Security News > 2002 > November > Security training for IT managers

Security training for IT managers
2002-11-18 13:27,10801,75940,00.html By Peter H. Gregory CISSP, CISA NOVEMBER 15, 2002 In my first column, I wrote about how IT managers must think intuitively about security in the enterprise. In the broadest sense, there are two ways that an IT manager can acquire this needed wisdom: through on-the-job training and through formal and informal learning. Learning by doing and by making mistakes was the norm in the 1990s, but nowadays IT managers are expected to know information security best practices and how to apply them in their enterprise. In other words, knee-jerk security is no longer acceptable (if it ever was); rather, every IT manager is expected to know what measures need to be taken proactively to protect the organization's information assets. But an IT manager's intuition must go beyond firewalls, intrusion detection, VPNs and antivirus software. While these are compulsory in nearly every environment, IT managers must also understand how technology supports the organization and how the organization uses information to conduct its operations. This is the realm where the IT manager needs to understand the risks associated with IT and how to influence organizational decision-makers in order to ensure that the organization isn't exposed. For IT managers fortunate enough to still have a travel budget, there are some excellent conferences packed with learning opportunities to meet IT managers' needs. I'll describe some of the better conferences here. The Computer Security Institute's NetSec conference, to be held in June in New Orleans, offers a rich assortment of learning opportunities. That is in addition to the CSI's outstanding conference that was held this week. The SANS Institute, formerly known for its practitioner-only training and topics, offers management tracks at its larger conferences. There is an Information Security Officer Training track at the Cyber Defense Initiative conference in San Francisco in December. This track includes training in security management, policy and the concept of defense. The SANS 2003 annual conference in San Diego offers the Information Security Officer Training track and also a Security Leadership Essentials Bootcamp for Managers track. The San Diego conference has 12 tracks in all, so like the CSI conferences, there are opportunities to dip into more technical topics. The MIS Training Institute (MISTI) holds an annual security conference called InfoSec World Conference and Exposition. The next one will be held in Orlando in March. Like CSI and SANS, there are plenty of sessions for IT managers. One of the nice things about the CSI and SANS conferences is that an IT manager can duck into any of the hands-on sessions to learn more about specific topics, even if others perform the hands-on work. Insight into the work that one's staff performs is always a good thing. One often-underused benefit of conferences is the opportunity to network with other IT managers. However, based upon the numbers of technical and management tracks at CSI and SANS, one might suppose that one in 10 conference attendees is a manager. Research firm Gartner Inc. hosts security conferences especially for those at the manager level and above, so at these conferences you're certain to meet your peers. In 2003, there are two conferences scheduled, one in May in Chicago and one in September in London. Other organizations holding security conferences include Giga Information Group Inc., which has its Infosecurity conference in December in New York, and the Information Systems Audit and Control Association & Foundation. And the InfoSec World Conference and Expo has a CISO Executive Summit -- perhaps a bit above the clouds for most IT managers, but nonetheless a place where the top security leaders are invited to gather, share and learn. There are a host of smaller regional security conferences that might be closer to where you live and work. One such event is the SecureWorld Expo, to be held in Baltimore, Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, Minneapolis and Houston in 2003. I will discuss security certifications for managers in my next column. Future columns will discuss books and other resources and some of the fundamental truths about information security that will help the IT manager make good technology and business decisions. - ISN is currently hosted by To unsubscribe email majordomo () attrition org with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.

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