What It Takes to Be a CSO - Page 2

By eweek  |  Posted 2002-07-01 Print this article Print

eWeek: Does a government background make you well-suited for private-sector security work?

Boni: Government can be a solid background, but I wouldnt assume its the only one or necessarily the best. When youre dealing with military or law enforcement, they have different priorities. It can be difficult for people who come from those hierarchical and authoritarian organizations to deal with persuasion and to influence management effectively. If Im working in the military, I can [make you do as I tell you to, or else I will] handcuff you and take you to jail. In the public sector, security kicks in because peoples lives are at stake. In the case of business, youre rarely dealing with criminal offenses or life-and-death issues. Youre more dealing with how this will impact business opportunity positively or negatively.

[The private sector] has its own pressures and responsibilities. [You may] face the prospect of being summoned to the CEOs office to explain how the companys premier Web site was defaced or the production line was brought down by the impact of a computer virus impacting inadequately protected machines. The pressures are real and constant.

eWeek: Motorola is second only to IBM when it comes to churning out patents in this country. Considering how much information you have to protect, you must have one of the least-boring jobs in IT, yes?

Boni: You cant anticipate any given week whats going to happen. Its a combination of change in technologies and in the risk environment. They all ... keep you challenged and growing. Youre always having a chance to learn and grow.

This is the job I trained in and worked toward for 25 years. Im now in the position of living the role I always dreamed Id be able to do in a leading technology company. Anybody who aspires, its possible to do it. It may take time and effort, but keep focused, and youll have the chance to make the contribution I dreamed of making.

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