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From the President

 

ISSA International President Keyaan Williams

2018: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

It is my pleasure to wish a Happy New Year to all of our ISSA members and friends.

According to EarthSky, “Our modern celebration of New Year’s Day stems from an ancient feast in honor of the Roman god Janus—god of doorways and beginnings. Janus was depicted as having two faces. One face of Janus looked back into the past, and the other peered forward to the future.” 1 This month’s Journal is similar to the Janus celebration in that we are reflecting upon the best of last year while we look forward and prepare for all that 2018 has to offer.

Headlines from last year demonstrate that 2017 was a year full of surprises. Many difficulties and challenges had to be overcome, not just in information security, but in all aspects of life. Wars continue in the Middle East, and the threat of a new war looms in Asia. Political upheavals occurred at all levels of government in many countries. We have yet to realize whether these upheavals will be beneficial or detrimental, but the changes are affecting political relationships on a local, national, and global scale. Some countries successfully began the process of secession from a union in 2017, while petitions for independence for other countries were denied.

Natural disasters captured headlines with widespread damage caused by earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, and drought. Cybercrime rose, and old threats like ransomware took on new life. Even for the ISSA, we saw numerous changes. We had an unexpected change in leadership and an end to the long relationship with our management company. We also said farewell to a few chapters who closed their doors in 2017.

With all that happened last year, the story is not all doom and gloom. Much of what to consider part of the best of 2017 is the response provided for all these challenges. Where wars persist, the commitment to liberty and the end of terror has not waned. Where politics has become a distraction, the truth has come to light, and political leaders are being held accountable for their actions. Where natural disasters have destroyed communities, people came together to support each other and begin to rebuild the affected areas. Where cybercrime was a menace to everyone, ongoing investment in people, processes, and technology responded to this growing threat. Where the ISSA has changed—often unexpectedly—the International Board of Directors, chapter leaders, and our membership continue to do all we can to support the successful execution of ISSA’s mission to develop and connect cybersecurity leaders globally.

I rarely make predictions or forecasts for the future. However, I am optimistic that 2018 is going to be a great year, especially for the security profession. We learned a lot in 2017. We learned about the dangers of complacency and a failure to invest in fundamental security controls. Many compromises that occurred in 2017 were avoidable with the right controls and processes in place.

Now that people outside of the security profession have a newfound respect for the work that we do, it is more likely that they will heed the recommendations of security professionals and apply the controls and practices that are required.

In summary, I think 2018 is going to be a great year for the security profession. Happy New Year!

~Keyaan Williams

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1/25/2018 » 1/26/2018
January CISO Forum Scottsdale 2018

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2/6/2018
February 2018 Women in Security - Denver Chapter




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