If you're attending SOURCE Boston, there's a discussion Thursday at 11 a.m. you should attend. It deals with a subject we've been working hard to address at Akamai: burnout in the security industry, and how we can make things better by tapping into the better angels of our nature.
This is part of a larger effort in the security community to tear out the root causes of security burnout and the resulting depression that has led to far too many suicides among our peers. It's a cause I've been doing everything in my power to promote in my personal blog, "The OCD Diaries" -- particularly in the following posts:
- The Information Technology Burnout Project
- Friends of the Gifted Need to Learn Suicide Prevention Tactics
- Mental Illness in Cybersecurity
- Assessing Suicide Risks and Learning Intervention Tactics
These posts demonstrate the good work many in the security community are doing, including Amber Baldet, Joshua Corman, and Jack Daniel. (Many more are involved in the effort, and I apologize to those whose names I left out.)
Akamai InfoSec's own Christian Ternus has been on the front lines as well. He's been the driving force behind our Humanity in Security effort (see the related podcast link above) and brilliantly captured the root of the problem some months back in a post from his "Adversarial Thinking" blog. He writes of the security industry's "jerk problem" and how it eats people alive.
That brings us to the topic of this morning's discussion: how to inject a kinder, gentler approach to the profession.
The IT Burnout Project has done a great job of letting the industry know there's a problem. Amber Baldet has taken it a step further by sharing the intervention skills she has learned as a suicide prevention advocate.
Now we need to look at the root of the problem: the tendency of people in the industry to verbally beat on each other and look down on the tech users in their companies as the lowest form of life. It's high time we learned the art of kindness and humility.
I hope you can join us.