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Top Cybersecurity News and Information Sources, By The Numbers - UPDATE

(Update:  Astute reader and topic maps (semantic integration) maven Patrick Durusau pointed out to me that I had the New York Times listed twice in an earlier version of this list, once as The New York Times and once as simply New York Times. The new list corrects this glitch.  Not only that but he also pointed out that National Journal and NextGov are different publications, which they indeed are.  But because NextGov publishes so many National Journal pieces, I'm not 100% certain from the data alone which came from which, so I merged the two.  He also kindly went out of his way to put hyperlinks to the relevant publications in my table!)

Starting on March 29, I began to systematically sift through voluminous news articles, blog posts and other sources to pick the most relevant, timely and knowledgeable items on cybersecurity matters to post on (See previous post for an introduction to Metacurity and an explanation of the criteria used for selection.) From that date through mid-day on May 6, Metacurity featured 1,220 posts from across well over 100 different publications, mostly traditional consumer interest and trade publications, as well as specialized blogs.

In an effort to better improve the selection and publication process, we’re currently analyzing the data to develop better filters and formulas.  One slice of interesting information is the frequency with which various publications appear across the still-nascent data set – obviously over time the data will change as the database gets bigger, more sources are added and newsworthy developments shift.

Articles Posted in Metacurity, 3/29/2015 to 5/6/2015
Source# Posts% Total
The Register1008.2%
SC Magazine594.8%
Ars Technica483.9%
NextGov and National Journal413.4%
Hack Read322.6%
The Hill322.6%
The Guardian191.6%
New York Times171.4%
Krebs on Security151.2%
The Hackers News110.9%
Hot for Security100.8%
Lawfare Blog100.8%
The Intercept90.7%
Wall Street Journal90.7%
IT World70.6%
Just Security50.4%
Schneier on Security50.4%
BBC News40.3%
Errata Security40.3%
Network World40.3%
The Daily Beast40.3%
The Diplomat40.3%
Washington Post40.3%
Business Insider30.2%
Google Security**30.2%
International Business Times30.2%
USA Today30.2%
Financial Times20.2%
Freedom to Tinker20.2%
Harvard Business Review20.2%
Info World20.2%
MIT Technology Review20.2%
The Security Ledger20.2%
Associated Press20.2%
*Technically a corporate blog by Kaspersky but features many newsworthy, journalistic-type posts.
**Technically a corporate blog by Google but important because of the nature of the posts.
***Recent resource added.

Of the sources published, 57 or 58 publications (I merged National Journal and NextGov)  received two or more posts, excluding posts from vendor blogs. Of these 57 or 58  sources, The Register grabbed more of the screen time than any other publication, no surprise given its focus on the nitty-gritty reality of IT technology. Likewise, all but one of the other top ten resources have as their main focus information security, IT technology or other specialized subjects where cybersecurity is a main concern.

The appearance of inside-politics publications such as the National Journal (which cross-publishes with NextGov) and The Hill is likewise no surprise given the ascendancy of cybersecurity in Washington and the pendency of cybersecurity legislation. A good deal of excellent coverage of Washington-related cybersecurity matters appears in paid-access-only publications such as Politico, which launched last year its own cybersecurity publication and makes some articles available outside its paywall. Paid-access publications don’t appear on Metacurity because, well, that would be too frustrating for casual visitors.  This may change over time.

For now, this list is interesting but definitely subject to change as time moves on, as more publications beef up their cybersecurity beats and as we refine our methods for pinpointing the best sources and items of information.

Stay tuned and please talk to us. Tell us what resources we're missing that you rely on and what additional types of information you'd like to see in the mix.

Introducing Metacurity – An Answer to Cybersecurity Information Overload

It’s been a long time since I blogged here – about a half a year actually.  In that time I’ve been working on various projects that pushed blogging to the back seat.  One of those projects was to redesign this blog into a more professional look and integrate the blog into a redesigned corporate website, with a common look-and-feel.

Along the way, I decided to incorporate into the new integrated sites a “news feed” that addresses a problem plaguing the digital and network security sector:  information overload. Fairly soon, that redesign project took a back seat to figuring out how to sift through the escalating number of news stories, journal articles and other sources of cybersecurity information and present it in a way that is the most helpful to overworked cybersecurity practitioners and other professionals interested in the subject.

For at least the past five months I’ve increasingly focused on that challenge to the point that it’s almost become a more than full-time job. The result of that work is a stand-alone website, Metacurity. Relying on over fifty (and growing) standard sources of cybersecurity news, plus dozens of other sources, Metacurity is an evolving site that presents sifted, breaking and other news in a clean, easy-to-scan format.
I’ve worked out a system for selecting the most timely, useful and relevant articles, blog posts, and other sources and publishing them in summary form, with links directly back to the sources themselves. Although still wholly subjective and imperfect, I use a rough set of criteria for what gets published. These criteria generally are:
  1. Timeliness: Although articles that break news aren’t necessarily always the most informative or best, being first does matter, if for no other reason than it shapes the conversation.
  2. Level of Skill: Well-written articles and posts that do justice to the subject catch more attention. Articles that are nothing more than a couple of paragraphs, gloss over or fail to point out important distinctions or are extremely late to the game don’t appear that frequently.
  3. Originality: A related criteria is originality. Items that are typically rewrites of press releases or rewrites of major news stories with very little additional reporting or analyses are low on the priority list.
  4. Pure-Play: The topic of cybersecurity overlaps with so many other topics – privacy, cloud computing, national security, criminal justice, diplomacy and other major concerns. It’s difficult to parse out articles, reports, blog posts and studies that are solely focused on how to maintain secure reliable networks. But, those articles that do deal mostly or exclusively with cybersecurity get higher priority.
  5. Impact:  Some “scoops” have major impact on discussions surrounding cybersecurity. Some headline-breaking articles in the cybersecurity arena do not necessarily hold up under further analysis but nonetheless create a stir. Although rare, these kinds of reports are higher on the priority list.
In the middle of the site, or further down the screen on mobile devices, appear blog posts produced by cybersecurity vendors labeled as “Corporate Posts.” These items are useful and often news-making posts produced by the dozens of vendors in the IT and information security arena.  (Although the Corporate Posts are selected based on editorial judgment, we are offering vendors the opportunity to spotlight their posts at the top of this section via sponsorships. We are also offering companies the ability to promote their employment opportunities and conference organizers to promote their events via highlighted entries in our events section.)

Metacurity also features a table that encapsulates cybersecurity events around the globe and a handy box for employers to promote their cybersecurity openings to the tiny available pool of available and qualified cybersecurity professionals.

Ultimately Metacurity will become much more efficient at picking out what’s important based on data analysis.  As Metacurity evolves, we’ll add more and different types of information. I want feedback on how to make the site better and more informative. Please contact us and share your thoughts.  Happy reading!

And yeah…I’m finally getting around to the redesign of this blog.  Stay tuned.

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