Keynote speakers at the ISSA-LA security professionals' conference urged practitioners to move beyond their self-defending posture and take it upon themselves to make real progress in security defense.
Alan Paller, head of the SANS Institute, said the notion that CEOs don't understand the importance of cybersecurity has become a myth.
"CEOs don't need to be persuaded, contrary to what people say," Paller said. "The problem is that they're not buying your proposed solution."
Top executives are looking for a specific action plan that shows not only what the enterprise must do to protect its data, but also puts limits on spending and resources, Paller said. Many security strategies are poorly defined, leaving management uncertain about how to prioritize and take action, he noted.
In a separate session, renowned executive and leadership coach Chris Coffey urged security professionals to spend less time considering their positions and take action.
"People tend to follow Newton's laws of physics," Coffey said. "Those that are at rest tend to remain at rest. Those that are in motion tend to remain in motion."
Rather than spending too much time planning and prioritizing, Coffey said, security professionals should "pick something and do it."
"Our default position in life is not happiness or meaning," Coffey said. "It's inertia. To reach those goals, you have to overcome that inertia with action."
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