Changing Perspectives

Tuesday, January 3, 2017 Posted by Corey Harrell
In the Fall I was staring out my back window seeing my yard covered in orange leaves. This sight is one I see each year and I have always viewed as my yearly chore. The chore of cleaning up the leaves that have fallen from the trees. At times I would see some joy the leaves would bring as my kids would play in them but mostly I viewed the leaves with disdain. Knowing I would be spending hours upon hours cleaning it up. I came to accept this yearly chore as something that doesn’t change since it came with the territory of owning a property with trees. This was until I became more knowledgeable about a subject and this knowledge changed my perspective on how I see these leaves.

For over the past year I took some time to get refocused in life. During this time I was reflecting on different things; one of those things was I have never grown my food. My food typically came from stores, farmer markets, or local farmers. Thinking about it I realized my food has always came from someone else’s labor. I had no clue how to grow food nor what was involved with growing food. I decided I wanted to change this and I jumped head first into becoming more knowledgeable about organic gardening.

I won’t go into detail about my approach; basically I read books, researched on websites, spoke to friends who garden, and I spoke to local farmers who I buy food from. I tried to cover all of my bases to know as much as I could about the entire plant life cycle. My goal is to be fully self-reliant so to avoid having to constantly buy compost I started to learn about composting. As I went deeper into the art of composting by reading and seeing what others have done before me, the more knowledgeable I started to become. The more knowledgeable I started to become the more my perspective started to change. Staring out of my back window each Fall I only saw a chore. However, this year as I was staring out of the window I saw something else. I saw enough brown material that I could use to make compost the next spring. To create the rich compost loaded with nutrients to feed my vegetable plants. I saw the potential for cover material I could put on my raised beds to protect the soil during the winter months. I saw what a blessing each Fall is since it is when nature provides you with a wealth of material you can use to improve your soil to grow better vegetable plants.

As I stared out the window I also reflected on the similarities between my journey into composting and a security analyst’s journey into DFIR. When I’m building up a security analyst to do DFIR work the approach is the same. The first few months I allow them to be paid to learn; there job is to gain knowledge so their perspective looking at data changes. I want to give them knowledge about what they are looking for, different files and folders on the system, different log sources, and the analysis process. I try to give them enough knowledge to change how they see data and what that data means. To change them from seeing just a bunch of files and folder names to seeing select artifacts and log files. To change them from seeing just a bunch of activity to seeing the malicious activity. To change them from seeing alerts and alarms to seeing what the exact attack vector is.

Knowledge is the key to changing one’s perspective; applying the knowledge is what makes the change reality.

"Knowledge without application is like a book that is never read"

~ Christopher Crawford

  1. Knowledge only gets you there partially. It depends what you do with the knowledge and what insights you gain from them, and keep gaining from that.

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