Betting on a fruitful 2009

Certainly, the election of the first African-American president in the U.S. and the long nomination process that finally led up to Barack Obama's win proved anything but boring. Indeed, to feel hope through such a momentous election is to embrace optimism, to shun hardened hearts.

This notable moment in our nation's narrative calls for reflection. While we review the year and its happenings, though, it makes sense to look forward. So, during our annual Reboot issue, we revisit the year's activities, call out the works of leading industry luminaries, and note our list of innovators.

Also, there's one feature scheduled for January's edition that I'm particularly looking forward to reading. Reporter Angela Moscaritolo has been researching just what industry leaders think might change for information security once President-elect Obama takes office. So far, much of the feedback has been positive. Many experts believe cybersecurity issues will get more play and that a national IT security leader will be appointed, reporting directly to the president.

Such a post is long due given the revolving door that so many of our leading industry experts have stepped through over the last several years, from Howard Schmidt and Richard Clarke to Amit Yoran and Andy Purdy. To have an official in place to strengthen the nation's critical infrastructure is essential, especially in times of market turmoil when cyberattacks grow in frequency and intensity. And even as some former political players want an end to market transparency by calling for the elimination of such mandates as Sarbanes-Oxley, other pundits foresee additional federal legislation focused on IT security issues gaining ground next year.

In other words, the information security space seems to be standing strong, even as the nation's economy continues its tumble. As Managing Editor Greg Masters reports in this issue, IT security vendors have yet to see a slowdown in sales.

Our specific market seems either to be holding steady or, contrary to the wider market, still growing. Cybercriminals will keep launching attacks and regulators will look to more vigorously enforce mandates to help safeguard critical systems. This means that IT security will persist as an unavoidable and much-needed program to be given the budget, resources and support it deserves.

So, with the information security marketplace looking positive despite a depressing economic backdrop, we wish you a profitable 2009. 

Illena Armstrong is editor-in-chief, SC Magazine.

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