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Breaking into the loop

2010/06/12

For those that don’t know, the first run of the InfoSec Mentors programme got off the ground this week. My mentee, Jacob (@BiosShadow), has released his first blog post, Being out of the Loop, since we were paired together and it has struck a chord with my own experience with similar problems and got me thinking at the same time.

To sum up Jacob’s post he his frustrated that there is no active infosec community within a reasonable distance of his location. I can relate to this sentiment; when beginning the slow road towards an infosec career, before I was even aware a legitimate career in the field were possible, my own interactions and learning opportunities were limited to reading books or online articles. The online infosec community is, in my opinion, great; and the debates, relationships and friendships that can be developed is something that I don’t think is found in any other industry, but you can’t fully replace the benefits from a face to face meeting.

One of the early mistakes I made was assuming that information security and computer threats were only of interest to those solely focused on information security. I’ve since discovered that different aspects of infosec can be of interest or concern to anyone in the IT or business arenas, and I’ve been involved in some interesting discussions and debates on information security with some very intelligent people at some of my areas flourishing IT user groups whose focus isn’t infosec specific. It was one of these groups, SuperMondays, that provided my first public speaking opportunity and despite my topic, honeypots, being quite specialist I believe the talk was very well recieved.

Since first finding SuperMondays I have continued to discover a great and vibrant IT community in my region (NorthEast England), and I’m continually surprised when I continue to stumble upon other groups in the area like the Northern UK Security Group (must find time to travel across to Manchester) and I am eagerly awaiting the local-ish OWASP chapter from Leeds heads North to Northumbria University next Wednesday.

If you feel the same frustations as Jacob and myself (and others), throw a message out on twitter or your blog etc. letting people know who and where you are. You just might be surprised to find others in your area with the same problems.

For my part: If you’re in the North East of England (or general area) get in touch and let me know, always keen to discuss information security with anyone willing to listen.

–Andrew Waite

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Categories: Event, InfoSec
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