National Cybersecurity Awareness Month highlights the importance of cybersecurity across the country, ensuring that all Americans have the resources they need to be safer and more secure online.
To do our part, and #BeCyberSmart, we teamed up with MeriTalking to launch “The Human Side of Cyber” podcast series to highlight the importance of the “human” aspect of cybersecurity — the people, technology implementation and policy development. You can find and listen to the latest episodes here.
In our first episode, I explored the importance of having people with diverse perspectives and experiences on cyber response teams, how leaders can overcome diversity recruitment and retainment challenges, and tips for leaders looking to build a cyber defense team.
Strong cybersecurity and cyber hygiene — even more so now with the popular adoption of flexible work models — means starting at the endpoint. But you can’t control what you can’t see, so visibility needs to be combined with the ability to maintain control of the enterprise.
Our people are a critical component in how we defend against cybercriminals. As we see the cyber threat landscape evolve, our teams must evolve as well. We must remain agile in our thinking and our approach to cyber threats — and that starts with a diverse cybersecurity team.
When we recruit and are intentional about seeking out diverse candidates, we will see cyber teams evolve and become more representative of the communities and customers that we serve. A diverse cyber defense and threat response team allows for diversity of thought and approach, positively impacting business and mission outcomes.
Public and private sector collaboration
In our second episode, I was joined by Joyce Hunter, former Deputy CIO at the Department of Agriculture and current Executive Director at The Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology.
We discussed why public and private sector collaboration is a vital factor for national cybersecurity improvements. As evidenced in recent federal initiatives such as the Biden Administration’s Cybersecurity Executive Order, we know collaboration plays a role in better understanding and managing cyber risk.
To improve overall cyber communication and collaboration between the two sectors, there must be an open and honest discussion — or what Joyce refers to as the three C’s: collaboration, coordination and cooperation. The public and private sectors must come together, putting all the ideas on the table to address the current cyber challenges.
By working together, we can develop a mature and tightly connected security framework that enables the reduction of risk and improvement of security capabilities that’s critical in today’s threat landscape.
But, that starts with public and private sector collaboration — and organizations must be willing to share information, even if that means exposing a breach occurred. “The time for silence is over. It’s a black eye on the company or the organization, but everybody has got to stop fooling around, because this is not going to get any better if we don’t work together,” said Joyce.
As National Cybersecurity Awareness Month comes to a close, listen to the first two episodes of “The Human Side of Cyber” and join in on this important discussion.
Stay tuned for future episodes as we explore how industry and government can work together to remedy existing vulnerability gaps and equip organizations with the necessary skills and tools to better protect networks from bad actors.