It was 20 years ago today…
Dan’s reflection on the past 20 years.
A Dan’s New Leaf post about predictions.
If you’re my age, the rest of the Beatles song, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” is now going through your head, thanks to the name of this blog post. You probably also remember Nine Eleven, or what I called 9-1-1 for way too long. And I’ll bet you remember the “economic downturn of 2008,” when some of us actually questioned the future of banking.
I’ll bet you do NOT remember where you were on July 24th, 2000, when I started working at Bucheri McCarty and Metz as their IT Manager, with a mission to help them found infotex.
I predicted, on that day, that this would be my last job.
If you are one of the many loyal followers of this blog, you may also remember me predicting things that didn’t come true. Like that Facebook would be a passing fad (just don’t let people access it from your network).
But I also predicted a few things right, too! That we’d all be working from home one day (I called the article, “Cottage Please.” ) I predicted that password aging was outdated (called that article “The Password Manifesto.”)
As a group, we predicted many things. We were not the only ones making these predictions at the time, of course, but we always found ourselves sorting out what eventually became information security best practices, predicting what our Clients would need. And we always predicted the reward would be worth the effort.
We predicted that the industry would benefit from an open source clearinghouse of snort signatures, when we founded bleedingsnort.com. We predicted the need for a Secure Messaging system (we actually followed-up on this predication by introducing Sifter Plus, a more sophisticated version of Sifter, our spam filter at the time.) That we could handle being in the FFIEC Exam program; that it would be good for us. That the FFIEC would release a new guidance to address the gaps between NIST’s cybersecurity guidance and existing bank regulation.
And we predicted the need for event log management – a predication that was first manifested in a system called LogMon. (Legend has it that our lead technical guy at the time, Matt Jonkman, had been to Jamaica that fall.)
(You can read the long version of our history here.)
But the one prediction Bucheri, McCarty, Metz and I made way back in July 2000, that came true, was that infotex could “Maintain a stable, growing culture that helps high quality Clients manage technology risk.” I admit that’s not the way we first worded the prediction. Heck, our first prediction was that small businesses would pay accounting firms to design technology plans. This, born out of a “thinker’s lunch” with Joe Cychosz. And then that healthcare organizations would rush right out to comply with HIPAA. But by the time we predicted that Paradigm Shift Security would be a good acquisition (the hiring of Matt Jonkman), we found banking.
But for at least the last eight years of Stacey and my owning infotex outright, “Maintain a stable, growing culture that helps high quality Clients manage technology risk,” has been our mission, our mantra.
Based on our experience with previous mission-destroying mergers, Stacey and I wanted to put as much emphasis on “culture” as we did on “growing” or “manage” or even “risk.” (But not Client. The focus ALWAYS stays on Client.)
And the prediction, that the reward would be the effort, came true. We found that the reward IS the culture itself. The reward is the greatest page on the internet: team.infotex.com.
While I cannot say that I predicted that Sean Waugh would be a leader of technical auditing, which he did, I did predict he’d be great with our Clients, which he is. And I predicted not only that Chad would be a great customer service person, but also that he would be a great NOC Manager and Network Administrator. And while I did not predict that Michael would become the “Curator of the Code,” I did predict he could give a talk, which led to him being the “Envoy From the SIEM” at our educational events.
And that Bryan and Matt and Adam and everybody else we have had the pleasure of working with would be leaders in their particular focuses. That we’d take a team approach to everything. That Stacey would keep our financial situation sound. That Sofia would take our “look and feel” to the next level. That Chris would be able to balance his two positions. That Ryan Hensler and T.J. Deckard would be the best vendors we’ve ever seen. That Eric and Jason at Virtual Innovations would make great partners, (because they put the Client first and all else comes second)!
Thank you everybody for the last twenty years of my life. Thank you for helping us realize our mission.
And if you want to get that Beatles song out of your head, consider listening to The GLBA Risk Assessment.
Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex
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