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Is Blogging About Government Security Safe?

May 12, 20083 mins
CareersData and Information SecurityIT Leadership

Is it safe to blog about security in government? That may sound like a pretty dumb question coming from a security blog that’s been around for over 18 months. And yet, I often get asked that question by Michigan technology staff and colleagues around the country. Now, Federal Computer Week (FCW) may have settled the question by announcing that “Government enters the blogsosphere.”

The FCW article describes the benefits of blogging and gives examples from the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA’s) support of customers via their blog. The article also gives tips on how to get started blogging and some items to think about in our Web 2.0 world.

Related articles list five excellent government blogs worth reading. (No, Lohrmann on GovSpace didn’t make the list.)

About two years ago I had an idea – start a blog about cybersecurity in government. Initially, I was told “not now.”  Later in 2006, CSO asked me to join their new blogging endeavors, and I received permission from my boss, and Michigan CIO at the time, Teri Takai.

I don’t regret getting into blogging – although I do feel pressure to post more often than my time permits. This became somewhat of a problem last fall and winter when I was knee-deep into deadlines regarding my upcoming book (Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web) which comes out in October. More on that topic in a later blog, but my point is that work, home and other priorities often conflict with frequent posting.

Contrary to popular opinion, I’d start slower (blog less often) if I did it all over again. You can see how often I used to blog by going back into the archives. I try to blog once a week now.

Yes, starting this blog was a bit of a risk, but CSO Magazine has been great to work with, and it opened up other opportunities. If you are so inclined, I say go for it.  If you want to start blogging about your security situation, here are a few things I’ve learned a long the way:

1) Make sure you have management approval.

2) Be professional – tell true stories with integrity, but don’t give out confidential information or details that could harm your company or your career.

3) When you want to say something controversial, give your opinion, but respect the other side and be fair (exact quotes and links can help).

4) Blog on your own time. I’m not being paid to blog (by anyone).

5) Have fun. If you don’t enjoy it, find something else to do. Time is precious.

It looks like government blogging is now “in.” So hesitant managers may now be open to new requests to blog. If they said no before, try again – and use this article or the FCW artcles, if you’d like help making the case.   


Daniel J. Lohrmann is an internationally recognized cybersecurity leader, technologist and author. During his distinguished career, Dan has served global organizations in the public and private sectors in a variety of executive leadership capacities, including enterprise-wide Chief Security Officer (CSO), Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) roles in Michigan State Government. Dan was named: "CSO of the Year," "Public Official of the Year," and a Computerworld "Premier 100 IT Leader." Dan is the co-author of the Wiley book, “Cyber Mayday and the Day After: A Leader’s Guide to Preparing, Managing and Recovering From Inevitable Business Disruptions.” Dan Lohrmann joined Presidio in November 2021 as an advisory CISO supporting mainly public sector clients. He formerly served as the Chief Strategist and Chief Security Officer for Security Mentor, Inc. Dan started his career at the National Security Agency (NSA). He worked for three years in England as a senior network engineer for Lockheed Martin (formerly Loral Aerospace) and for four years as a technical director for ManTech International in a US / UK military facility. Lohrmann is on the advisory board for four university information assurance (IA) programs, including Norwich University, University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), Valparaiso University and Walsh College. Earlier in his career he authored two books - Virtual Integrity: Faithfully Navigating the Brave New Web and BYOD For You: The Guide to Bring Your Own Device to Work. Mr. Lohrmann holds a Master's Degree in Computer Science (CS) from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a Bachelor's Degree in CS from Valparaiso University in Indiana.

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