By Gregory Hale
Ernie Rakaczky would just laugh and shrug his shoulders if he heard this, but he truly was a pioneer in the industrial security sector.
I can remember to the day where we were when I broached the subject of starting up a news web site focused on safety and security to Ernie. He was quick to point out where the industry was, where it was headed and who are some of the leaders. His passion for security was unparalleled.
At a user group conference back in the Invensys days after the ISSSource site launched, a few years before Schneider Electric bought the process control giant, Ernie was sitting with a few editors and he was talking about some event that shed more light on why security was so important and you could just see how he was ready to take on the fight of raising awareness throughout the industry. It was a fight he fought for a long time and he kept pushing, knowing how important the battle was. And even after an illness started taking control, he was still making calls and answering emails.
After a big management change at Invensys years ago, he called up one time knowing I had just ended an interview with one of the top executives. Ernie just started off the conversation asking if I had mentioned to the exec the importance of cyber security in the industry. He was always fighting the battle.
Ernie also talked about how the IT world needed to work with OT and his work with the IT companies like McAfee (now Intel Security) helped get both genres involved in the game to help end users remain secure, whether they knew they had to or not.
He truly was a security evangelist in the days at Invensys and throughout the industry when security was a foreign subject. He knew, however, it was going to be top of mind and an important factor for all users moving forward.
In the work world, you meet people, but you are always thinking about getting the job done. Deadlines, deals, innovating, whatever the task at hand, and the people aspect often ends up forgotten. That is wrong and everyone needs to understand there are some quality people that help run businesses and they make an impact on our lives every day.
Ernie Rakaczky died Wednesday after a long illness, but his legacy in the industry will continue on forever.
Ernie Rakaczky: Job well done.