Monday, June 4, 2018

Everyone to his own taste

As in every aspect in our lives, a good advice in time or knowing other’s points of view about how they think of you can help you make decisions. In cybersecurity world, points of view and opinions are also necessary. In most occasions, it’s a teamwork that can have its pros and cons, but it always should focus on the problem and that problem in security. 

Increasing the diversity in cybersecurity equipment can increase their capacity to solve cybersecurity challenges by thinking diversity. This is explained by Grant Bourzikas. CISO in McAfee.

At first sight, this can look like an extra effort for the company, but it’s a great opportunity to make cybersecurity better by increasing the number of experiences and points of view from people working on it. But, what does Grant Bourkizas about cybersecurity diversity? As he explains in the interview: “I interpret diversity as diversity of thought, diversity of thought leadership; that is my ultimate definition of diversity. The mechanics of diversity are race, religion, ethnicity, sex [and] different backgrounds.” Meaning that working with different profiles makes you know more opinions and that’s great when solving a problem.

McAfee has been one of the companies that have started working with this cybersecurity safety in their teams: “When my team posts roles, we may be looking for a super senior-level person, like a principal engineer -- and I've seen this in the job postings in my last two companies -- to find somebody who's had 10 years of security experience that's well in-depth on networking and firewalls or intrusion detection systems, that has done this a long time. But there are very few of them and from what we see from an applicant standpoint is that they're typically white males.”

Cybersecurity is an ambit in which the workers profile is often very established, so diversity needs to be built and you should invest your time in teaching new profiles, as Bourzikas says: “Can we hire somebody from college that is diverse, with the desire to learn about cybersecurity to start to create diversity? What we tend to fall back on is that we want the experience, but what I found is some of the interns that have diverse backgrounds or first-year people coming from college are often very strong.” After several years working with this method, we have learned that those people are more successful in their Jobs than other workers that have been in the company for 10 years.

The lack of talent in cybersecurity is a fact that, far from getting better, is going worse over the years, so investment in the McAfee team is key for Grant Bourzikas:  “Yes. I think the key message is that, by the end of 2019, there's that two million talent shortage of people, so we have the supply and demand problem. And, actually, even if we could fill the two million people, the skills aren't going to be there because there's just not two million experienced people. So, as an industry, we have to have good development programs to build and then really drive what it looks like. And that can be training: soft skills, technical skills, diversity, different geographies and looking at different ways to solve the problem than what we've historically done.”

As we have announced at the beginning of the post, every opinion is valid and Grant Bourzikas has its own. A method that more than searching for employees, it invests in talent by looking for different workers profiles to create a team that can fight the cybersecurity threats.  


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