Open Security Foundation – State of the Union 2010

The Open Security Foundation (OSF) has grown from a humble beginning in 2004 to an internationally recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit public organization. Through the work of a small team of dedicated information security enthusiasts, the Open Source Vulnerability Database (OSVDB) and DataLossDB projects have provided organizations of all sizes with the knowledge and resources to accurately detect, protect and mitigate information security risks. OSF research is often cited throughout the security industry and the organization was honored by being named winner of the SC Magazine’s Editors Choice award for 2009.

To ensure the highest quality information that has become the trademark of OSF, a tremendous amount of effort is expended on a daily basis by OSF volunteers to process an ever increasing amount of data loss and vulnerability reports. Over the years, many volunteers have been involved in the projects, but for the most part the the heavy lifting has been the work of only a few very dedicated volunteers. The “open source” approach to resourcing the projects has been successful to date but is now proving to be an unsustainable model. With long-term sustainability and increased services as our goal, we have initiated a comprehensive review of our current operations, our existing approach to project funding and the creation of potential new services for the security community.

As a start, we plan to do a better job of sharing our view on the state of the information security industry and creating a mechanism to gain community feedback to better establish our vision for the OSVDB and DataLossDB projects.

To that end I want to take a moment to share our initial plans for 2010.

The OSF officers and project leads have been dedicated to the daily operations required to make OSVDB and DataLossDB the recognized leader in vulnerability and data loss tracking. This focused dedication has left little time to take the pulse of the industry as it relates to our projects or to establish a clear long-term vision for the projects. To address this need, OSF will be creating an Advisory Board. The board will consist of three to five senior leaders capable of providing broad based perspective on information security, business management and fundraising. It is our hope that this will provide a sounding board when developing future plans, an open forum when reviewing community feedback and a broader view when prioritizing potential new services. Additional information along with an official call for Advisory Board nominations is planned for 2/12/2010.

Direct unfiltered feedback from both the security community as well as the organizations that benefit from our projects is critical. Over the next few weeks, we plan to post a public survey asking for feedback that will help shape our long-term vision and establish our near-term plans for OSVDB and DataLossDB. Those of you who value the work that the OSF provides and/or consider yourselves friends and supporters of OSF are asked to help spread the word to maximize the feedback provided.

Feedback from the survey will be the foundation for the OSF vision and 2010 plan. Our goal is to present a draft of both the vision and the 2010 plan to the newly formed Advisory Board by mid-April 2010. Once finalized, both documents will be shared with the information security community.

OSF has been recognized for providing a critical service to the information security community but our potential is much greater. We look forward to hearing your ideas on how OSF can further improve the state of security while building a stronger organization to deliver even higher quality research and additional services.

We appreciate your support and if you are interested in working with OSF please contact us at moderators @ osvdb.org or curators @ datalossdb.org.

Jake Kouns
Chairman, Open Security Foundation

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