June 11

The Essence of a True Security Professional

In October 2005 I launched the Security Catalyst in an effort to bring together passionate security professionals — to learn, to share, to improve our profession. The community is growing, and fostering some excellent and important conversations that I am honored to take part in. These efforts have reinforced in me the belief that it is important to explore and challenge our notions of what it means to be a security professional.

I think that we have yet to scratch the surface. I look forward to the coming months as we continue to push on conventional norms and start to envision the future of security. Already, this effort is leading me to put less reliance on certifications, and more on the ability to demonstrate learned knowledge. As you may recall from previous postings – information is not knowledge! Knowledge is cultivated from the careful and consistent practice of activities that transform information into something infinitely more useful.

So as I sit here researching my notions of the future of security (which I will share with you in the coming months), I wanted to share this posting (from the Church of the Customer blog) that I came across this evening. I read this and was immediately drawn to the passage. It’s about professional services (so as a consultant, this makes sense to me), but even if you are not a consultant, read the words, for I believe this is the essence of a true security professional.

This passage is taken from David Maister’s, The Trusted Advisor (which I plan to purchase and read):
The conclusions many advisors draw are that they must be careful about giving away the store… The truth is, expertise is like love: not only is it unlimited, you destroy it only by not giving it away. Love for a child is not cut in half with the birth of a second child. And expertise is not to be confused with what can be scanned into a database. The human capacity for problem redefinition and creativity is what a successful advisor brings to every situation. It is unlimited; it only gets better with practice.

I have a deeply-held conviction that it is our responsibility as professionals to share our knowledge. By sharing our knowledge and providing a pathway for others to transform their information into knowledge, we can change the landscape for security (across the board). This certainly comes with risks, but it’s a chance I’ll continue to take. I hope you will too!


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