Security Samurai FAQ

Why 'Security Samurai'? 
"Mental bearing, not skill, is the sign of a matured samurai. A samurai therefore should neither be pompous nor arrogant" - Tsukahara Bokuden.
The word 'samurai' (侍) originally meant 'servant' as the role of the early samurai was to serve the nobles and rich landowners of the day. Despite the samurai class becoming effective rulers of Japan from the mid-twelth century until the 1800s, the majority of samurai faithfully served their feudal lords. The Samurai are famous for their fighting skills and ferocity and unwavering dedication to duty and honour.
Today information security professionals serve their corporate managment with great skill and dedication. Where once the Samurai manned the walls of great castles such as Osaka-jo or Tsuraga-jo, today Security Samurai man the firewalls and virtual defences to protect their networks from foes both external and internal.

Security Samurai skills 
"An effective stance is to be attached neither to the opponent's sword nor to one's own sword" - Yagyu Toshiyoshi.
 A well-rounded Samurai was more than just a master of the sword or bow. Samurai were expected to excel in other, non-combat endeavours such as history, poetry, painting or the tea ceremony. Likewise the Security Samurai needs more than just technical prioficiency, he/she should have an understanding of other non-technical areas such as risk management, governance & legal requirements; and be able to talk to business management in their own language.
"Cyber Bushido"
“If a man does not investigate into the matter of Bushido daily, it will be difficult for him to die a brave and manly death. Thus it is essential to engrave this business of the warrior into one’s mind well.”  - Kato Kiyomasa
"Bushido" (武士道) is a Japanese word meaning the “Way of the Warrior” and is an term for the moral code by which the Samurai lived and died.

It is typified by seven virtues:
  • Rectitude (義, gi)
  • Courage (勇, yū)
  • Benevolence (仁, jin)
  • Respect (礼, rei)
  • Honesty (誠, makoto)
  • Honour (名誉, meiyo)
  • Loyalty (忠義, chūgi)
To the Samurai these virtues were more then just words, but were an essential part of their existence and defined who they were and what separated them from those who were not samurai.
The Security Samurai should strive to follow a code of "cyber bushido", to use their skills only for honourable means, to protect those who cannnot protect themselves and to serve the 'greater good' of a more secure cyberspace for all users. They should seek to educate and raise awareness about information security and privacy issues that effect us all and they should never abuse their skills or privileged position or engage in spreading 'FUD' (Fear, uncertainty and doubt').

Further Samurai reading
"From one thing, know ten thousand things" - Miyamoto Musashi (1584-1645)
If you are interested in learning more about the Samurai and the history of medieval Japan, I'd highly recommend the many works of the prolific Dr. Stephen Turnbull.
For something a little more lighthearted, I'd recommend the Usagi Yojimbo series of comics by the brilliant Stan Sakai. Don't let the rabbit fool you, this is storytelling at it's best.

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