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January 2003

Taking action: Understanding the importance of information security

The British have a marvelous word-- "whinging"--which refers to the practice of complaining without doing anything about it. As in, "Everybody whinges about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." We may not all call it by this name, but security practitioners in every country love to "whinge," because it's so much easier to whinge about a problem than try to fix it. Nobody understands how important security is. We never get the budget and respect we deserve. The CIO won't listen to us... Any of this sound familiar? Over the last few years, the volume of infosec whinging has been deafening, thanks in part to the legions of newbies whose expectations don't square with reality. Even after the high-tech meltdown, the vendor space is filled with goofy products developed by technologists who don't know the difference between need and demand. One unintended consequence of this trend is that thousands of bored employees have become convinced that infosec is a really happening place, characterized by astronomical salaries and ...

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