With all of the coverage, it’s really not worth recapping the entire Equifax breach and how disastrous it is and likely will be for American adults for years to come. Of course, this all depends on who reaped the reward and what their intentions are… There will be plenty of speculation in the weeks to follow and hopefully a glimmer of factual evidence will be included. What I do want to talk about is the picture painted by the media of Equifax’s security leadership, Susan Mauldin, whose qualification as Equifax’s Chief Information Security Officer is being scrutinized, because of Susan’s education.
Let me preface this post with:
I typically do not feel compelled to write an opinionated post on such a topic, but in this case, I felt it to be necessary. Why? Because this is an industry that is thirsty for talent and after working in InfoSec for years, I have met many amazing (talented) people. When I say, “amazing,” I mean – I would not be where I am today without having met the folks – Everyone from analysts and engineers to architects and CISO’s. If you work in InfoSec, I will almost guarantee that you know some very talented folks who lack formal education in a security related discipline, or even a technical discipline, or lack formal higher education altogether.
My point being: The media is painting this picture of Susan Mauldin as some incompetent executive, whom of which no one knows her or her level of qualification for that matter. This portrayal is all on the basis of Susan’s education, which is in Music Composition being visible on her LinkedIn profile – yeah… her LinkedIn profile. You can agree to disagree, but there are some fundamental problems regarding the media’s disqualification of Susan’s competency:
No one ever wants to be the figure of scrutiny, but no one wants to get breached either. You can argue negligence as the result of the breach. I wouldn’t disagree, but how do you know that Susan was aware of the vulnerability? Many of the people that I have met in her position only know what they are told – not an excuse, but the point being: We do not have all of the facts.