Tuesday, December 17, 2013

f2f Still Rules

   It's definitely a digital world.  And with all the instant electronic communication methods available, it's easy to forget about good old-fashioned face-to-face.

   Many work places have gone to open seating, without cubes or offices, to promote collaboration.  There are "team spaces" and other kinds of open areas in which people can quickly get together to solve problems.

   I've been thinking about this topic for a couple reasons.  First, I've been talking with internal groups about Internet Safety for Families.  This is a great topic both for general information and for Security Awareness in the workplace.  One item we often discuss is communication methods.  Teens and young adults (as well as many high-tech workers) do a disproportional amount of their communication electronically.  Sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't.

   Second, a while back I blogged about my new CISO job and the approach I am taking.  Part of that approach is to get out and meet with business leaders across the enterprise.  It's not surprising to me that this is very well received.  It's important to build alignment among segments of an organization.

   I think it's particular important for Security and IT leaders to initiate this alignment.  Many organizations just don't have synergy between technical and business areas.  Technical people have often complained that they are not understood by the business areas and that business requests don't "make sense".  Many of you have probably seen this cartoon:

   Better communication and alignment will help minimize these kinds of issues.

   But I think Security and IT leaders need to initiate the conversations simply because it's not typical.  It shows the business that Security and IT understand more than technology and want to align with overall business priorities.  It shows we want to listen.

   My meetings with business leaders have been very well received.  I'm learning more about what is important to different divisions, how they work, and what security controls and mechanisms may, or may not, work well in those areas.  I'm creating communication channels that can help us learn about potential issues in a more timely manner.

   Security and IT leaders need to get out of the office, out of the building.  Get out there and see what's going and how you can help!

   If you're a high-tech worker or leader, what do you do to help alignment?  Do you get out of the office and see what's going on elsewhere in the business?  What works for you and what doesn't?

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