Planning to React

Regardless of merit and hard work, who you know in cybersecurity makes a difference. However, I do feel it’s deeper than that. Merit, your worth, and the impressions you leave do not just open doors but bring the most interesting characters knocking at them.

When I met Brian, it was in an email. I think? Well, he said someone had mentioned my name at a work event. No wait, is that right? To be honest, the mystery of how the heck I ended up on Verodin’s Cybersecurity Effectiveness Podcast will remain an enigmatic opportunity. You can listen to the podcast here or directly through iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher. You can also read the podcast transcription here.

The moral of this short blog: we are as memorable to others when our passion leaves impressions that inherently support our merit, without having to “know somebody.”  

Yes, I am a woman in cybersecurity. Yes, I do try and run a small non-profit empowering the workforce, preaching diversity, and educating the youth. And yes, I write, speak, and talk about being a woman to the point where I’m trapped in my only ironic Ted Talk. However, when Brian approached (emailed) me about his podcast, it wasn’t purely based on this charismatic reputation of a female in cybersecurity I had left some stranger with, but rather an interest in my experience consulting incident response and program frameworks to clients with my previous employer, Optiv.

So, there we were, bounded by a strong wireless signal and a list of questions.

Incident Response is the sole measurement of security program efficacy. “Change my mind,” as they say. Within that IR program, you have a split between your reactive and proactive capabilities. How you respond to an event or an incident and how you survive a breach is mutually exclusive between both these functions being performed. Without planning and testing your capability, you might as well be betting everything on red.

It truly doesn’t matter whether you are a small government agency or a Fortune 500 company — organizations face the same traditional gaps within their security program. Security providers bridge that gap, helping these companies recognize their programmatic gaps and build out feasible roadmaps for success. Our people, tools, and processes should be dissected and continuously invested in, every day. Sometimes this means approaching these gaps with overlooked solutions such as diversity recruiting, internal training, and industry partnerships.

Proactive Incident Response activities, such as tabletops, runbooks, and response planning prepare our first responders, while giving leadership a lasting impression.

Check out our podcast episode to listen to the full conversation!

Guest blogger MacKenzie Brown

Security Consultant, Detection and Response Team (DART), Microsoft and former Enterprise Incident Management and Incident Response Consultant, Optiv

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