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When security debates forge unlikely friendships

Oct 25, 20112 mins
Data and Information Security

A Twitter exchange between security practitioners Josh Corman and Mike Dahn demonstrates how once-heated arguments can forge friendships that ultimately benefit the entire industry.

It’s been nearly two years since I covered a Corman talk where he compared PCI DSS to “the devil” and “No Child Left Behind.” At the time, he ruffled a lot of feathers among those who spent long hours helping companies with PCI compliance.

Mike Dahn — current director of Big Four Consultancy and formerly with Verizon Business — was one of them. Security blogger, podcaster and QSA Martin McKeay was another.

A back and forth on Twitter led to this debate on CSOonline.

It didn’t end there. More PCI debate panels followed. People on both sides of the argument met up at events across the country to keep talking. As they did so, they started talking to each other offstage and, slowly, they found common ground.

Now Corman and McKeay are working on the same team at Akamai. And, this morning, Dahn and Corman had this friendly exchange on Twitter:

@MikD: “Twitter feature request: detect when operator has consumed 2 much coffee & block them from tweeting. Thankfully this doesn’t exist.”

@joshcorman: “Is there really such a thing as too much coffee ;)”

@MikeD to @joshcorman: “We need more scotch related security meetups. Why are you not in Miami this week? p.s. keep blogging.”

@joshcorman: “@MikD had WAY too many conferences and trips through last week. Yes we need scotch-ups more often.”

Two years ago, I’m not sure they really enjoyed being in the same room. Now they’re talking about drinking Scotch together.

This is what happens when people keep the conversations flowing. After awhile, people become allies.

It’s very good to see in an industry where powerful egos often clash bitterly.

–Bill Brenner

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