We know. Our name has a tendency to throw people off. What is “Viscount?” How do you even say it? Is it an animal, vegetable or mineral? Is the “s” silent? That can’t be English. Why did they choose that name?
First, let’s break it down by it’s classical definition:
- a nobleman next below an earl or count and next above a baron.
- History/Historical. a deputy of a count or earl.
- (in England) a sheriff.
And now for a brief trip down history lane:
According to historical record, the kings of the Carolingian empire appointed ‘counts’ to administer provinces and other smaller regions as governors and military commanders. ‘Viscounts’ were appointed to assist the counts in the running of the province, and often took on judicial responsibility. The kings strictly prevented the offices of their counts and viscounts from becoming hereditary, in order to consolidate their position and limit chance of rebellion.
So what should Viscount symbolize in the 21st century? Today, we face much greater, more complex threats than the Carolingian kings of old, and we must equip and harden our security defenses to better safeguard enterprises against new logical and physical breaches. Just as viscounts of 1st century Europe did not inherit their titles in order to minimize revolt, the Viscount of the 21st century complies with government, corporate security and IT standards, and leaves no technological gap that is inherently vulnerable to a new wave of cyber insurgency.
In a sense, Viscount is equipping security teams, CSOs and CISOs to act as viscounts in their own rights, as we’re granting to enterprises the power, technology and insight necessary to take back control of identity management with a new generation of IT-centric, cyber secure solutions.
The truth is, we love our name and the noble concepts it represents, and we’ve chosen to apply it to the significant access control challenges that our industry currently faces. We like to imagine that, in contemporary times, the “s” can stand for something more than just a silent consonant, and that something is undoubtedly “security.”
Viscount. The “security” is silent.