January 31


We need more “people people” in the security profession. I can help.

By Ron Woerner

In his recent ComputerWorld article (http://www.computerworld.com/blogs/node/4425?source=NLT_SIC&nlid=92), Michael Farnum spells out the need for IT folks to be “people” people. Being an asshole no longer works. (See Bob Sutton’s blog.) Marcus Ranum and Bruce Schneier have been saying it for years that security is about the people and process not the technology.

They talk about the problem, but have no concrete solutions. The only way to fix this is that we—the people who design, write, implement, and manage security—have to learn how to deal with people. We need to get out of our introvert shells and learn about people.

We are rectifying this situation as part of the next generation of security. At the RSA 2007 US Conference, I am leading a session titled “Becoming “People” People – The Kinder, Gentler Security Professional.” This technical presentation will show the importance for understanding people: how they think; why they act the way they do and what motivates them. Attendees will learn fundamentals in areas such as psychology, sales & marketing, communications, and leadership to help them be “people” people. They will also receive a resources, tips, and tricks to take home to practice being “people” people. These ideas will force infosec professionals to think about this problem and see what they can do to solve it.

For those not attending the RSA Conference, I will provide a complete article describing this after the conference. Until then, here’s a little tidbit: Maxwell’s 30-second rule. Within 30 seconds of seeing someone, say something nice about him/her. This gives him or her attention, affirmation, and appreciation. This simple encouragement will help you become a “people” person.

By helping each other, we all become stronger.


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