It’s not just information security

The recent 2011 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study has some interesting things to say about working in the industry today. In particular, they note that people in the field tend to be overworked:

Information security professionals are stretched thin, and like a series of small leaks in a dam, the current overstretched workforce may show signs of strain.

This may certainly be true, but I don't think that this is limited to just the information security industry. Modern IT is getting to be a huge headache to support and maintain, and as large systems grow over time they become more and more like the Winchester Mystery House, that San Jose tourist attraction that was built by Sara Winchester from 1884 to 1922 at a cost of roughly $5.5 million.

Apparently, Ms. Winchester was concerned that the ghosts of people killed by Winchester firearms would kill her if she stopped construction of the unusual building. The result of this 38-year project is a 160-room house that's truly bizarre. It has only 17 chimneys for its 47 fireplaces. It has stairs that lead to the ceiling. It has cupboards that open onto brick walls. It even has a door on one of the upper floors that opens onto a drop straight to the ground below. Much of it doesn't make any sense at all. It seems to have built without much planning, and it was fairly expensive. In other words, it's just like today's computer networks. And doing anything with these networks is getting more and more difficult.

 Information security is about getting today's networks to work in a secure way. That's hard. But these days it's getting harder and harder to get them to work at all.

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