Educause 2014, The Land of Low Expectations

In case you didn’t know by now, Security is HARD.  Apparently, even more so in Higher Ed.

Unlike the Educause Security Conference, which supports and encourages Security Professionals, the greater Higher Ed IT community seems befuddled and surprised by Security stuff.  Like a kid who forgot until the last minute that their big assignment was due.  Even though their teacher had been telling them for months.  Even though their parent kept asking “how’s that assignment coming along”?

So if they have been avoiding Security like the plague, then what has captured their attention?  I walked the Exhibit Hall (hide your badge!!) yesterday.  Not surprisingly, it was predominately learning technologies, learning analytics, learning devices and even learning furniture (sorry Researchers, Educause is not yet for you it seems).  The good news is, there is some really cool stuff out there, and I look forward to being a student again!

I did manage to go to some sessions.  Here were my takeaways from the day:

– Read “The Innovative University” – written by the Keynote speaker, not at all Security related, but interesting enough I want to read the book.

– ECAR will publish a maturity index for Risk Management in 2015, focusing on Management, Investment, Communication and Acceptance as the measurement areas.  I volunteered to be part of this, since they incorrectly defined Acceptance as “lack of resistance”!

– I noted that I should think about unconscious bias in my thinking, managing, and hiring.  There is a test at “” which I will take.  I might even ask my team to take it…

– Princeton’s CIO did a nice job of talking about Grid Security.  I’ll be talking to our facilities team and our risk governance team about this more when I get back!!

So, back to my learned colleagues…  why is the collective so discouraged about IT Risk, when it’s their job to manage it?  Well, I’ll continue to ask around over the next couple of days, but I’m guessing it’s simply that they haven’t been paying attention.  So, now they are… and they don’t like what they see.

Truth hurts, doesn’t it?