For those of you looking for something positive in the news, this issue of Cipher describes a new essay contest with a monetary prize, courtesy of Lawrence Gordon.
The economy is going to be the ultimate judge of computer security. Is it cost effective, is it a worthwhile expense in hard times? The coming months will winnow the technology, but how will the downturn affect research spending? As research contracts in our field end, will new money be available? This is a critical question for the future of the field.
Speaking for the IEEE Technical Committee on Security and Privacy, I'd like to point out that economic downturns usually hit travel budgets hard, and conference attendance will probably decline. Don't let it happen through apathy. This is the time to make sure that your organization knows that your top choice for a 2009 professional meeting will be either the Security and Privacy Symposium in May or the Computer Security Foundations Symposium in July. If your company is doing well enough to support student travel or a workshop at one of the symposia, get it into the budget now and let the organizers know.
Looking forward to recovery in 2010, make note that the Security and Privacy Symposium will celebrate its 30th anniversary with special events. You'll want to be there.