Controlling the Uncontrollable

He was known throughout the region as Maalika the Mystic. Actually, he had been born near Bristol, and christened Thomas Hewson just over three decades ago, placing him in late middle age for the standards of the early 15th century. He adopted the...

A walk through untended crops provided him with a deep understanding of that season’s likely harvest and the dire need for at least another good week of rain. Rain would come, although not for a couple more days. As long as he was dry at night, he could afford to wait. When the time was ripe, and he could smell the coming storms, he would announce his arrival. He would be able to earn his fee controlling the uncontrollable, and collect the payment due for his ability to adapt the local climate and bring hope to a desperate society.

Bad things do happen — even to the best security practitioner. Being responsible for security means simply being prepared for the uncontrollable. Being prepared to deal with remedial security is just as important as your preventive strategy. If someone offers you the ability to shield you from events outside your (and their) control, it might be wise to hold on to your wallet. ?

John McCumber is a security and risk professional, and is the author of “Assessing and Managing Security Risk in IT Systems: A Structured Methodology,” from Auerbach Publications. If you have a comment or question for him, please e-mail John at: