This month I had dinner in DC with Governor Ridge. To save you some Googling…Thomas Joseph Ridge is an American politician and author who served as the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security from 2001 to 2003, and the first United States Secretary of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2005…Thank you Wiki.
So to be frank, I’m not big into politics. I do my part by researching the issues and casting the ever important ballot. But that’s about it. I don’t watch debates, keep up with the news, or anything else. Unlike most of my friends who are on top of current events, the world could be ending and until someone posts it on Twitter I’m completely oblivious. Seriously!
Anyway back to the dinner. I have no idea how this happened…so don’t ask. All that matters is that it did. The dinner was eye opening, as unbeknownst to me there are politicians who understand our world of cyber. On top of that he was very well versed in cybersecurity more specifically identity management. From my few news run-ins with politicians discussing cyber...the inquisition of Facebook made it very apparent that most politicians, haven’t a clue. The moment I heard… “Is twitter the same as what you do”…I was done. The dinner was filled with banter on the future of identity management and its pertinence to our security, not only as individuals but as a country.
Governor Ridge to my surprise not only launched a cyber security institute he is an international though leader on cybersecurity. He was talking about cyber and protecting identities long before the rest of the world realized this was a problem. The Ridge Global Cybersecurity Institute in D.C. is a source for all cybersecurity-related services with an aim of creating global resiliency to cyberattacks that threaten economic security.
Overall, at dinner I gained new perspective and added a few new books to my long list of must reads. These include: Test of Our Time, The Bell Ringers and Miracle in Philadelphia. I still believe in order for the public to make informative decisions on the future of cybersecurity they first need to be educated (as early as possible) on the issues.
Honestly though, it is nice to know there are a few out there fighting for the cause who actually get it.