(ISC)² Americas Information Security Leadership Awards 2011 took place yesterday. To my complete surprise, I received a special recognition award for community services! Wow, have you ever had the feeling you realized something about yourself just because someone told you?
There is nothing more enjoyable in life than being surrounded by highly motivated and passionate individuals. Performing community services is fulfilling and important: we all know there is a lot to do in application security and I believe we, the practitioners, have a social responsibility to help our communities.
Unfortunately, sometimes I see people leaving not-for-profit organizations because their bosses actively discourage this type of “distraction”. My personal experience as a manager and a practitioner is that these community services and work for an enterprise are symbiotic. In fact, all my staff at Symantec is encouraged to engage in this type of activity. This is a great way to retain, train and acquire talented employees. It’s good for the individual, the business, and the community. I hope other companies start to see things this way.