Keeping My Own Agenda

6 years have passed since my last post appeared. I’ve been busy. I’ve stayed in touch with a few of you. I’ve had 3 children, many employers and a whole lot more experience in Security. Some of those employers haven’t liked me to blog, some have specifically disallowed it. I work largely for myself now, so I’m dabbling again. I still have 3 children, so possibly less regularly than previously.

So what’s happened in 6 years? Have I grown up? Well, maybe a little.

Last year I got asked to stand in at an event for a colleague after he let down the organiser at the last minute. The topic was IAM, which is at the periphery of Security (to me, please don’t fill the comments with your opinion on this), more Operational and certainly not central to most CISOs I talk to (not in this country anyway).

I was late for the first talk as I had missed a flight. The talk was not loaded onto the PC at the front. I was nervous, the presenting PC was not set up with a remote, so I had to sit down. During a talk I moderated, one speaker overran and I didn’t intervene as it would have been rude to do so in my opinion. I was nervous by this stage, and not enjoying myself. I was not doing Security, and I wanted out.

I was subsequently criticised for not preparing, which for someone as anal as me is quite a blow. It is also not true, unless you count 15 years of IT Security not being preparation for talking about IT Operations. OK, tongue out of cheek… I HAD prepared, but I was not talking about something I knew well, by request of the criticiser.

I recognise the criticism now for what it was, an idle comment by someone who had felt out of control, but it left me feeling out of control myself. Something which doesn’t happen easily.

I am now mainly engaged in Security strategy and consultancy work for a (very) large communications company as subject matter expert on a very large programme. I love it, every day. When the programme started, I have to admit I was not an expert in the particular topic, again. I was the one eyed-man in the kingdom of the blind however, and I have fantastic support from competent people around me. We are making fabulous progress, and I am made to feel like a genius daily or weekly.

I guess I have grown up then, not just by being a Dad to 3 insanely energetic boys, but by learning what is important to concentrate on. The most important message I can bring back from my time away is:
Don’t listen to anyone except yourself, unless they are saying nice things about you, in which case, don’t get big-headed.

Other people have their agenda, keep your own.

If someone is criticising you negatively, it is their problem, not yours. If someone is telling you how to improve, take it on board, but if you don’t WANT to do it, don’t. I have been told that I am not suitable for running a business, and yet I am running 3 to one extent or another (2 of which are profitable even!)

I was told that I couldn’t write at the age of 27, and yet I contribute to magazines, write exam questions for Security qualifications, this blog of course, and even have a few entries in books. One day I will write my own, but when I feel like it.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from IT Security: The view from here authored by Rob. Read the original post at: