Thanksgiving is a great time to eat, drink and reflect on the previous year.
This year I am thankful for:
Innovation. This is often overstated and has become a dirty buzzword, but I believe innovation in the space has driven solutions that are providing defenders a huge amount of value. From visibility and prevention, to automation and orchestration, the amount of infosec innovation this year has been amazing to watch. I believe we have hit a tipping point when it comes to effective tool sets to tip the advantage to defenders. Now we just have to rapidly deploy and operationalize.
Our growing community of defenders. People are the lifeblood of our industry. I get to fly all over the world to talk infosec and one of my favorite things to do is to get in front of the next generation of defenders – universities, high schools, middle schools. I’ve done talks for elementary classes. How awesome is that? We have cyber-patriot and other CTF challenges for young people interested in becoming cyber defenders. I really wish this program was around when I was younger but I remain grateful for the opportunity to help any way I can.
The Russians. This may be a controversial statement of gratitude, however I think it will make sense in context. The Russians have done more to put information security in the spotlight than we as defenders could ever have. They have revealed major flaws in systems we all depend on and care about. They have driven a larger conversation around hacking and cyber warfare. For years, we ran around and tried to educate people on these flaws. Hacking an election isn’t something the infosec community only started talking about this. It’s been a major talking point for a long time. However, it appears little was done to address the weaknesses. An old proverb states “The toughest steel is forged in the hottest fire.” As a fighter, you need an opponent to make you better to achieve your very best. You need to be punched in the face from time to time. You need a clear focus and vision to obtain your goals. The Russians have provided that. It’s not often that gratitude is extended to an enemy but, in this case, the Russians have given us everything we need to make the toughest steel. Let’s get to forging.