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Remembering a Model CISO

I met Robert Garigue a year ago at a luncheon in Chicago for the Security 7 Award winners. Robert was at my table, as were fellow honorees Stephen Bonner and Andre Gold. It didn't take long to ascertain who would carry the conversation at our table, and not because he craved the attention. No, it just gravitated to Robert because his opinions were so informed, his dialogue so pointed. It was readily apparent this man should be heard because his words weren't like what was being spoken at the time by other security professionals. That, and he was genuinely a nice man, one who asked if we'd be so kind as to send him a glossy print of his cover image so that he could present it to his mother for her home.

His death in January was a shock because he made such an immediate impression on all of us in the brief time we knew him. But to his colleagues, the grief was profound. Notes and email from many of them proved that he touched many lives, and a year later, it's appropriate to remember him in these pages with a sample of his work.

Doing some digging on our Web site, I came across a presentation he did for our 2004 Information Security Decisions conference on the evolving role of the CISO. It truly could stand as a thesis on the role of the corporate security officer. But one slide stands out best.

In it, Robert suggests the Emperor Charlemagne stand as a model CISOs should emulate. Charlemagne, Robert

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wrote, reunited Europe after the Dark Ages, established schools that were open to nobles and peasants. He brought scholars from all corners to encourage development of a standard script. He established money standards, urged new farming methods and spread education to all classes. He relied on others to build an infrastructure on which others could thrive.

There are lessons here, and it's fair to say, Robert followed them in his work and his studies. Perhaps Robert Garigue is a model more CISOs should emulate.

--Michael S. Mimoso

This was first published in October 2007

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