A Place for Me to Talk to the World

Welcome to Security, Cigars and FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt). The title of this blog comes from my profession and my love of good cigars. Anyway, here’s some stuff about me.

I’ve been in the world of security, both physical and information, for 25 years now, give or take a day. That includes 11 years in the US Army, ’cause I’m pretty sure that standing on the East German border with a rifle during the cold war counts as “security”. Then I went to work in the civilian world, where I’ve been ever since. All of my jobs had a focus on security. I’ve been involved in military security, physical facility security and information systems security. Currently, I work for a very large catholic healthcare system headquartered in the Pacific Northwest. I live near Seattle, one of the most beautiful places on earth. My organization has over 60,000 employees, more than 30 hospitals and 400 other sorts of facilities. I’m the guy who runs Information Security for this whole, big thing.

An interesting thing about my life is that my past seems to be about things that no longer exist. I fought a (cold) war against a country that doesn’t exist, and a (hot) war against a dictator who doesn’t exist and worked for a company that no longer exists. Not to be cryptic … I was a soldier in the US Army from 1985 to 1996 and served in West Germany on the Iron Curtain. The USSR no longer exists and some people reading this may not be sure what the USSR was. I served in Operation Desert Storm (aka the First Gulf War), but Saddam Hussein and the Ba’ath Party (and indeed, Iraq as it used to be) no longer exist either. After the Army, I worked for EDS from 1998 to 2007, a company that no longer exists.

I am married, have kids (3, 1 is mine, 2 are my wife’s), a dog, a cat, chickens, mortgage, bills, two cars and a white picket fence. Living the dream!

I play golf. Badly. I throw darts. Passably. I drink single malt scotch. Frequently. I smoke cigars. Often. I travel with my wife. Every chance I get. I drink wine and love steakhouses. Too much.

I love my job and my family, our pets and our house and our backyard.

Over the years I let myself get pretty out of shape and unhealthy. Last summer I started fixing that. It’s been an interesting journey going from a very fit soldier to a very unfit executive, and then back to fitness again.

I plan to spend time writing mostly about security, but you can expect to see some posts about wine, working out, scotch, cigars and the rest of my life.

You can follow me on twitter too: @e_cowperthwaite

And the darn disclaimer:

Just to be clear, nothing that I write here represents the position or opinion of my employer. Nothing I write here is proprietary or confidential to my employer. Everything I write here is my personal opinion.

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About Eric Cowperthwaite

Nearly 30 year security professional, 11 years in the US Army, and another 18 in the civilian world. Worked for EDS for 9 years, then for Providence Health & Services as their CSO for 7 years. Now I work for CORE Security as their VP, Advanced Security & Strategy. This blog is not just about security, either physical or information. You can expect to read about cigars, my life, things I think are funny and much more. And I will rail about the FUD that so many security practitioners toss around on a regular basis. Plus, once in a great while, I might actually share a thought or two about security. Did I mention that I will probably blog about cigars? Just to be clear, nothing that I write here represents the position or opinion of my employer. Nothing I write here is proprietary or confidential to my employer. Everything I write here is my personal opinion.
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