Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What Does It Mean to Be Secure?

That is a key question we must address in our attempts to seek security for the information we work with. Knowing where you are going or at least having a good idea what you are aiming at is an important part of knowing when you are there.

How many really have an idea of what they are aiming for in their information security programs? Of course "compliance" or "meeting outside requirements" is a powerful driver in some form for many. I haven't seen many, outside of information security professionals, who wanted to make things secure "because it was the right thing to do."

If that is the goal, then information security will be pushed aside once management thinks they have reached the checkoff. Even if the checkoff is not a spoken goal, other needs will push the priority of other actions, making the checkoff the goal in effect.

A better approach is to raise awareness, especially in management, of the value and therefore desirability for secure operations. While this will still not be a "get there and rest" goal, it will help keep the motivation for work up over the long run, rather than just lasting long enough to reach the compliance doorknob.

Yes, information security is a process, not a goal, but we all work toward goals, not processes. We need to make sure everyone has a better goal in mind if we want to keep the process going.

No comments: