We all need to shout louder

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We all need to shout louder

As the security community starts another year, it is time to take stock of significant accomplishment. According to the second annual (ISC)2 Global Workforce Study, we are becoming a domain in our own right. Ultimate accountability for information security is moving away from IT and the CIO to CSOs and CEOs. There is also an entrenchment of the security department, with 20 per cent of respondents having direct reporting lines here.

Further, nearly three-quarters of respondents expect their influence within their organisations to continue to increase over the next year. And budgets are growing, fuelling a growth in the workforce of 8-9 percent annually to 2009.

We are being heard, despite being measured by the silence that accompanies the absence of security breaches, but we should think about how and why we should be heard more widely.

Contrary to persistent belief, effective security is not a technology issue. It's a people issue. To accomplish our aims, we rely on the awareness and behaviour of the staff who deliver our services, the customers who take advantage of them, and the board that grants us our budgets.

According to the Study, many of us spend a lot of time fighting political battles and selling our value to management. But do not begrudge this. The most senior of us should spend up to half our time communicating and managing our contribution to the business, recognising that it is part of our job not only to manage upward, but outward too. We have to concern ourselves with what motivates our stakeholders.

The whole security team needs to work collaboratively with business units: participating on strategy committees, presenting risk analyses, and reporting accomplishments of common objectives. By shouting louder and wider, we can turn politics into successful planning.

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