Ten Years Gone (Editorial from Q4 2013)

A lot can happen in a decade, as the latest 10th anniversary issue of Infosecurity is testament to. Happy birthday to us!

To celebrate ten years of Infosecurity magazine, we’ve put a spotlight on the acmes and evolution of the information security industry since 2003, when Infosecurity was first published, originally under the title'Infosecurity Today'. To put it in perspective, in 2003 Facebook and Twitter didn’t exist, the iPhone (let alone the iPad) had yet to be launched, and Infosecurity magazine didn’t have a website.

Of the ten years that Infosecurity has been a news and knowledge resource for the information security industry, I’ve been around for seven and editor for five and a half.

When researching for his ‘10 Years of Infosecurity’ feature which features in this issue and will shortly be available on demand, Drew asked me for five developments, news items or events from the last ten years that I believe to be the most significant. Engaging my memory wasn’t the problem – picking only five, however, was very challenging.

I look at this question through a different lens than the industry professionals who read our magazine. Game changers for me are the news stories, breaches or developments that have altered the perception of the industry and the discipline through the eyes of those within the infosecurity world, and those on the outside.

In 2006, when I joined the magazine, information security was, in the view of the general public, ‘something that geeks worry about’ at best, and ‘something completely unknown and alien’ at worst. Thanks to the likes of Edward Snowden, HMRC, Sony, Anonymous, and the numerous changes in Facebook’s privacy policy, information security is now a ‘household discipline’, for want of a better phrase.

Even those not practicing information security knowingly are aware of the issues around data security, privacy and ID theft. It’s actually rare these days to read the national news without stumbling across a story with information security connotations.

The evolutions in technology and capabilities of the internet have advanced at such speed over the past ten years that the information security industry has been catapulted along for the ride. In order to ride this wave in the most successful and profitable manner, the industry needs to consciously speed up, ensuring that it is side by side through every step of that journey, completely in control of its own progression.

Of course, the publishing industry has experienced its own dramatic sea-change in this same ten-year period. As print advertising declined, and demand for information in real-time and accessibility regardless of geography grew ever-more intense, Infosecurity gradually reduced the quantity of print issues published and launched a news website and lead generation program that has grown exponentially. Today, infosecurity-magazine.com reaches hundreds of thousands of IT security professionals on a monthly basis.

The anniversary issue is also home to my article on women in information security (available online very soon); a feature I’ve wanted to write since 2006. Whether or not gender needs to be discussed as an issue is widely debated. The women I interviewed for this feature are able to share so much technical knowledge and expertise into all of the topics we cover as a magazine, that I almost hesitated to ‘waste time’ by asking about gender and what it means to be a woman in technology.

But this industry is notoriously bad at marketing itself, and perhaps guilty of under-representing the many wonderful women who work in it. If only a handful of women contemplating a career in information security read this article and are inspired by the stories and advice of the females who shine in the industry today, then it’s a conversation worth having.

This article isn’t about positive discrimination. These women don’t need it to succeed in this industry – they can do that all on their own, as my interviewees prove. It’s about marketing the industry, it’s about story-telling, it’s about mentorship and giving a voice to those who deserve the page space.

I enjoyed researching and writing this article immensely, and would like to thank all of those who spoke to me so openly and honestly on this potentially controversial topic. I hope I’ve done you justice.

Looking back on the last ten years as an industry and as a magazine has made me realize how far we’ve come. From niche to mainstream, from script kiddie to hacktivist, from desktop to tablet…it has been one hell of a decade!

I hope you’ve enjoyed the ride as much as I have.

Here’s to the next 10 years.
Eleanor Dallaway, Editor

 

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