Showing posts from December, 2006

What Your Director of Information Security Wishes S/He Could Tell You (Part I)

A long title deserves a long post: Information System Security Directors (and Managers) must be adept at balancing corporate policies and business objectives with the ideals of security, and the idealistic security engineers who drive them. The most obvious example is when the Director must discern whether or not to recommend a particular system. Justification should be based on the return on security investment (ROSI) but follow-on discussions will be either to management in terms of costs, or to the technical team for the “cavernous holes it leaves in the infrastructure” as one security engineer put it. If one picks a middle road, one only serves to piss off both camps. When dollars are measured against subjective risks, it is understandable how different experts will come up with different recommendations, ROSI formulae not withstanding. The adroit Director of Security will be prepared to defend his specific position in the face of any management or technical opposition, an

The Future of Christianity I

First, a disclaimer: I am not a prophet. I do not claim to possess any special revelation from God. I also do not claim that we have any future beyond this moment which has been given to us. For this discussion I rely solely on the facilities that God gave me, and for them I am thankful! This article is best read with the understanding that "it" all could come to an end at any moment, thus making this whole shebang moot. Also, understand that I'm not taking a stand on issues herein, such as gays in the ministry. I'm merely using them to make my point. There are many debates within Christianity today. Some of them are things that ancient Christians probably couldn't even imagine. From questions about the ministry (the role of women and professed, practicing homosexuals ) to the science of a flat earth and a heliocentric solar system. My question for you is this: what sociological and scientific changes are likely to occur which will impact Christianity? F

Religion and Politics I: Making Statements

(Caveat: This article was written with the understanding that the "swearing on the Bible" is more of a tradition than anything else. The actual swearing in is apparently done on the floor of Congress) Keith Ellison, a Muslim from Minnesota elected to Congress, is making waves because he has chosen to be sworn in with his hand on a Quran, not a Bible. This article does quite a good job of covering the issue, as well as lambasting Dennis Prager, a conservative columnist and radio personality, for taking issue with this fact. Both men make good points (really, read the article for Clarence's view, which summarizes some of Dennis' points) but I'm not here to talk about it from a constitutional standpoint, nor from a politically correct tolerance perspective. One of my pet peeves is "making a point" at the expense of others. Bear with me for a moment and an example or two. I must admit that if I were elected (as a Christian) in a Muslim world, and I was

Quick note on Saddam and Iraq

So, popular opinion is now going against the War in Iraq. Even those in favor are wishing it had come out differently. I've got a quick story/question for you: A known armed robber is lurking outside a 7-11 with a hood on and his hands in his pockets. A policeman pulls up and asks to see his hands. The robber refuses, but says he doesn't have a gun. How many times is the robber allowed to deny the officer's request before the officer takes more drastic measures ? Somehow everyone seemed to forget that Saddam was acting guilty. I'm surprised that in the years since the War in Iraq started this simple fact has not been brought up by the proponents to defend their actions. I'm not a warmonger by any stretch, but after Saddam turned back the U.N. inspectors so many times and we finally invaded, I think most reasonable Americans were wondering "what took so long?" Yeah, maybe it didn't work out the way it was supposed to, but if one has a history of

Terrorists Amongst Us

No sooner did I post my " Airport Security Part I " comment when I saw in the news a foiled terrorist attack on a mall in Illinois. I am not surprised that "they" (being "us") caught an individual without any direct ties to a known terrorist group. Is he any different that the abortion-clinic bombers of the Christian right? He doesn't need a "group" to tell him what needs to be done, he simply plans and carries it out himself. We will be seeing many more of these. Some will truly be operating alone, and others will be more like Dick Reid (the "Shoe Bomber") who had some help, but are more of a small, expendable operation. Now here's where we get to the kicker. My intent was to say that the biggest difference between the Christian who bombs an abortion clinic and the Muslim who crashes a plane is that the Christian community condemns the Christian, while the Muslim community praises the Muslim. I felt confident saying this

Airport Security Part I: Security Lines

Airport security is much maligned in this country. Everyone from the joe standing in the security line wondering why he must throw away his water bottle and take off his shoes to the well respected security professional who has written tomes on everything from cryptography to hacking has besmirched the process. I must confess that I found myself in this crowd more often than not. As I stood in line sans shoes and liquids I'd glance around at the facility about me and identify a few ways a do-badder could beat the system depending on their funding, patience and goals. Inevitably, I would mentally get whatever items I needed through the screening process with a fair enough likelyhood of success that I felt quite comfortable joining the throngs of critics. Then, one day while I was on the road I had an epiphany: "Some of the best minds (don't laugh) have come up with this system. What am I missing?" Therein lay the key question. I had been mentally compromising airp


At one time I thought that I was some wierd anomaly, an intelligent person in information technology who was also a devout Christian. In 2005 and 2006 I had the opportunity to visit many companies and get to know the people heading up IT security at some of America's largest and most influential enterprises, and I discovered that many of these security departments were headed by active Christians. Not just "yeah, I believe in God and Jesus seemed kinda cool" Christians, but people who ( in their non-existent spare time ) are pastors and assistant pastors, youth leaders and praise band members. It's funny, but as much as these "hard core" Christians seem to get slammed in public, when it comes down to Corporate America (or even Governing America) needing to find someone with integrity to head up Information Security, they frequently find themselves choosing men and women of God. This blog (nay, ramble!) is where I can bring together (when appropriate) my t