Monday, 29 April 2013

The Disconnect between Security and Senior Management

There is often a fundamental disconnect between security professionals and senior management. As I have stated in a previous post about slips, mistakes and violations, if senior management don't 'buy in' to security then nor will the rest of the organisation and ultimately it will fail. Middle management want to be senior management and will model themselves on them, often seeing the breaking of rules as a mark of status. So, it is vital that senior management lead by example.

Unfortunately, it is often very hard to get senior management to 'buy in' to this concept and not have a 'them-and-us' attitude of there being those rules that apply to the rest of the organisation and those that apply to them. This is as much the fault of the security professionals as senior management though. Security professionals have spent so long saying "no" to everyone and stalwartly refusing to budge or see someone else's point of view that people have stopped listening and taking note. To be honest, rightly so.

If you want someone to change their point of view or come round to your way of thinking, by far the easiest way is to sell it to them as a positive thing that will be beneficial to them and 'bring them with you' rather than dictate. Saying "no" all the time is not positive and will ultimately fail as people will stop listening. Make it personal to them and put it in terms they understand. Relating security to risk and money will usually be more successful.

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