July 20, 2019

Scaling Security: Make Time for Opportunity

Jeff Kohrman

Jeff Kohrman
Founder, CEO/eCISO

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The ancient Greeks had two words for time: kronos, and kairos.

Kronos (as in the English word, chronology) describes the moments when actions occur and tasks are completed. This is the time for executing against your goals or expectations.

Conversely, kairos time is the moment of opportunity. These are the fleeting moments when true change can occur with a lasting impact. Aristotle described kairos as the time and space during which the proof, or evidence of the truth, is delivered.

In the security industry, the pressure is ever mounting to do more with less, move faster, and enable faster delivery against our objectives. Unfortunately, humans don’t scale.

As teams devote inordinate amounts of time to meet these growing demands for faster movements, they unwittingly consume the vast majority of their kronos time by simply executing tasks. Too often we are so focused on speed of delivery that while we are perseverating on the tasks or our backlog, we don’t look up to see the kairos time passing us by.

By keeping a narrow focus and not allowing creative time outside of the daily tasks, we are removing kairos time from our paths. We must dedicate kronos time to not only executing against those elusive kairos moments but also to create new opportunities for valuable change.

In a forest of kairos moments, we have somehow fixated ourselves on chronic measurements of kronos time. To take full advantage of these opportunities, we must take time to see the forest for the trees.

Improving our efficacy in security.

Take a broader look at how effectively security teams can operate against their ever-growing list of responsibilities and the litany of tasks that seem so urgent and pressing. Where we invest time each day, there is a chance to reduce that burden significantly given the right opportunity to make a change.

It is a common tactic in the security field to consider the negative consequences of our choices. We regularly work with companies and advisory boards to inject positive security thinking into their strategy and planning and recover their kairos time.

One approach to encourage better recognition of opportune moments is to take a somewhat counter-intuitive position. Looking at where our time supporting security needs is spent, ask yourself these questions:

  1. What would happen if these challenges were suddenly addressed?
  2. What could we accomplish if someone were to effectively solve a major business problem?

These questions are meant to serve as a positive antagonist to help your company recognize current and future process improvements, as well as new challenges that may arise as a result of the changes you are committing to taking.

Hippocrates suggested that every kairos is a kronos, but not every kronos is a kairos. Once you realize your moment of opportunity, it is up to you to manage your expectations appropriately and allow enough kronos time to implement these changes.

We have found that conducting these exercises to take advantage of kairos time can be significant factors in reducing your kronos time burden in managing your security program, creating new [kairos] opportunities to use your time for more effective purposes.

Need help managing your time with security?

Looking for guidance in using your time more effectively for security? We’ve helped hundreds of companies like yours learn to streamline their processes and get time back to focus on their business.

Schedule a time through AdvisoryCloud.

This article originally appeared on https://eciso.io

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