Editorial: A Long and Sad Goodbye (Q2 2022 Issue)

American poet William Carlos Williams once wrote that “time is a storm in which we are all lost.” I simultaneously adore and despise this notion. I love the sense that we are all hopelessly and romantically drifting around the ether, united by an atmospheric disturbance, surrendering to serendipity. On the other hand, I resent the lack of control we have, the way time is a currency that we cannot invest, save or inflate and the understanding that even if we find ourselves no longer lost, we still can’t magic more time.

My Grampy Ralph loved clocks. He used to buy old, broken second-hand clocks to fix, a novice horologist. He had somewhere between 50 and 100 in his house. I used to ask him what it was about clocks that he liked, but he’d shrug and say, “time waits for no one, my girl.” He was right.

Five thousand seven hundred and fourteen days, 816 weeks or 15 and a half years ago, I walked into Infosecurity HQ. More than 8.2 million minutes later, it is time to say goodbye.

In the time I’ve worked at Infosecurity, the United States of America has had four presidents, the United Kingdom has had five prime ministers, there’s been a global pandemic and don’t even get me started on Brexit.

On a more personal note, in these 5714 days, I have traveled to 29 countries, bought three houses and had two perfect babies.

On paper, and in numeric form, my tenure at Infosecurity has been long. The reality, however, feels anything but. Time has flown, sweeping me off my feet, sometimes in a way that feels like a warm, summer breeze; on other (luckily) less regular occasions, more like an aggressive tornado. It’s a cliché, but it’s true; time flies when you’re having fun.

Napa; Happy Place, Happy Team
Napa; Happy Place, Happy Team

It’s tempting to use this last editorial to celebrate Infosecurity’s achievements and milestones over the past 15 years, which, since we have been intrinsically linked for so long, are also my own, but I’ve resisted. I don’t want to celebrate me, I want to celebrate YOU. Yes, you.

I was promoted into the role of editor 18 months into the job when I was just 22 years old. I didn’t feel ready. In fact, I felt woefully under-skilled and under-experienced, and quite honestly, I was. My boss at the time insisted I take the leap. He backed me, and the rest, as they say, is history (thanks, Greg). As I look back on that time, the most remarkable thing is how the industry embraced me. With the exception of one CISO (who has since long retired), I was accepted, supported and welcomed. I had a degree in english language and literature under my belt and, being candid, very little knowledge of information security. I often considered myself ‘faking it,’ and truth be told, I sometimes still do.

We often muse about gatekeeping in the industry. I recently wrote a piece on the very topic for The Sunday Times. We also talk about the need for greater diversity and inclusivity. My story, however, is one of hope. I was a 22-year-old woman, a pure form n00bie, I knew next to nothing about information security, and I knew absolutely no one, yet I was accepted. More than that, I was welcomed.

Dream teams are hard to leave
Dream teams are hard to leave

Time is subjective. It passes differently depending on various factors. My time at Infosecurity has been a gift. I was recently asked why I gave the first 15 years of my career to one company, the implied suggestion that I’ve wasted time. Time you enjoy ‘wasting,’ however, is not wasted time. My answer to that question was simple: the people. I have worked in the most incredible teams. I have interviewed the most impressive, charismatic people. I have served an industry full to the brim with the brightest minds and the biggest hearts. Does the fact that I’ve been at Infosecurity for 5714 days mean anything? Not really. What matters are the moments within that period of time when we, and I, made a difference.

With that, I say an enormous, heartfelt thank you. To every colleague who has been there for me, taken a chance on me or simply made coming to work brighter, thank you. To my ride-or-die teammates (you know who you are), I will miss you. To every freelancer, client, interviewee, speaker and partner, you are the substance and the reason why Infosecurity is the most trusted and loved publication in the industry. Thank you. It takes a village, as they say, and you are that village. Finally, to you, our loyal readers, it has been an absolute honor to build the Infosecurity empire for you. With my hand on my heart, I can say that you are the inspiration for everything we write and everything we do – thank you. 

It's work really, I promise!
It's work really, I promise!

Time may be a storm in which we are all lost, but in the last 15 years, I never felt lost, I felt like I was exactly where I was meant to be, and that’s a testament to my team and our phenomenal industry.

I’ll be around a little longer, attending both RSA (San Francisco) and Infosecurity Europe (London). I hope to see as many of you as possible. This is my last editorial, my last magazine. It’s one minute to midnight (not literally), and all that’s left is to say, as I always do:

Keep reading, and take care. Eleanor x 

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