I can honestly say that the two discussions featured in the latest episode of the Security Stories podcast have inspired and motivated me more than anything else has recently.
I really hope that as many people as possible get to listen to this episode. And I’m definitely not just saying that for my podcast stats 🙂
Diversity in cybersecurity discussion
Firstly, I caught up with my co-host Noureen Njoroge, as well as Leticia Gamill, Cisco’s Channel leader for Canada and Latin America, and Matt Watchinski, Vice President of Cisco Talos.
Together, we discuss a crucial topic in cybersecurity: the significance of diverse representation, and what that can do for the industry.
Leticia oversees team members based across seven countries, and is a passionate supporter of diversity in cybersecurity. Last year she created a non-profit called LATAM Women in Cybersecurity to encourage more women in Florida and Latin America to enter the field.
As the leader of Talos, the largest commercial threat intelligence group in the world, Matt oversees all the intelligence activities necessary to support our security products and services that keep customers safe.
Matt is a huge ally for diversity in cybersecurity. Within Talos, he has created a culture and a hiring policy that ensures voices from multiple backgrounds can be heard.
And of course most regular Security Stories listeners already know my co-host Noureen, but just in case this is your first time listening, Noureen is a threat intelligence customer engineer. She’s the founder of Cisco’s global cybersecurity mentoring forum, running mentoring events twice a month.
She’s also the founder of the Mentors and Mentees women in Cybersecurity group on LinkedIn and the president of North Carolina Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS) Affiliate chapter.
Noureen is listed among the Top 30 Most Admired Minority Professionals in Cybersecurity by SeQure World Magazine, and was recently crowned winner of the Cybersecurity Woman of the Year 2020 award.
Together, we talk about what leaders can be doing to ensure they’re hiring from a diverse pool of talent, and where they can hire people beyond the usual recruitment channels. We also discuss how organizations can build a culture of mentoring so that members of diverse teams can feel valued, and retainment levels are strong.
Meeting Mike Hanley
Our CISO story for this episode is Cisco’s new Chief Information Security Officer, Mike Hanley.
Mike steps into the role of CISO for Cisco after spending five years with Cisco Duo. He originally joined to run Duo Labs, and was soon asked by Dug Song to be Vice President of Security and to build and nurture the team around him.
During our chat, Mike talks about what the past few months have been like after stepping into the role of CISO for Cisco in the middle of a global pandemic.
A very revealing note for me: I don’t think there was an answer that Mike gave where he didn’t refer to his team. People are clearly the most important aspect of his role, and in this interview you can see exactly why.
In fact, here’s a comment Mike shared that particularly struck a chord with me:
“I’m constantly in awe of the innovative ideas that the people in my team come up with to solve problems. I have middle-school teachers, designers, engineers, and many more fields of expertise in my team – and every single one of them has brought something really unique and significant.”
From the importance of hiring diverse talent, to building a culture of appreciation, openness and fun (he used the word fun six times in the first few minutes – I was keeping count!), Mike’s interview is a fascinating listen for anyone leading a team today.
Episode time stamps
02:27 Discussion on diversity in cybersecurity
46:49 Mike Hanley interview
1h 26: Closing remarks