In your opinion, which company or person has had the biggest impact on the information security industry within the last 10 years, and why?

In my opinion, the one individual or company who has had the biggest impact is, indubitably, Edward Snowden.

Putting aside the massive privacy invasions he has revealed–which should worry everyone–that aside, at the very least he’s succeeded in “waking up” the entire information security industry, ushering us into the dawn of a new age. Because of him, we’re now in an age where volunteer experts are auditing security tools such as truecrypt, OpenSSL and so on to improve the trust we have in tools, protocols, and products that many of use or depend on on a daily basis.

He’s created a niche for information security services that go a step further for security and privacy, and he has forced the major players to, at a minimum, clean up their act a bit. If we’re a little lucky, the entire field might even re-focus its attention on these major players, such as Google, Apple and Microsoft, and pressure them to provide customers with improved security baselines, giving us a bit more assurance in the fact that these players will “do no evil” with our data. It is possible that he has founded a new “wave” of security-improvements that could, over time, possibly over the next few years, cause a fundamental change from a default philosophy of insecurity to something better, something brighter. This could be part of the “critical mass” needed to achieve an actual leap forwards in security, as opposed to tiny incremental improvements eaten away by more insecure things that are produced and marketed at the other end of the spectrum.

Claus Cramon Houmann | IT Security Consultant |@ClausHoumann

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