Wednesday, June 1, 2016

"What are the most important characteristics of a great InfoSec professional in 2016?"

23 Information Security Leaders Reveal the Most Important Traits for InfoSec Pros in 2016

Digital Guardian compiled their responses to create a comprehensive guide outlining the most important characteristics for InfoSec professionals. (My contribution appears below. The additional 22 thoughtful responses appear here.)

"The single most important characteristic for successful InfoSec professionals in 2016 is..."


With this quality, an InfoSec professional will question the status quo, look for loopholes, seek new solutions, follow-up on red flags early on, and look at InfoSec from a holistic viewpoint.

The viewpoint is the most important element. It shapes all other aspects of the job. The inquisitive person will see their job not as an IT defender, but as a defender of information, no matter how it is generated, stored, or transmitted. The great InfoSec professional realizes all the data stored on the computers was available to the adversary long before it ever entered a database.

This holistic outlook takes into account the genesis of information. It may start out as a phone call, which may be wiretapped; a conference room strategy meeting, which can be bugged; unsecured written information left on desks or unlocked file cabinets, which may be easily photographed; information stored on a photocopier hard drive, which can later be reprinted; or on an unsecured Wi-Fi Appearance Point, or wireless printer, whose transmissions may be intercepted. The list of info-vulnerabilities is long.

In recent years, the rush has been to focus on IT security, and rightly so. But, in doing so, the gap between great InfoSec professionals and tunnel-visioned InfoSec managers has become wide and clear. Great InfoSec professionals, being inquisitive, see and handle the big picture. It isn't just computers. The real task is detecting and plugging any method by which information can leak out. Today's great InfoSec professionals defend accordingly. They are much more successful than their colleagues, who only put out fires.  ~Kevin