By Bill Brenner
March 02, 2010
SAN FRANCISCO -- It used to be that security practitioners were seen as
propeller-hat wearing introverts hunched over computers in dark, cold
basements for weeks on end, shunning daylight and anyone who tried to
start a conversation with them. Times have changed. But the path to
respect isn't always what you'd expect.
Thanks to the blogosphere, social networking sites and podcasting made
easy, many security pros are taking on a much more public persona,
becoming near-rock stars. Evidence of this can be seen in abundance at
this week's RSA conference and the nearby Security B-Sides event.
True, many security pros still prefer the quiet, isolated life. It's
also true that the introvert tag was never a fair fit for many people.
But several conference attendees acknowledged theirs has become a much
more public profession. It's a necessity, they say. To truly improve
security, people need to be out there communicating the threats computer
users face and how to take the proper defenses.
Andrew Hay, information security analyst at the University of
Lethbridge, opened Security B-Sides with a talk about his life on the
"Security D-List" and the four pillars one can use to move higher up the
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