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BizReport : Law & Regulation : October 22, 2021

Expert: What brands need to know about cybersecurity

During this Cybersecurity Awareness Month, we sat down with an expert in the field to talk about changes to the space and how businesses can prep for the year ahead.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What first inspired your decision to work in cybersecurity?

Dr. Rois Ni Thuama, Head of Cyber Governance, RedSift: When reviewing the causes of the Financial Crisis for my post grad work, I realised that actually it was not always a case of not knowing the risks on the horizon but that leadership had failed to implement best practice to mitigate or manage those risks.

It was clear that there was a considerable amount of cybersecurity best practice that firms were failing to implement which could lead to significant downsides for businesses. My interest whether its legislation or policies is always about protecting the corporation for all the stakeholders. It was obvious that the conversation about cybersecurity needed to be elevated and that lawyers and governance experts needed to engage.

Kristina: What is the most rewarding part of working in cybersecurity?

Rois: Protecting businesses from significant cyber threats is not a cold, commercial transaction. Protecting businesses protects livelihoods, careers, reputations, families, and communities. It has a real world impact. It is not the same as being part of the vaccine program but when businesses take sensible steps to secure their business, making it difficult for the bad actors, it feels as though the good guys are fighting back.

Kristina: What advice would you give to others considering joining the cybersecurity industry?

Rois: Do it. Don't worry if you're not technical, there is room for you in this space. Maybe you have a background in art, we need to be able to communicate complex messages, there is room for you. Maybe your background is languages, the bad guys are communicating in languages other than English. There's room for you. Maybe your background is law, businesses need to protect themselves not only from cyber threats but they need to make sure that any contracts with vendors are fair and reasonable. There's room for you. For cybersecurity to operate, we must all bring our A game to the party. There's room for everyone.

Kristina: What challenges do you anticipate for future cybersecurity professionals?

Rois: There's a huge amount of information in this field, it is only going to grow. It can be tempting to try to grasp it all. But this will lead to burn out. Cybersecurity professionals will need to be disciplined with their discipline, to really be able to interrogate their area to understand it thoroughly, to communicate in their area in a simple and straightforward manner but then give up the reins to other members of the team. Cybersecurity is a team sport, not a solo mission. For cybersecurity professionals to be successful, you will have to rely on your team.

Kristina: What does the average workday look like in the cybersecurity space?

Rois: The day typically starts with a review of tech news and catching up on research. Am lucky to be able to rely on peers across a number of critical sectors to learn about new matters. Keeping up to date with experts across different sectors helps me to keep a wider eye on market forces and concerns. Then I usually turn my attention building presentations or writing based on those insights. Finally, I end out my day by reaching out to colleagues and anyone else that I've met through professional networking.

Kristina: What are common misconceptions people have about the cybersecurity space?

Rois: That it is purely a technical role. It is not. The true purpose of cybersecurity is to preserve and protect the corporation's assets. It is immaterial if the asset is commercially sensitive information or cash. Cybersecurity is risk management and everything we have learned from risk management has some degree of application. We keep hearing that in order to keep a business safe, there must be a broad distribution of responsibility, this means lawyers or legal experts must be involved in the conversation.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: cybersecurity for small business, cybersecurity tips, cybersecurity trends, RedSift, SMB cybersecurity

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