At a time when so many threats are faced by every organisation, leaders who can motivate and guide the workforce are vitally important. David Trossell, CEO and CTO of Bridgeworks features in Computing Security page 21.
Leadership skills help to create a vision and rally people around a common cause, boosting morale. They also pass on the necessary skills and knowledge to enable those around them to make informed decisions and solve problems effectively and with confidence. When it works, it’s a massive boost to employee unity and self-belief. But how do organisations identity, recruit and nurture the right calibre of people to perform this leadership role in the first place?
“In the face of today’s growing cyberattacks, leadership is required to invest in the means to prevent breaches and to ensure that data is backed up or air-gapped.” Such is the view of David Trossell, CEO and CTO of Bridgeworks. “Leadership is also about practising what you preach by communicating with staff and training them to avoid falling foul of, for example, ransomware attacks that could render an organisation unless and prevent any form of service continuity.”
It also involves thinking about the longterm health o the organisation, its partners and its customers by investing in training ordinary staff and cyber-security teams as an increasing number of attacks involve social engineering, he continues. “Within this scenario, generative AI is making cyber-security more challenging. So, any competent leader needs to know how to present the technology from being used to social-engineer a weakness in staff to find a way to create a breach. Humans are often the weakest link when it comes to cyber-security.
Leadership should aim to prevent disasters by focusing on service continuity as the primary goal, using WAN Acceleration to rapidly back up and restore data, adds Trossell. “The common cause should be continuity more than disaster recover, although plans and procedures should be in pace to ensure that staff and cyber-security teams know what to do when disaster strikes.”
SENSE OF TOGETHERNESS
A sense of togetherness will boost morale and pride in the organisation’s ability to thrive no matter what cyber-threats are thrown at it. “Nurturing the right talent and finding competent leaders comes firm using aptitude testing, using team exercises to allow them to demonstrate their decision-making skills, by enquiring about their competence in other roles. That person should show that they have an ability to innovate – perhaps by having patents in their name for solutions that nobody else has considered or been able to achieve.
That leaders should want to invest in future cyber-security professionals by working with universities, colleges and schools to encourage, nurture, inspire and develop new talents, he believes. “By working with the community and offering apprenticeship schemes – leadership can instil pride in their organisation and in what it aims to achieve. This can inspire staff loyalty and reduce the likelihood of employee churn. It’s not so much about the leader, but the values of the organisation that person expresses internally and to the wider community.
From a cyber-security perspective, says Trossell, this could also be about communicating to staff how many cyber-attacks have been forestalled, how clients have been helped to stave off attacks, how much money has been saved, and how policies and procedures have prevented X number of cyber-attacks. “This requires a leader who demonstrable leads from the front, who can identify with people, who engenders team-working and unity to protect the organisation from attack – furthering its commercial and operational success.