Security 7 Award winners tackle important information security issues


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building relationships
Relationship Expert by Mark Burnette

Throughout my career, many of my work experiences have been created through business relationships I've developed with my peers and other security leaders. My first invitation to go into the boardroom came about because my company's external auditors suggested to the CFO and CIO that information security would be a relevant topic of discussion for the audit committee. Of course, the exposure to my company's senior executives through my board presentation proved invaluable in furthering many of the security initiatives we were working toward.

Several jobs I've held were offered to me because of relationships I made with someone working at those organizations. Each job provided even more opportunities to build relationships with coworkers and vendors, which provided additional learning opportunities and career development. In each role, effectively collaborating among teams and implementing security technologies in innovative ways has been a key tool for building rapport and strengthening ties among IT staff.

For example, when we rolled out a SIM at one company I worked for, we provided the remote IT teams with view-only access to the event console; this gave

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them additional visibility into their environments. More importantly, this gave them a sense of ownership of the initiative and the tool, helping ensure their ongoing support for our critical monitoring initiative, which otherwise risked being viewed as "big brother" spying on them. In another organization I worked for, a strong relationship with the legal department provided the support needed to get a critical compliance initiative funded.

I am honored to win the Security 7 Award. There are many leaders within the security profession who are deserving of this recognition. The interesting thing about being recognized by your profession is that you have to be nominated by someone who believes you worthy of recognition, which, like most other opportunities, stems from the development of strong working relationships. I guess that Junior Achievement guy was pretty sharp indeed.


unwinding with ... sitcoms
Big fan of "According to Jim," "Two and a Half Men" and his all-time favorite, "Coach."

hometown team
Favorite professional sports franchise: Tennessee Titans

what you don't know
Biggest security worry is the unknown: "If a risk is known, even if it isn't adequately addressed yet, it can be quantified and communicated. [Unknown risks] are ones that can really bite an organization."

he's got pipes too
Sings in an a capella quartet, and harbors dreams of being a professional vocalist.


This was first published in October 2008

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