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I recently published top eight trends for 08’ (http://www.securestate.com/Pages/Top-8-In-08.aspx), however one topic in particular has caught my attention, why are “Regulations” being attacked?

At DefCon 16 I had the opportunity to meet some really interesting people who had different perspectives on security. However, for the first time in DefCon history (to my knowledge) “Compliance” standards opened the conference Friday morning. I was so excited to hear what the “hackers” thought about PCI, GLBA, HIPAA etc. To my disappointment, the presenter ranted about how compliance doesn’t equal security… DUH! But what they do is provide some value and the value is called “doing something!” Hell, most companies (97%) won’t do anything at all until they are forced!

Even with these standards, millions of records are still being compromised. Let’s rant about companies losing our data, not about how bad the regulations are. Let’s face it, if companies were doing what they should, there wouldn’t be a need for regulations! I am writing an article for Information Week on Malicious Compliance in Distress, which addresses companies doing the bare minimum to become compliant, instead of appropriately securing the data. If you use these regulations as a Minimum Security Baseline, you can always add additional layers of security to these regulations. For example… PCI just calls out not using WEP, but mentions the ability to use WPA and WPA2… however as security professionals we would consider WPA and WPA2 just as bad. So by PCI standards you can be compliant, however not any more secure than if you used WEP. Use the regulations to get a new stronger encryption protocol for your wireless environment.

Let’s not attack the regulations, but the reason why they were developed! View regulations as the minimum standard. If you took a comprehensive approach to security you would comply to all the regulations anyways (ISO 27001 & 27002). So instead of bitching out regulations… use them to get funding and do the right thing :)