Relax, it was a honeypot

Tuesday, 20 May 2003, 5:53 PM EST

Jim Fiebig once said that no one should be allowed to play the violin until they have mastered it. It is a humorous paradox, and for those who have been in the proximity of a fledgling violinist, one with merit.

As clever as this conundrum is, it illustrates a mindset that is pervasive in the security industry: We are not allowed to make mistakes.

It only makes sense; as with a master musician, security professionals are expected to be, well, security professionals. As such, our peers hold us to a high standard -- we are not supposed to get infected with worms or viruses. We are not supposed to fall prey to social engineering. And we are not supposed to get hacked.

The truth, of course, is that we all make mistakes-- all of us. For me, it is an important part of my learning process. I derive more value in identifying the things I've done wrong than celebrating the things I've done right, as difficult as it may be. It all goes to building experience, which as the old saying goes, is something you don't get until just after you need it.

But to learn from a mistake, you've got to admit to it first.

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