Cyber Security Versus Physical Security: Smackdown!
Two former colleagues square off to debate the division of roles and responsibilities of security leaders.
February 01, 2003 — CSO — George Campbell doesn't pull punches. Trust us. After CSO's first issue was published, the former CSO of Fidelity sent us a terse missive about what he thought was a fundamental flaw in our approach to covering CSOs. We were focused too narrowly, he said, on the tactical CISO role and not the strategic CSO role.
In fact, Campbell views that bias as a sort of epidemic spreading through the security community. He's concerned when he observes that CISOs have "captured" the title of CSO without really having the requisite skill set. And he's frustrated by what he views as "intellectual arrogance" on the part of IT-centric information security officers. (OK, he actually calls them "propeller heads," but they started it, he says, by suggesting that CSOs are just retired cops who don't understand technology.)
Of course, we couldn't resist a good fight. To that end, we had to find a counterpart to Campbell, a CISO who would go head-to-head with him. We got Georgia Student Finance Commission CISO Bill Spernow. To our delight, we learned that Spernow once worked for Campbell at Fidelity. So it wasn't a surprise when Campbell started the conversation, which Senior Editor Scott Berinato moderated, by saying, "I'm surprised your parole officer let you do this, Bill." Spernow ended the conversation by tipping his hat to his old mentor: "Good to see you're still out there making people uneasy, George."