Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Xavier Mertens

SANS ISC: InfoSec Handlers Diary Blog - Internet Storm Center Diary 2018-11-19 InfoSec Handlers Diary Blog


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The Challenge of Managing Your Digital Library

Published: 2018-11-19
Last Updated: 2018-11-19 10:18:25 UTC
by Xavier Mertens (Version: 1)
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How do you manage your digital library on a daily basis? If like me, you are receiving a lot of emails, notifications, tweets, [name your best technology here], they are chances that you're flooded by tons of documents in multiple formats. This problem is so huge that, if I'm offline for a few days or too busy to handle the information in (almost) real time, it costs me a lot of extra time to process the waiting queue. While surfing, there are also a lot of documents that are not immediately useful but "could be". Do you also have a bad feeling when you delete a document "that could be very interesting in the future?". In fact, it's like people who store everything in their home and that can't trash them.

Here is a small list of data that I like to keep:

  • Emails (from mailing lists)
  • Tweets
  • PDF/papers from security conferences
  • Studies, white papers
  • Software, firmware, ...
  • Configuration samples
  • Collected data (pasties, DB dumps, Darkweb data, screenshots, ...)

With electronic documents, we also have another dilemma: which kind of storage? Local or in the cloud? It's easy to store documents in the cloud. They are indexed, they are available from everywhere. Plenty of tools and services provide this but... for how long? What if you upload a few TB of data in the cloud and the service disappear? Local storage has also caveats: how to handle the amount of data across years? How to backup? How to migrate to new or more powerful technologies? How to manage your NAS, patch them, etc.

Today, I still did not found the best way to complete this task. What I'm using at the moment:

  • Splunk to index tweets, emails
  • Evernote for documents (including PDF)
  • Local NAS
  • Cloud services with buckets like B2, C2, Amazon for long retention of data files
  • Private Gitlab for configuration files, lists, pieces of code

And you? How do you manage your digital library? Please share your stories!

Xavier Mertens (@xme)
Senior ISC Handler - Freelance Cyber Security Consultant
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