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Curated Catalyst for July 21, 2013 • thinking, learning, and influencing change

Jul 21, 20133 mins
Technology Industry

A short list of articles curated to provoke thinking and purposefully cross-pollinate diverse solutions in the field of information security.

Each week I seek out and explore ideas across different disciplines. Each weekend, I share a handful of articles in the effort to purposefully cross-pollinate solutions in the field of information security.

I’m going to continue to play with this space. Send me feedback and suggestions and I’ll keep advancing each weekend.

This week, three articles recommended to read and reflect on:

Five Elements of Effective Thinking | Farnum Street


What I took away from it:

When we get trapped into our routines, we sometimes forget to think about things. Therefore a quick reminder to think about thinking is a simple way to step back – especially before the new week begins. The first suggestion is significant. Especially with the complexity of security. Which of the five elements will you work on this week? 

San Jose State suspends collaboration with online provider | Los Angeles Times,0,4160941.story


What I took away from it:

Online training is complicated. My larger clients are pushing to bring more in-person solutions online. I agree with the need, and have started to consider how an online transformative experience is necessarily different than an in-person experience. It requires different ways of delivering consistency of information, experience, and outcome. This program is among the first that publicly admits a struggle with the conversion to an online approach. 

I realize the sample population in the article may not seem like a direct comparison. That was my initial impression. Then I thought about it a bit more, and realized that while it may explain some of the results, it doesn’t diminish the findings. We’re likely to run into a host of similar challenges in bringing effective security education and experiences online.  What do you think? 

Could you pass this in-house counsel’s tech test? If the answer is no, you may be losing business | ABA Journal – Legal Rebels


What I took away from it:

I love the idea of using a evidence-based approach to assessing a situation. Instead of asking people what they are capable of, create the opportunity for them to demonstrate (or not). Overall, this captures a way to learn about a system and consider different ways to influence behavior change. 

The approach focuses on the “low-hanging fruit” to improve the margins within law firms. What low-hanging fruit are we missing in the security space? How could we dramatically increase value by helping individuals change their behaviors?

Putting ideas to work

I share these to bring some thinking outside the security community into the challenges we face. Selecting an article isn’t necessarily an endorsement. The purpose is to introduce thinking from other fields. Often, they are working to solve similar challenges in different contexts. Ideally, this helps us find more effective solutions to our challenges, faster. 

Take a moment to check out these brief articles to consider the ideas and their implications for our work in security. Leave a comment below, engage with me on twitter, or drop me an email to let me know what you think. 


Michael Santarcangelo develops exceptional leaders and powerful communicators with the security mindset for success. The founder of Security Catalyst, he draws on nearly two decades of experience of success advancing security in variety of operational roles. He guides leaders and teams on the best next step of their journey.

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