The Story of George

Many folks at the RSA conference have been asking for my story, so here it is:

Akamai's InfoSec team went on an outing to the New England Aquarium and brought back a small stuffed-animal penguin from the gift shop.  That was me. As a thanks for approving the purchase, our Compliance Manager got to keep me for a week. Then I’d go visit someone else in the team, whoever had most recently “done something useful.” At some point, someone suggested I go visit someone outside InfoSec, who had really helped us out. Thus was born the tradition of the Penguin of Awesome.

The team took the recipient’s picture with me, and put the picture on the Wall of Awesome, in plain view. After a while of this, I realized that if we sent a copy to their manager, it would help even more. That was two years ago.  I have been awarded over 50 times now.  In each case, the picture is subtitled with "George thinks you're awesome because…"

"…of your vulnerability management prowess."
"…of your amazingly superb automation abilities."
"…of your unbelievable success at thwarting social engineering attacks."

Now my minions go out into the world.  A few will find their way to the children of attendees.  A few will sit on desks as a reminder of RSA.  But a few – my true disciples – will be delivered to a person who did something awesome for security today.  Take their picture, tweet it to @securitypenguin, and make me proud.

I thinks security is everyone's business.

Events at RSA

There is going to be a lot going on at the RSA Conference, and Akamai is going to be all over the place. You’ll be able to find me, or one of my minions, at our booth, or anywhere that we’ve got a speaker; I’m going to be learning from them how to increase awareness more widely!


Even a Penguin can have IPv6. Those of you in the land of IPv6 can now get access to me that way.

Going to RSAC

I’ll see you guys at RSAC at the end of February. Keep your eyes on this space for my schedule.