My new boss reads my blog and contacted me after reading my Security Responsibilities post five months ago. He has created the new Director position as a single corporate focal point for incident response, threat assessment, and ediscovery, working with GE's six business units and corporate HQ security staff. Grady reports to GE's Chief Technology Officer, Greg Simpson, and works closely with GE's Chief Security Officer, Brig Gen (USAF, ret) Frank Taylor. I will be building a team and I am pleased to have already met my first team member, a forensic investigator.
I am very excited about this new job. First, the scope of the challenge is enormous. GE is probably just bigger than the Air Force (my closest related employer), with 350,000 users. The company's revenues last year exceeded $160 billion and its market capitalization currently exceeds $380 billion. GE is number 6 on the 2007 Fortune 500. In brief, I don't think there's a way for me to get bored working to address GE's digital security concerns.
Second, I look forward to building and working with a team that has a defined, long-term objective. With few exceptions my consulting work has been short-duration engagements which don't allow me to develop security processes or implement products for the long term. I have been impressed by all of the security staff from GE I've met thus far, and encouraged by articles like Does GE Have the Best IT? and GE's repeated rank as the number one most admired company in America.
Third, I hope this new role will improve my family's quality of life. As an independent consultant I was constantly juggling marketing, public relations, business development, client relationships, accounting, invoicing, and other non-tech tasks while trying to deliver quality services to customers and stay current on threats, vulnerabilities, and assets. Knowing my new "customer" on a continuous basis means I can focus my energy on my corporate work and not consider every waking moment a reason to accomplish another TaoSecurity task. While the financial rewards of working independently probably exceeded those of working for a corporation, the personal cost of maintaining that business cycle is very high. I am also confident my travel requirements will be less for GE than they were for TaoSecurity.
What does this mean for TaoSecurity? Simply put, I will not be accepting any new consulting work or private teaching requests that cannot be accomplished by the end of this month. I am currently fulfilling existing obligations, some of which may extend beyond the end of the month. I am not joining GE because my independent work dried up; in fact, I've had to turn down four large engagements within the last week because they would have to occur after the end of this month.
If you're wondering about public training classes, I recommend you review my TaoSecurity training schedule. You'll see only the following are left:
- USENIX 2007: Network Security Monitoring with Open Source Tools and TCP/IP Weapons School Layers 2-3, 20-22 June 2007
- GFIRST: Network Incident Response and Forensics, 25 June 2007
- Black Hat USA: TCP/IP Weapons School, Black Hat Edition (layers 2-7 in two days), 28-29 and 30-31 July 2007
- USENIX Security 2007: TCP/IP Weapons School Layers 4-7, 6-7 August 2007
- Network Security Operations, Cincinnati: 21-23 August 2007
- Network Security Operations, Chicago 28-30 August 2007
- ForenSec Canada 2007: TCP/IP Weapons School, ForenSec Edition (layers 2-7 in two days), 15-16 September 2007
- Virginia Alliance for Secure Computing and Networking: one day class, 19 October 2007
That's it. I do not have any plans to be teaching again, although I have not ruled out the occasional conference presentation. There will definitely not be any private classes, and I imagine the only public venue for a half-, full-, or two-day class would be USENIX or perhaps Black Hat Training next year, if either are interested. The bottom line is that if you want to take one of these classes before I no longer offer them, please sign up as soon as possible.
What about writing here, or articles, or books? My boss supports my blogging and writing. I have never made a practice of posting "Look what I found at this client!" and he does not expect me to start doing so at GE. You can expect to read more about the sorts of techniques I'm using to address security concerns but never incident specifics or any information which would compromise my relationship with GE. The same goes for articles and books. I plan to continue writing the Snort Report and eventually write the new works listed on my books page.
Finally, I should note that both of my grandfathers retired from GE, so I have some personal history with the company. I'd like to thank Grady Summers and everyone at GE that have helped me join this great organization.