Interesting times for information security professionals
by Brian Honan - Head of IRISSCERT - Monday, 1 October 2012.
We need to focus on the benefits that technology can bring to our lives, both our personal and business lives. Instead of looking at how to prevent technology or access to that technology, we need to look at how to safely engage with it so that in our business and professional lives we can fully embrace the benefits that technology brings.

To make living and working “in interesting times” a blessing we as information security professionals need to engage better with those around us so we understand their needs and develop secure solutions to help them meet those needs. We need to be more proactive in how we approach people and organizations in order for them to buy into security initiatives.

I often cite the mantra that security should be viewed like brakes are on a car. The immediate reaction when you think of brakes is that they are there to stop the car. But if we look at it in a different light, without brakes on a car we could never travel fast or turn corners. So brakes are there to help the car get to its destination quickly and safely. Likewise we need to think of security as not a way to stop people or businesses from doing certain activities but to enable them to do them in a safe and secure manner.

So shall we regret living “in interesting times”? I certainly hope we don’t. Only time will tell but through this column lets work together to reap the blessings those “interesting times” bring.



Brian Honan is an independent security consultant based in Dublin, Ireland, and is the founder and head of IRISSCERT, Ireland's first CERT. He is a Special Advisor to the Europol Cybercrime Centre, an adjunct lecturer on Information Security in University College Dublin, and he sits on the Technical Advisory Board for a number of innovative information security companies. He has addressed a number of major conferences, he wrote the book ISO 27001 in a Windows Environment and co-author of The Cloud Security Rules. He regularly contributes to a number of industry recognized publications and serves as the European Editor for the SANS Institute's weekly SANS NewsBites.

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