Ecuadorian line cooks and data security

The corporate world needs its CISOs to be more like Ecuadorian line cooks. 

Howie (is that his name? the bald guy on Top Chef?) last week mentioned a memorable bit in Anthony Bourdain’s book Kitchen Confidential. Bourdain says an American line cook will, unfortunately, do whatever the chef demands in the heat of the moment. If the chef is screaming “Where’s the risotto?? I need that risotto RIGHT NOW!!!” then the American will plate the risotto – even if it isn’t perfect yet. Bourdain says the brilliant thing about his Ecuadorian line cooks is that they’ll smile back at the raving lunatic chef, nod their heads, then turn around and finish cooking the risotto exactly the way he taught them to. No matter how loud he screams. 

As data breach after data breach becomes public, you get the sense that the CEOs and CIOs are the chefs, screaming about “what the business needs RIGHT NOW!!!” And what the world actually needs is for the security guys to smile, nod their heads, turn around and finish putting an effective security plan in place.

Instead of greenlighting systems that, securitywise, are just more undercooked risotto.


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