Information Security News
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Re: IT's hottest job? Security expert
From: Kelley Walker <kwalker2 () gte net>
Date: Wed, 20 Jun 2001 03:40:54 -0400
At 11:20 AM 6/19/01 -0500, Robert G. Ferrell wrote:
>Indeed, some experts wonder if the dearth isn't one of the
>reasons that hacks and intrusions are up some 50 percent from last
Another reason might be that a large percentage of security "experts"
in the industry have read a couple of books and got their jobs
by wowing the HR people with terms like "granularity" and "IPSec,"
but in fact have little to no practical experience on the front lines.
The term "expert" has become so diluted by constant misapplication that
it means nothing. An "expert" these days is absolutely anyone who gets
their name in the same news story where computers are mentioned.
Of course, you need to remember that it's the media using those terms,
mainly. Which is not to say that what you're is wrong. Of course, I'm
fully aware that people have leveled a similar charge against the firm I
work for. I happen to think, however, that we don't misrepresent ourselves
in terms of what we do: security awareness training, mainly working with
This debate, in more abstract terms, frequently emerges (and not just in
this field) and I find it particularly interesting since it's a field that
tends to abjure formal training and book learning. As such, the lack of
formal credentializing processes is lauded (and let's face it, there is
such a thing as credential inflation anyway), but at the same time it means
that the field is ripe for such exploitation.
Historically, modern professions tend to face just such a crisis or
tension: antipathy to formalized credentials, valorization of
hands-on-training, encroachment of charlatans and quacks. The medical
profession dealt with such problems, and garnered a great deal of political
power by organizing the AMA and associated professional socieities such as
the APhA. Perhaps a more related example can be found in the history of
the engineering profession.
At any rate, since before your archives began, a great piece by Fred
The Seedy Side of Security
by Fred Cohen
Over the last several years, computing has changed to an almost purely
networked environment, but the technical aspects of information protection
have not kept up. As a result, the success of information security programs
has increasingly become a function of our ability to make prudent
management decisions about organizational activities. Managing Network
Security takes a management view of protection and seeks to reconcile the
need for security with the limitations of technology.
Organizational Researcher/Technical Writer
Interpact, Inc. Security Awareness
Interpact sponsors InfowarCon, 9/5-6, Washington, D.C.
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