Mike's random thoughts and ramblings

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Linda made a great comment on my recent Limiting Reagent post - she pointed out that I was being particularly negative and focused on the problem.

While I'd be tempted to blame the cold that I'm suffering through, or my own inability to get past the discontinuities in my life, I think it's more than that.

There's no question in my mind that when I wrote that, I had my "information security" hat on - and (broad generalization here) we in information security have a tendency to look for problems. We were talking today about a wonderful new problem - personal video recorders. While this technology has some brilliant applications and uses, my brain immediately flashed to the corporate meeting video appearing on YouTube.

When I lived in the world of security product development, my focus was consistently on "how can we improve this"? The danger of being in the world of securing an enterprise against bad things happening is that it's far too easy for the focus to shift from "how do we make this business better?" to "how do we keep things from happening?". This is the easy road to take in security - it's why the positioning of many security departments around the world is that of "the people who say no".

It's the easy road, but it's also the road that leads to a marginalization of information security as a tactical venture - it's why we have had to fight so hard to be regarded as anything other than geeks who stifle business processes.

Back to nursing my cold before I head off for a nice weekend with friends.

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Michael Murray

Michael Murray