Say What?

IT professionals sometimes sound like they’re speaking a different language


Published/updated: June 2014

By Jack Vile

Recently I attended the IBM Security Systems Analyst Meet the Experts day in Heathrow. With only one other industry event under my belt, I was still unsure of what to expect.

After checking in, I met my future peers in the world of IT analysis, many of whom seemed very interested in my role and also having a living, breathing Gen Y/Millennial in their midst (I even got a shout out in the introduction!).

Once the presentations got underway, I took notes to the best of my ability. However, with only a brief knowledge of the security industry, I quickly began to struggle with what appeared to be common practice – the extensive use of acronyms. The talks were full of them and not only that, their meanings differed depending on who you asked. From SSL through SIEM to CISO, my notebook became full of these things, followed by question marks.

Although I was attending with people who could explain these mysteries to me, when acronyms are being thrown around at such a high rate, it’s rather hard for a newbie to keep up.

This experience really showed me the value of the knowledge these experts possess but also the importance of being able to relay this information to business people effectively. I guess this will be one of my key tasks as an analyst, translating the jargon and compressing it down to something more accessible.

On that note, I was recently asked to write a primer article around one of the security industry’s favourite acronyms, the infamous APT. Here is a link to the article What are APT’s and how can they affect your business?

Attending the IBM event highlighted how important this kind of simple explanation can be to those who are not living and breathing specialist topics on a daily basis. I’ll be doing more of these as I get into new areas and figure out the essentials of each.

In the meantime, thanks to the IBM guys for being such good hosts.

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