Consulting Services


Architecture as a Service, or vArchitect

  • We keep it simple - What is the problem we are trying to solve? And how are we going to solve it? Designs should never be full of theory. If the justifications for design decisions are important, they can be included in an appendix.
  • SABSA based design without the endless theory of SABSA.
  • Security capabilities covered: Threat and Vulnerability Management, SIEM, Trust (firewalls, trust boundary controls), Business Resilience Management (BRM), Identity Management, and Cryptography and Key Management (CKM).

Security Services for Small/Medium Businesses (SMBs)

  • Simple, low foot-print, and cheap.
  • To help SMBs requires strong foundational (IT experience + attack mindset) skills in infosec, a gift which very few in this sector possess. Large organisations can spend more than SMBs, and also can afford to not see any benefit from their investment in infosec. Poor security advice can co-exist with business almost seamlessly. SMBs however - it's a different story.
  • Max of one permanent security resource is required - not a team of Big 3 consultants at £1800/day.
  • A typical engagement - half day workshop to understand the environment and challenges. If is deemed useful to proceed, then a short (a few days) architecture engagement at market rates, and then there may be some engineering days, also at market rates.
  • Six security capabilities are assessed, depending on the network size: Vulnerability Management, Logging, Crypto and Key Management, Business Resilience, Trust, and Identity Management.
  • It is likely an economy of scales model could be proposed based on usage of a trustworthy and highly skilled Managed Service Provider.

Cloud Migration - Engineering and Architecture

  • Architecture - see above.
  • Engineering - TVM, SIEM, IDAM.
  • Platforms: AWS, Google Cloud Platform, Azure.
  • Integration of security capabilities with existing devops processes and technologies.

Penetration Testing

  • See profile
  • Vulnerability Assessment - VA++.
  • SAST support - initation of fix integration in to CI/CD.
  • DAST - "Blind" OWASP testing.


  • Splunk, Alienvault, open source architectures with Rsyslog.
  • Splunk "clean-up" - assistance with excessive logging scenarios.
  • We only work with clients who are interested in development of use cases for the purpose of alerting - i.e. seeing some benefit for their investment.
  • Strategic and tactical Development of Security Operations functions, and incident response.

Threat and Vulnerability Management

  • Infrastructure Penetration Testing.
  • Application Security - "blind" OWASP testing.
  • Designing capabilities for TVM - people, process, and technology - how does the organisation respond to an identified vulnerability?

Oracle Database Security Health Check

  • 10g, 11g, 12c.
  • Automated scanning using Musang.
  • Follow up on vulnerability assessment with remediation advice.

Software Development

  • Splunk apps.
  • Python, Django, BASH, Ruby.
  • Types of engagement:
    • Bridging gaps between product functionality and required functionality.
    • Development of scripts for automation.
    • Debugging existing automation.


Ian Tibble graduated from City University (London) in 1991 with a BEng in Computer Systems Engineering, and then went overseas in Oil & Gas exploration ("Seismic") in Algeria, Turkey, Yemen (twice), and UAE, with an accidental crossing into Libya in the deep south of the Sahara.

Ian then used his degree to get into IT at the age of 25, with first Sun Microsystems, then IBM Global Services.

In 1998 Ian joined Trusecure's testing and research lab in Asia Pacific (now Verizon Business), serving clients in banking and telcos, in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia. These first 5 years in red team/unrestricted penetration testing laid the foundation for Ian's career and gave him an attack mindset, to be followed by 2 years in DHL's ITSC in Prague, where "the other side of the fence" (defence) was the priority.

After a spell with PwC, the next 8 years up to 2015 saw Ian engaged in multiple sectors: Insurance, Telecommunications, Legal, Banking, and Trading (London Stock Exchange Group).

More recently (since 2015) Ian has been engaged as a architectural/engineering resource on cloud migration and devops projects for HSBC and HM Government (multiple departments).

Security Macromorphosis

Sacred Cows

Latest Blog Post


What Is Your VA Scanner Really Doing?

April 20, 2021, 1:05 p.m.


It's clear from social media and first hand reports, that the awareness of what VA (Vulnerability Assessment) scanners are really doing in testing scenarios is quite low. So I setup up a test box with Ubuntu 18 and exposed some services which are well known to the hacker community and also still popular in production business use cases: Secure Shell (SSH) and an Apache web service.

This post isn't an attack on VA products at all. It's aimed at setting a more healthy expectation, and I will cover a test scenario with a packet sniffer (Wireshark), Nessus Professional, and OpenVAS, that illustrates the point.

I became aware 20 years ago, from validating VA scanner output, that a lot of what VA scanners barf out is alarmist (red flags, CRITICAL [fix NOW!]) and also based purely on guesswork - when the scanner "sees" a service, it grabs a service banner (e.g. "OpenSSH 7.6p1 Ubuntu 4ubuntu0.3"), looks in its database for public disclosed vulnerability with that version, and flags vulnerability if there are any associated CVEs. Contrary to popular belief, there is no actual interaction in the way of further investigating or validating vulnerability. All vulnerability reporting is based on the service banner. So if i change my banner to "hi OpenVAS", nothing will be reported. And in security, we like to advise hiding product names and versions - this helps with drive-by style automated attacks, in a much more effective way than for example, changing default service ports.

Read on ...


Security DeEngineering




Security De-engineering, published by Taylor Francis, covers ubiquitous problems in information security and offers a solution in the final chapter

Areas covered: Penetration testing, Hackers, CASEs (Checklists and Standards Evangelists), IDS, Cloud Security, jobs in security, Identity Management, and organisational elements.







Literatecode was established in 2003 as an informal R&D lab and reorganized to a registered business in 2012.

Literatecode specializes in applied research and experimental development to help companies and individuals defend themselves against security threats.