Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

5/8/2009
03:12 PM
John H. Sawyer
John H. Sawyer
Commentary
50%
50%

Recession Opens Up Opportunities To Innovate

Information technology, and especially the area of security, is an ever-changing, dynamic field for work and research. That's one of the reasons I enjoy it so much; if I get bored with one thing, there's a dozen others I can focus on and come back to the previous thing later. But, we are in interesting times. Enterprises are cutting back IT budgets. Layoffs are happening all around us. Companies are consolidating. What does this mean to the infosec community?

Information technology, and especially the area of security, is an ever-changing, dynamic field for work and research. That's one of the reasons I enjoy it so much; if I get bored with one thing, there's a dozen others I can focus on and come back to the previous thing later. But, we are in interesting times. Enterprises are cutting back IT budgets. Layoffs are happening all around us. Companies are consolidating. What does this mean to the infosec community?As with anything, there are pros and cons. The cons are many and could be as devastating as experiencing a layoff personally and being forced to find new work. A friend who recently faced a layoff took the opportunity to use his severance and retool. He took several training classes, acquired new skills and certifications, then landed a job within about 6 weeks. His story is fortunate compared to others I've heard.

Recent studies show that security is doing better than the rest of IT but there are have definitely been cuts in budgets (see DR's "Security Suffers Cuts In Recession, But Fares Better Than The Rest Of IT"). I think the impact of these cuts on security groups provides an opportunity for innovation where it may not have occurred otherwise. The reason I say that is often companies throw money at security issues with the misconception that technology will fix a problem.

Not having the money forces companies and IT security groups to find alternatives such as using existing tools in ways not previously considered or turning to free and open source tools. Maybe that means you can save $25,000+ a year by using Metasploit Framework and other pentesting tools instead of commercial options. Or, maybe you use Spider or Find_SSN and Find_CCN for data discovery. The options are there, they just might be a little less fire-and-forget, but I think it forces you to get your hands dirty and learn more than just hitting a button and reading a report.

Similarly, groups that may have lost team members or were promised additional staff that can't be hired now are being forced to do more with less. They're having to learn to do different areas of security which means their skills will become more diversified, and while the workload may be increased and difficult, it will make them stronger and more marketable later.

And, yes, I do always look for the silver lining. Give me lemons and I'll make lemonade. In times of a recession like these where we're being accosted on so many fronts by negativity, let's turn it around and do something positive. It's time to innovate or be left behind.

John H. Sawyer is a senior security engineer on the IT Security Team at the University of Florida. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are his own and do not represent the views and opinions of the UF IT Security Team or the University of Florida. When John's not fighting flaming, malware-infested machines or performing autopsies on blitzed boxes, he can usually be found hanging with his family, bouncing a baby on one knee and balancing a laptop on the other. Special to Dark Reading.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-29370
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A UXSS was discovered in the Thanos-Soft Cheetah Browser in Android 1.2.0 due to the inadequate filter of the intent scheme. This resulted in Cross-site scripting on the cheetah browser in any website.
CVE-2021-3460
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
The Motorola MH702x devices, prior to version 2.0.0.301, do not properly verify the server certificate during communication with the support server which could lead to the communication channel being accessible by an attacker.
CVE-2021-3462
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A privilege escalation vulnerability in Lenovo Power Management Driver for Windows 10, prior to version 1.67.17.54, that could allow unauthorized access to the driver's device object.
CVE-2021-3463
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
A null pointer dereference vulnerability in Lenovo Power Management Driver for Windows 10, prior to version 1.67.17.54, that could cause systems to experience a blue screen error.
CVE-2021-3471
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-13
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Notes: none.