Mission

The Rear Guard Podcast is devoted to offering unique perspectives and deep thinking regarding computer security.

In military terms, the Rear Guard are the troops that guard the backs of a force that is in retreat, in an attempt to prevent them from being cut to pieces by an advancing enemy. Holding the Rear Guard is one of the hardest missions in warfare and usually results in heavy losses.

As a new "industry" computer security remains a very immature field. In spite of its increasing importance to our day-to-day lives, computer security remains an intellectual back-water dominated by hype, hearsay, and superstition. As each generation of new security practitioners arrive on the scene, they appear to be doomed to repeat the mistakes of past generations - a desperate situation when we're confronted with a gigantic tsunami of insecure, poorly-designed, "mission critical" applications. In spite of the fact that computer security is now "on the map" for many senior managers and legislators, massive amounts of money are being spent and the problem is not showing any sign of improvement. Why is this? Simply put: while many refer to computer security as a "discipline" it shows none of the signs of intellectual vigor that would make it worthy of the name.

I have decided to start the Rear Guard Podcast as a way to expose security practitioners to new (and, more often old) ideas in computer security - to provide thought-provoking interviews, no-nonsense commentary, and a dose of lateral-thinking.

My intent is to produce a 1/2 hour (more or less) episode of the podcast approximately every three to four weeks, depending on my work-load at the time. My emphasis is on quality, rather than quantity; I won't rush out a content-free Podcast just to meet some kind of arbitrary schedule.