As part of my efforts to stay educated, I try to allot some time each day to catch up on the latest goings on in the Twitterverse and in the blogosphere. Some days are more informative than others, but in general, I have noticed something quite concerning of late. We as a security community tend to suffer from tunnel vision. Allow me to explain.
I try to follow and read a wide variety of perspectives. Recently, I have seen an almost obsessive focus on the NSA/Edward Snowden drama and its associated causes. I’m not saying that privacy isn’t an issue (it is) and that privacy concerns aren’t legitimate (they are). Rather, what I’m saying is that, off the top of my head, I can think of a number of other threats to both large organizations and private citizens alike. Unfortunately, I don’t see much discussion on any of them. Rather, it seems that we as a community have succumbed to tunnel vision, to the detriment of all of the other topics for discussion.
Education, discourse, and collaboration on a number of different topics simultaneously have always been how we as a community make progress. If we focus entirely on one topic and elevate it to dominate every conversation, we cannot attend to the other, equally deserving topics. It’s easy to follow the herd mentality and jump on the bandwagon, but it comes at a great cost to our communal progress. I am concerned that the issues we have pushed aside in order to follow the herd may remain unsolved.
I’m sure that there are those in the community who will agree with my concern. The question becomes one of whether or not we can gain enough attention for the other topics we are concerned about and interested in discussing. Time will tell. There is certainly no shortage of bright, shiny objects to distract people, unfortunately.