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August 2003

Showing executives the importance of information security

Like many of you, I've discovered that security has become cocktail party conversation. Inevitably, when I mention what I do for a living, people respond with something like, "Wow, business must be booming!" Yes, security is getting more media attention, but that doesn't necessarily translate into bigger budgets or, in the case of consultants and security vendors, more revenue. I've spent the better part of the last year trying to figure out why this disconnect exists, and I think I have the answer. In spite of everything that's happened, and no matter how hard we push, information security doesn't matter. Now, before the infosecurity mafia comes to revoke my credentials, let me clarify. Sure, security matters, especially to security pros. But most senior executives at Fortune 500 companies think about security in terms of physical security and business continuity, with a passing interest in computer security. There are obvious exceptions, but information security has yet to become the boardroom issue we'd hoped it would. Why? ...

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