We have interviewed Raffy, who is one of the teachers for the Honeynet Workshop in Dubai 10-12 of February. Raffy will give the following talk: How Big Data, Data Mining, and Visualization Enable Security Intelligence and a class on Information Visualization - Bridging the Gap Between Tufte and Firewalls"
So Marty, tell us, why did you become a security expert?
I studied computer science with an emphasis on cryptography. While I loved the mathematical puzzles that the crypto field offered, I couldn't imagine doing that for a living. However, I was intrigued by all the stories around applied crypto that our professor was telling us. For example, how they printed the source code of PGP into a book and then shipped the book to Switzerland, where it was scanned in again. All of which to circumvent the then in active export laws. These stories got me interested in computer security or hacking. A passion that I still pursue.
What will you talk about in your workshop?
I am talking about data analytics and visualization. How can you make sense of the millions of records that you are collecting in your environment. How do you process the data and how do you visualize it to make the data quickly digestible by a human analyst. Soup to nuts: data to visuals.
What do you love the most being a security expert?
The ever changing environment. What we think we have under control today changes tomorrow. We also have to know about all kinds of different aspects of system: networks, operating systems, applications, cryptography, design, engineering, etc. It's a huge and very interesting technical playground.
What do you think the future security threats will be like?
We are already seeing signs of what is to come. People use their phones to take pictures of computer screens to exfiltrate highly sensitive information. Very targeted, very subtle attacks. And then we'll see much more on cyberwarfare. A number of governments are very open about their investments in offensive cyber activities.
What is your best tip for security professionals today?
Not sure I have a 'best tip'. What has always served me well was my hunger for understanding systems and how things work. I spent (and still do) countless hours trying to understand a specific technology. We need experts that know what they are talking about.
Why should people come to or sponsor the upcoming (and awesome) HP workshop in Dubai?
The honeynet project brings together some of the most influential and smartest people in the security field. Being able to help these people hold the workshop will advance the overall state of security of the Internet. The honeynet project makes all of their research available for free, which is a huge service to the public. Being able to back and support such an effort is not just a great gesture for the greater good, but also a beneficial cause to be attributed with.