My opinions are my own because no one else would want to claim them!

My worlds colliding

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In the last couple of weeks I am realizing that my two worlds are colliding more and more. I think since I joined twitter well over 18 months ago (?) I have tired to keep my work and on-line personality separate. That is not to say that if you had time and the inclination that it would be difficult to find me from originating on either side. I first realized this last year when I gained some followers from work which I am surprised. Actually, what surprises me is that I have any followers at all!

That being said I was in a different place when I first joined Twitter. I am currently working at a large $vendor which allows me opportunities that I didn’t always have before to speak in my professional persona. I try to find time to do other things that may (probably not) allow me to speak with my personal/on-line/twitter persona such as things I do on my own time or organizing BSIDESCHICAGO or help BURBSEC or whatever.

So where I am going with this?  I wanted to make a few comments/rules/disclaimers:

  • The opinions and information  on this blog/twitter/Silent-Chaos/etc are from my own brain and belong to me.  They are not the thoughts or opinions of my $employer. So how do you tell the difference? In my personal persona I will always introduce myself by my handle “securitymoey” or simply by my name as well as disavow $employer.  If using my professional persona, I will alway introduce myself by my full name and identify the company that I work for.
  • My tweets are most times all over the board from random thoughts about risk, RTs on cool stuff people are working on, conversations about random things, and things that probably no one else besides me care about (#vanitytweet).  Not all or any of my tweets (or blog postings) are Info Sec tech gold nuggets nor do I care them to be…you get me and my random thoughts.  This is a social media so engage!
  • My negative tweets are usually about the politics of working for a large organization.  If you have ever worked at one you know that you can identify with DILBERT, Office Space, etc.  They are never about my clients. I actually like my clients that I work with on a regular basis; they are good people trying to do the right thing for their companies which I respect.
  • I may offend you but if that is the case please don’t follow me.

I love the Info Sec community!  Even with the drama and smack talking this is a fun place to because of the ideas that get exchanged and the unbiased encounters/conversations that you have with people it’s great.  I hope never to lose that.  To quote James Arlen, ” I have a job and I would like to keep it”; these opinions are my own!

The 2 best pieces of Info Sec career advice I gotten….so far

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I am sitting in my home office eating the kids Halloween candy, this morning I actually had to put on my fleece and even the local radio station is taking request for Christmas music…if you were on the east coast you were hit with some snow; all this points another changing of the seasons.  While I should be thinking about getting everything ready for the projected rough winter ahead I find my mind drifting to my former boss, Al M.,  who passed away about a year ago now.  A mere 2 weeks after this retirement, this great kind man in his mid 50s, passed away.

This post is not written to make you depressed but to reflect on 2 pieces of advice that Al passed on to me in only a way that he could have.

(1) If someone ask you if you are a god….you say YES – This was earlier in my info sec career where people were asking for my approval.  In my sys/net admin background, I was not accustomed to providing “approvals” on things so I asked him 3-4 times if I could provide my approval; his response was “if someone ask you if you are a god you say YES”. While it came from a common favorite movie, it was something that was a little deeper.  He later told me that people are put into roles based on their talents and that you have to realize that. There are several ways people have authority and one is it is given to you.  Be confident in yourself  to use your authority and make sure you continue to earn additional talent/authority.

(2) The avalanche is half way down the mountain…get out of the way – I was in turmoil over a situation at work and desperately trying to change the situation when we were at the pub talking about it.  He turns to me and says “the avalanche is half way down the mountain just get out of the way”; I choked on some of my beer but I woke up the next morning relieved.  I had been working desperately trying to set direction but that sometimes elements are bigger than you and your pay grade.  His advice was about taking a step back and realizing what is happening not just the work but the politics, personalities and issues.  Be the change but do so wisely.

Well I have to go back to work now but just wanted to jot down some thoughts… Have a great day!!!

A Dilbert Al would have enjoyed….