It's far too depressing to blog about the state of information security affairs in the world today – a criminal clicks his/her fingers and corporations are brought to their knees… so today, what does it mean to be President of ISSA-UK, what do I get up to and why do I do it?

Partly, the work keeps me sane. Being caught up in the battle between PCI DSS and Merchants is not always as fun as it sounds and to be honest, with a strictly defined standard it is very difficult to ever learn something new, innovate and solve challenges in eloquent ways. Which is what keeps true information security professionals going.

I have been involved with ISSA-UK for several years, over which we have boarded 1,700 members, organised almost a hundred events in the UK and quite rightly, Presidents get worn out and in need of replacement, which is sort of how and why I put myself forward for election last year and won by 6 votes!

Any membership organisation has a primary goal – to keep members happy. Without members we would just be sitting in some pub getting drunk somewhere and as such my own personal goal has been to arrange high-quality events for our members and keep them coming back for more.

Finding the right speakers is challenging, especially when it comes to new topics, so part of my day is spent researching – finding out what's new and good, dismissing what's new and bad, liaising with subject matter experts, structuring events and of course making sure we don't just get four speakers speaking about the same thing.

Next up is profile. Nobody wants to be a member of an organisation that nobody's heard of. Tweets, blogs, press, speaking engagements all come into the affray and there has to be a good 35-40 other organisations with whom we are in regular contact. Namely to make sure we don't all run our events on the same day, but also to help cross-pollinate our security awareness goals.

We're also about giving something back to the community – the management team consists of 16 experienced information security professionals that seek to raise security awareness, mentor others, help with career development and get involved with the day to day running of the chapter. Without such strong support we wouldn't have a chapter (thanks team!).

To find out more about ISSA-UK, please visit

We operate a first event is free policy for non-members to come and find out what we're all about, after which a modest annual fee of $95 is all we need to give you 14 quality information security events over the year, a monthly newsletter and access to a worldwide community of over 10,000 professionals.

To sample one of our meetings, please visit

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