Network Security

Take the ride: 25 years of covering IT security

For this year's annual Reboot edition, we took the opportunity to look back not just on the last 12 months, but the last 25 years SC has been entrenched in the information security space. 

Admittedly and right up front, attempting to condense all the noteworthy professionals and significant events that have played essential roles in developing this industry over the last quarter of the century is folly. What silliness must have gripped us in this editorial bullpen to think that we'd be able to cite every great mind and pivotal happening that played some vital role in evolving the information security market? 

To be sure, covering all those many years and the countless people who lived and worked through them to help get us to today is near impossible to achieve given such a finite space. But, what we did do was to call out at least 25 of this industry's leading minds who drove forth pioneering ideas to create ways to safeguard critical data, devise better methods and processes to address threats and risks, and forge ahead to lead or be a part of the many IT security teams fighting the good fight every day. It is far from a comprehensive list and we confess freely that there likely are countless others who easily could argue for a place in it. 

In addition to highlighting 25 pros for their leadership in IT security, we've also done what we typically try to do in our annual round-up edition: Look back at central happenings, reviewing the good, bad and funny; make some educated guesses with the help of industry experts about what we can expect to see in the next 12 months; and, for our product section, create our list of Innovators to keep an eye on over the next year.

In our future, we'll see more of the same, say experts. Differences might arise in our approach to risk management planning and data security, but this will depend, of course, on the choices we make. A crucial one will be “combating fatigue with facts,” says Jack Daniel, strategist for Tenable Network Security.

To explain a little further, he says that while vulnerabilities, various attack methods and other threats abound and will continue to do so, the biggest problems for information security pros are – and will continue to be – “complacency and distraction.” To overcome these and the “breach fatigue” that is sure to arise next year, “calm, thorough and rational analysis of the next big thing can drive rational reactions to the news and allow us to combat fatigue with facts.”

Complacency or discontent, distraction or focus – these are cycles each of us goes through. The idea, I suppose, is trying to sustain the more beneficial of those behaviors so that they become almost rote for us, compelling real and beneficial improvements and change for both us and the environments in which we work (and play, for that matter). Whatever of these characteristics or mannerisms each of us chooses to embrace, however, this particular marketplace's primary trait will continue to be one of quick-paced advancement. And, as part of that, the various challenges we face surely will intensify. 

Looking back on these last 25 years, it has been one “epic ride,” as we state in a feature headline of this edition. Naturally, that ride continues and I, for one, am down for the trip. 

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