31 December, 2012

Happy New Years!

Happy New Years!
Kevin Johnson
Author: Kevin Johnson
As we finish 2012 and look forward to 2013, Secure Ideas’ staff would like to wish everyone a happy new year. We also thought it would be fun to do a quick review of the year, with each of our staff including their thoughts.  So here goes….
What a great second year for Secure Ideas!  We have put together an amazing team and due to that, have accomplished much.  We have seen 50% growth in our business this year, added two new team members (and therefore expanded into a new state – Utah), completed two DARPA research projects – turning both into open source projects, and started a third DARPA project before the year came to a close.  We continue to grow our security consulting services, while we watch our MySecurityScanner service take ground – and take off.  Over the course of the year, our team members have done a multitude of webcasts and SANS vLive teaching events, as well as provided various conference presentations or training in 21 different cities around the country (a number of those cities multiple times), and as far away as Sydney, Australia.  But now let’s let each of our team members tell their side, too.
Kevin Johnson:
At this time of year I look at what we have and what has been accomplished over the last year and I am amazed.  I still can’t believe that I was allowed to be part of this amazing group. We have done a ton of things and are planning on even more growth in 2013. DARPA has awarded us three different contracts, one of which is in progress and very exciting.  We also have continued to provide great service to our clients.  I look at the skillset of our consultants and can’t believe the cool stuff they are working on. We have rolled out a new class through SANS, Security 642 Advanced Web Penetration Testing, and are working on a few others.  We continue to work with IANS, with me as a faculty member, and are growing the MySecurityScanner service as you read this.  I can’t wait to see what we accomplish in 2013 and look forward to being allowed to continue this crazy rollercoaster we call Secure Ideas!
Lara Dawson:
I love working with Kevin, Denise, and the Secure Ideas team.  It’s been about a half dozen years since I’ve been really happy going to work every day, but now I am once again!  There is nothing better than working my tail off and knowing all my coworkers are doing the same to help our little company grow.  We may be small, but we’re mighty…just like my two-year-old daughter!  Some days I feel torn about working so much with two little ones at home, and if I didn’t enjoy what I did, I’d simply walk away at this point.  But I can’t drag myself away. As the non-technical one out of this bunch of geeks, sometimes it’s overwhelming to have to make security a priority in the everyday grind of running a company, so I can truly relate to many of our clients.  However, through the 13 years I’ve been in this business, I’ve learned tremendous amounts and many very scary things about how easy it is to be manipulated and compromised.  I hope I can bring this type of understanding to even more individuals and clients in 2013.
Denise Johnson:
As I look over the past year, I am amazed at everything that has been accomplished by our small company.  Secure Ideas has been blessed with a powerhouse of talent who has achieved so much. I am the lucky one who gets to see everything that goes on behind the scenes. From when the clients first contact us, to the sales calls, travel arrangements and the final resolution.  I know from personal experience how hard all of our staff works and I realize the sacrifices they have all have made.  I look forward to next year to see how we all grow personally and as a company.     
Tony DeLaGrange:
I’ve been with Secure Ideas for over a year now, and have had a year of many “firsts”.  I have led two DARPA CFT projects, which both are now open source projects.  I have presented at conferences such as Derby Con, ShmooCon, AppSec DC, and Good Technologies Mobile Summit, as well as co-chaired the first SANS Mobile Security summit.  I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed many fun tasks with our client engagements, such as performing social engineering and physical penetration testing (which is always an absolute blast), as well as participated in some interesting “hacks” that we performed along the way, attacking web applications and networks.  Both Jason and James have been great additions to the Secure Ideas team; both guys are very knowledgeable and great to work with.  I’m looking forward to 2013 with new challenges to solve and new opportunities that lie ahead.
James Jardine:
I can’t believe the year is over already. I have been with Secure Ideas since May and I still remember my first day, a Sunday, traveling to a client engagement and one of my first company meals being Denny’s (eating with the owner).  I can honestly say this is the most fun I have had at a job in a long time.  Don’t get me wrong, I have loved other jobs, but the opportunities I have had are amazing. In addition, my coworker’s are the best.  I am thankful that I did gain a little seniority the first week on the job when I found out Jason was joining the team two weeks after me.  I have to say the best time I have had so far was the trip to DerbyCon.  Nothing says fun like a 12 hour car ride to Louisville, KY with co-workers, overcrowded rooms, really late nights, and a great con.  Secure Ideas has come a long way in 2012 and I can’t wait to see what is in store for 2013.
Jason Wood:
I started in late May at Secure Ideas (a few weeks after James, hence my status as the “new guy”) and it has been an incredibly fun and challenging experience.  All of the jobs I have had posed different challenges, but after a while things settle down into a routine.  One of the great things about Secure Ideas is that every client engagement requires me to learn more about something, perform an attack in a different way, and determine how our clients could have stopped me.  This year has been a challenge and next year we are looking at even better things to do. 2013 should be an absolute blast and provide our clients and colleagues with some pretty cool stuff to work with.
There is already quite a bit planned for 2013, including the vast amount of speaking and teaching events again, further growth and development of our services, more webcasts, and additional research and development.  We thank you all for your support and look forward to working with you in 2013.

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