Security Technology Executive

JUL-AUG 2018

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www. • July/August 2018 • SECURIT Y TECHNOLOGY E XECUTIVE 43 Working Redux I had a colleague reach out to me and ask if he could interview me for a book he's writing. I was incredulous. What could I say that would be of any interest? He said he wanted to write a book about the people in the information security industry. His stated model was Louis "Studs" Ter- kel's 1974 classic book Working. I told him I grew up in Illinois, and Terkel was required reading. So, I acquiesced, and we set a date. My interviewer is a serious professional with some serious technical street cred. He, not a big-name writ- er (yet), but I really respect him, so I felt comfort- able to open up about my career in ways I wouldn't have with a journalist or writer. What I had initially dreaded turned into a fast trip down memory lane that made an hour and twenty minutes go by at light speed. When we arrived back at the current day, I was both exhausted and yes, a bit exhilarated. It was an exercise in self-reflection I had never undertaken. As we walked down Memory Lane, I was quick to remember all the wonderful mentors and colleagues who had helped me, taught me, and encouraged me along my career path. I also recalled others who were less than kind or truthful who made months or even years a struggle. Of course, it made no sense to call these people out as I had learned the importance of forgiveness and moving on many years ago. When you are treated unfairly or maliciously by others, the best course is to simply remove them from your life and press forward. A maxim that really helped me was hearing that holding on to anger is like drink- ing poison and expecting the other person to die. I wish I could give proper attribution for that quote, but its source is murky, and has been used by nov- elists, Alcoholics Anonymous, and even ascribed to the Buddha. Whoever coined it deserves accolades. Reflecting on the Road Traveled As I ended the Skype session, I leaned back in my office chair to recall the Titans I had been privileged to work with. Many are any now retired, and sadly, some deceased: Bob Morris, Dr. Dorothy Denning , Paul Proctor, Dr. Ron Ross, Bill Neugent, Patti Toth, Whit Diffie, and so many more. It was worth invest- ing my time in the interview, and the half hour of pensive reflection thereafter. Our work as security professionals continues. I am amazed how this field has exploded in the thirty years I have been involved. The same threats are still there and are expanding. The vulnerabilities in our technology have grown exponentially. The threats from our fellow humans remain unabated. If you find a half hour free this week, I encour- age you to take the time to reflect on what attract- ed you to this career, how you got started and those who provided you a helping hand. As you do so, you can recognize those many small kind- nesses and thoughtful actions others took time to bestow. Then all the daily frustrations, periods of stress, and roadblocks look far less onerous. Pay it Forward Security is a journey, not a destination. You owe it to those struggling around you for both payback as well as to pay it forward. Working in security is not a solo activity no matter your role. Mentor, assist, teach, and encourage. It's our responsibil- ity to our careers, our colleagues, and the future of work in security. Someday, a person will give an interview about their career and will think fondly of you as they reflect. You may not hear about it, but I guarantee you will feel it. COOL AS McCUMBER By John McCumber John McCumber is a securit y and risk professional, and author of "Assessing and Managing Securit y Risk in IT Systems: A Struct ured Methodology," from A uerbach Publications. If you have a comment or question for him, e-mail Cool _ as _ McCumber@ Request information: WE CONNECT WHY JOIN SECURITY PROFESSIONALS The security industry's largest database for consultants, A&E's, manufacturers and integrators. Consultants and Engineers Enhance your visibility, search products, find integrators, and access valuable design resources. Integrators, Owners and End-Users Find projects and consultants in your area, and gain insight into the capabiliঞes of firms and individuals. Manufacturers Promote and feature your soluঞons, search the extensive database, and reach security consultants.

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