From the President
Andrea Hoy, International President
There are two events in February.
First is the converging of 40,000 or so people—information security professionals, technical writers, exhibitors, and other networkers, many from across the globe—descending upon San Francisco, California: RSA. And the song, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” brings us to the second: Valentine’s Day, typically a day, or at least evening, we spend with our loved ones. Although some may be fortunate to share RSA and Valentine’s Day with their significant others, most of us will be spending it with our ISSA colleagues and friends. Either way, before you begin your Valentine’s Day evening, join us for libations and snacks at our annual ISSA Member Reception at the Moscone Center. Please take this opportunity to register a guest who might consider joining ISSA.
I want to take a moment to express some concerns that have been weighing upon me. We are an association of talented, enthusiastic, involved information security professionals. We have jobs and families that demand of our time, yet so many of us volunteer much of our remaining time to our association: committees, subcommittees, and boards at the chapter and international level, serving at the annual and local conferences, community outreach, and more, and even other organizations; and like all organizations, at times personalities can get in the way.
We are all carbon-based life forms with different concerns, agendas, and ideas. At times conflict between people has rippling effects over the decorum of a meeting or chapter, making some feel like quitting. Some say they just “shut down” or become “disenchanted” as their voice is no longer heard over the roar of a combative louder voice. The time and energy that could be spent on the betterment of the ISSA programs is lost, and friendships and the networking ISSA provides suffer.
It concerns me that along with the loss of a volunteer or a member comes the loss of many potentially good ideas. I ask that you try to change the dynamics of your meetings. Think about what benefits all our members over a single initiative of that group. Think of ways to make new opportunities available to others. Everyone has strengths; find a way to mature those strengths. Let’s keep our membership involved and growing.
On a brighter note, I am continually amazed with our chapters and their accomplishments.
The Puerto Rico Chapter inspires me with how they nurture their young student members. If you have the opportunity, visit the Columbia Central University Technology Lab, an incubator for potential information security professionals sponsored through the initiative of the ISSA Puerto Rico board. The only other sponsor is Microsoft. Also, in conjunction with their annual Puerto Rico Cybersecurity Conference, March 17, their first Financial SIG Summit will be held March16 at the La Concha Resort. Those interested in the financial sector should take advantage of this opportunity and then stay the next day for the conference of this award-winning chapter: ISSA Puerto Rico.
So this February remember that, yes, we have the technology, but it is the passion in our hearts and our belief in security that differentiate our security programs. It is our people.
Let’s keep our momentum going.