Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Into the breach

Unfortunately, I have not had much time to read lately. The only time I really get to see a book is just before bed and then I usually don't read more than a few pages. Because of this, I was a little skeptical to take on two new titles: the new school of information security and Into the Breach. The latter one is at the top of my current reading stack for a number of reasons. First of all, Michael handed it to me personally at Defcon. Secondly, because it has much less pages, and the chances that I actually finish the book are somewhat greater.

Having said that, I just finished part 2 of the book and my opinion of the book is already a very positive one. Santarcangelo captures the true essence of modern information security: information exists to serve users, and users just want to get the job done. Most people are truly willing to do the right thing, but they need to be enabled and empowered to do so.

When a person is confronted with having to chose between finishing the job in a timely enough fashion for senior management to proceed, versus full and unquestioning compliance with information security controls that might prevent him from getting the job done, it is clear what that choice will be.

Just realizing that is paramount.

Information security must never get in the way of doing business.

And yes, that implies that an information security officer must actually know what the business is all about and how it is conducted.

Essential truth: Never say No.



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