Monday, December 10, 2012

We're All In This Together

   You are not alone. I've written on topics relevant to parents, families, digital citizens, computer users, security professionals, IT professionals, leaders. No matter what your questions or concerns, whether you are a parent trying to decide if your child is old enough for a smart phone or a Facebook account, or a security professional trying to move your program forward, you're in good company.

   Last week I was at the NG Security Summit in Austin Texas. One of the great things about a security leadership conference like this is that we get to talk with, and hear from, people from many organizations and situations who have security responsibility. In particular, regardless of industry segment, size of organization, locality or product, we all have similar challenges.  The topics and challenges resonate. Common themes emerge.

   One main themes that came up often was security alignment with the business. Even before the opening keynote, we were discussing topics including risk management at the board level, ways to business and leadership to understand security issues, and how to move the security industry forward by not repeating the mistakes of the past. We even compared the security industry, and our approach, to the mis-attributed Einstein quote "Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results". Is that something security professionals do? :-)

   Another recurring theme was the general topic of Consumerization of IT. I spoke on this topic (slides).  There were companion talks discussing security aspects of BYOD, cloud infrastructure, cloud storage, and social media. This is clearly a hot-button issue.

   Similarly, a few weeks ago I met with a group of parents at a local church. We were talking about teens, tech and online safety. We had great discussions including shared concerns about access to social media, information (and too much information) sharing and reputation management.

   But we are all in this together.  We can learn from each other and work toward solutions to the common problems, provided we can share information (and that's another topic I'll cover in the future).

   Sometimes it's comforting to know what we're all in it together. But, perhaps more importantly, when others have the same questions we get an opportunity to work out solutions... together.

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