I recently received an email invitation to connect with a information security professional on LinkedIN. This individual had a length certification portfolio and a very complete profile, but was not in my geographic area and was someone I had never met or interacted with before. When I connect with someone, that act is a statement that I can do some level of attestation to their background and consider them a personal colleague. I responded and stated that while I wasn’t ready to connect with a stranger, I would love to have a a conversation so that we could get to know each other and exchange professional opinions as a prelude to connecting. In response, this LinkedIN user stated that they did not share their expertise with people with whom they were not connected. End of conversation.

This idea of information hoarding dumbfounds me. Information Assurance/Security/Governance is a very young profession. As such, it is vital that we work with each other to help advance the state of the practice. We need all the help we can get to continue to elevate the profession away from the preception of the firewall jockies and towards a place where we can sit at the table with executives as full business partners. The more we make ourselves inaccessible to our stakeholders (and certainly each other) the more we hinder our own professional development and the development of our field.

Closed intellectual borders make us all poorer.