Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Friday, November 14, 2008


I feel like I'm never going to get back into the swing of blogging again. I keep trying to do daily posts but it doesn't work. I've got a few thoughts running through my head that I wanted to throw out. Most of it is security related but not all.

First, Wednesday night we had our kickoff meeting of the Atlanta NAISG chapter. It was a success. There were about 8 of us, but that's not bad for a first meeting. Especially considering that we didn't do much advertising. Mostly word of mouth. Everyone there seemed to have a good time and seems genuinely interested in making this work. Brad Dinerman, NAISG founder, flew down from Boston to help us kick things off and give our first talk.

I was listening to a Manager Tools podcast the other day and they were talking about the importance of attitude. Attitude makes a big difference in most everything. If you have a good attitude then things usually go better. People enjoy being around you more and usually give you more respect and listen to what you have to say. It makes for a better day for you and makes for better results out of what you are trying to accomplish. It also makes other people feel good when you have a upbeat attitude. That reminded me of someone that I met last week at ISD. As I was listening to the Security Researchers Roundtable I noticed that Billy Hoffman of HP was really energetic and passionate as he spoke. It made me listen a little closer to what he had to say because of the energy that he had. After the talk I went up to meet him and there was someone else with him (no names). As I introduced myself to them and told them how much I enjoyed the talk the other person was real standoffish and just said a lame "thanks". Billy on the other hand was very appreciative of the fact that I took the time to let them know. He talked to me a few minutes about Atlanta (he went to GA. Tech) and my job. As we parted he commented on how he enjoyed meeting me. None of this was a big deal but the attitude he put out really made a difference. That is something that many of us in the IT world need to work on. We need to get past our often introverted personality and project goodness to our users and this will go a long way in changing the negative mindset that many have towards their IT department.

I was listening to The Network Security Podcast on the way into town this morning and it was a recording of a bloggers meeting that DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff held in San Francisco earlier this week. Martin asked several questions about the TSA and airport security and Mr. Chertoff made a good point about the public not always seeing what is going on behind the scenes and therefore not understanding the why and where for of decisions that are made regarding airport security. While I don't think that we are doing the best job at airport security and I do often question the value in some of what they do (and why they aren't doing some other things) his comment did make me stop and think that I don't see the big picture in airport security. I don't have insight into all the data that goes into making the decisions that are made. They may look like stupid or inappropriate decisions to me. They may look like they do nothing more than make the public think that the TSA is doing something. But there is more to it than I see. In my job as Information Security Officer for my company I often look at decisions that are made above me and wonder why. Later on as I get more info or see things unfolding I realize that the decision made more sense then I gave it credit for. It's a good idea to withhold judgment until you know all of (or at least most of) the facts.

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