There are flashes of forever
in the glintings of the past.
The shadows make predictions
through the images they cast.

By the eerie light of memories
glowing deep inside the heart.
Phantom silhouettes are dancing
ghosts of fears that will not part.

I wrote this poem 22 years ago and it still haunts my memory today. A few years later, my wife painted this painting in school. As soon as I saw it, I associated it with this poem.
She was going to toss the painting when the class ended, but I loved it. Thankfully she let me keep it. The painting hangs on the wall in my home office still today.
I'm sharing this because of something that happened yesterday that reminded me of this poem, and how ghosts and shadows of the past can interfere with the present.
One of the most difficult things about recovering from severe burnout is the tendency to see and react to things from the past in the events of the present.

I'm not a doctor, but I think burnout is a form of PTSD.
In a meeting yesterday morning, the shadows from my past superimposed meaning onto something that someone else said. I reacted quite strongly to something that I heard, but that was never actually said.
Even worse, after the fact, I couldn't remember what had actually been said, nor could I put my finger on exactly why I had such a strong emotional response.
It wasn't until the other person and I talked through it 1:1 yesterday afternoon that I was able to put the pieces together and understand what had happened.
It was the perfect storm: a topic that I am passionate about, related to my deep commitment to build the kind of environment where the toxicity that I have endured can never exist, and a few words from that person that I thought echoed a leader from my past.
The words that I heard, influenced by those phantoms and shadows that still haunt me, those words that were not actually said... registered in me as a threat to everything that I am trying to build today.
I hope that knowing this will help me prevent similar episodes in the future, but somehow I doubt that I will ever be completely able to escape my past making predictions about my future.
I know that a lot of people struggle to recover from trauma, and mental health is a huge problem that is still stigmatized by society and even downplayed by those affected. I hope that by sharing my own struggles, it will help others recognize that it is OK to talk about it.

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More from @AccidentalCISO

12 Sep
While it is absolutely possible to prepare for a SOC-II audit without outside help, I recommend that startups without a CISO engage outside help as a part of that strategy. A vCISO or consulting company can help bring clarity to the roadmap and accelerate execution.
Especially since most organizations don't decide to pursue SOC-II until there is customer pressure for it and sales are jeopardized. Timing and success become critical.
I didn't have outside help my first time through it. I thought the project was going to kill me. It at took at least 6-8 months longer than it should have because I had to find my way through it, and the audit itself was more stressful and time consuming than it needed to be.
Read 4 tweets
8 Sep
Hiring for entry-level roles presents an interesting challenge that I hadn’t anticipated, though, in hindsight, I should have.

When prior experience isn’t required, and there is significant interest in the role, narrowing down candidates to interview is a real problem. 1/x
With “senior” roles, we can look for specific experience or skills to compare resumes and test against some minimum bar. We can look at the types of that orgs candidates have worked for, and what achievements they choose to highlight.
But for entry-level, when prior InfoSec experience is not required, and education, certifications, or other prior experience is looked at as a whole, it becomes much more difficult.
Read 12 tweets

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