Security" will be specifically written for those that don't live and breathe hacking.

The "Small Word Security Dictionary" I published a few weeks ago was the first step in this new journey; more "Small Word Security" topics will be posted over the coming months, at the following URL:





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Do you have something to add? A question you'd like answered? Think I'm out of my mind? Join the conversation below, reach out by email at david (at) securityforrealpeople.com, or hit me up on Twitter at @dnlongen

Whois David?

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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.