The New CISO is hosted by Exabeam Chief Security Strategist, Steve Moore. A former IT security leader himself, Steve sits down with Chief Information Security Officers to get their take on cybersecurity trends, what it takes to lead security teams and how things are changing in today’s world.
Building The Right Relationships with Den Jones
On this episode of The New CISO, Steve is joined by Den Jones, the Chief Security Officer at Banyan Security, to discuss the importance of trustworthy and transparent relationships in the cyber security field.
Before joining the security intelligence industry, Den first worked as a postman walking the streets of his native Scotland and dreamed of becoming a musician. Now a CISO, he shares how to deal with misleading salespeople and create effective data security strategies. Listen to the episode to hear more about Den’s journey, the problems with vendors, and his thoughts on building relationships.
Listen to Steve and Den discuss the importance of building a network and proactive security intelligence:
Meet Den (1:40)
Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, Den Jones, who shares a bit about his past and how he transitioned from postal work into cyber security.
The Must-Have Gear (3:31)
As a postman obsessed with music, Den saw his buddy's house and a Roland RSP-550 that he was dying to have. Seeing this quality of gear led Den to quit his job to find a more lucrative career path, which eventually brought him into the world of cyber security.
College in the UK (7:03)
Unlike college in the US, where you learn several subjects, Den only took classes focused on IT. Unable to finish his degree, Den reflects on how he had to drop out of school yet was the first out of his peers to get an IT job.
Get IT Started. Get IT Done. (12:18)
Den also discusses his Banyan Security podcast, Get IT Started. Get IT Done. Every episode, Den brings inspirational guests on to share their cyber security journeys and the full cycle of their business endeavors.
The Issue With Vendors (18:23)
Den recognizes that the hype around marketing distracts cyber security professionals from their work and that harassing salespeople can be a considerable frustration. Den explains how it’s better to have a “build relationships, not sell stuff” mentality in addition to ways to build transparent vendor relationships.
Building A Team (27:28)
Steve asks Den why he had the mission to build a strong security intelligence team.
Den explains that much of his motivation came from wanting to solve a major question the cyber security industry had not yet solved: “Was that you who logged in?” With a small team of college grads that Den organized, they built a data security platform that secures users from computer hackers through password protection.
Keeping Data Safe (32:58)
Den understands that executives do not share his interest in users' security and are motivated by staying out of the press, which a preventable security breach could cause. For practitioners, the goal then must be to help their firms maintain a solid reputation but also to find ways to use their work for good.
The Pillars Of The Job (36:35)
Steve presses Den on the ways to push and maintain proactive security intelligence.
Den explains how to determine the core questions that lead to protecting data and the vital importance of having users’ login information. By looking at identities, user devices, and the intelligence behind the users and the device, Den can develop data security strategies.
Tips and Recommendations (42:23)
All service accounts should be predictable because it allows their team to detect when there are deviations from the norm. Den recommends maintaining tight access and monitoring service accounts’ task functions to keep data safe.
What Does It Mean To Be A CISO Leader? (48:40)
To Den, being a CISO means building a solid network of healthy relationships. With the right people around you, you can leverage their wisdom and advice to be a productive leader in the cyber security world.
Links mentioned:https://open.spotify.com/show/02Nf1tZiN3lK25y2zIt7AX (Podcast - Get IT Started. Get IT Done. )
https://www.banyansecurity.io/ (Banyan Security)
Don’t Be Afraid to Break Things with David Lingenfelter
On this episode of The New CISO, Steve is joined by David Lingenfelter, the Vice President of Information Security at Penn National Gaming, to discuss the requirement to constantly learn and evolve in the IT security field.
After falling into his passion for IT, David quickly realized just how far his knowledge could take him if he constantly built upon it. Now after a nearly 30-year-long career in IT, with a focus on computer security, he shares his experiences growing and advancing through his work in the industry. Listen to the episode to hear more about David’s journey, his advice for beginners in the field, and his thoughts on IT management.
Listen to Steve and David discuss knowledge and advancement in security:
Meet David (1:20)
Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, David Lingenfelter, who shares a bit about his past and how he got his start in cyber security.
The Wild West of IT (4:11)
When David began his career in IT in the early 90s, modern technology like remote access was not standard in work computers. Reflecting on his past, David discusses how he learned to market these new products to average users who didn't understand IT.
Constantly Learning (7:46)
Before beginning his career, David was told, "if you never want to be bored, if you want to constantly be learning, go into Security." As a beginner in the field, he constantly played with new technology and learned defense methods against the ever-evolving security attacks on IT systems.
Make It or Break It (11:44)
The IT security field is demanding new strategies and technologies to combat threats. David stays sharp by constantly theorizing with colleagues, "how can we make this work? And better yet, how can we break it?" He found that by working together to build something or tear it apart, you can learn how different technologies would typically work in the security space.
Go Play - Go Learn (15:12)
Steve asks David for his advice to those who wish to start or evolve in the IT security field. Additionally, they share their thoughts on creating educational lab environments and needing to have the genuine desire to learn and grow in computer security.
Business Management and Security Leadership (19:25)
David is now a VP of a company, which is a significant transition from where he started in IT. He describes the differences that he noticed between being a technical leader and being a business leader. Additionally, he and Steve discuss the new responsibilities that come with the business side of computer security, like product investments, protecting intellectual property, and more.
Mark Your Celebrations (28:50)
How do you celebrate when you receive funding to create technological advancements in computer security? David shares the ways that he demonstrates the value of his product creations to funders.
Operational Mantras (31:36)
David holds monthly meetings with his company's IT team to show them different things that they're doing from a security sprint, different threats coming up, etc. He values communication with his team as one of the ways to connect all operations of his business.
End User Maturity (34:12)
Implementing new security protocols for end users can often be met with resistance. David shares his thoughts on the topic and how to balance focus on implementing security and doing so in a way that has the least impact on end users.
Building Confidence and Asking Questions (38:04)
It is essential for leaders in the workplace to feel confident in their team. Steve asks David to share the one thing a security leader can do to increase their confidence in their team that represents the analytic capability of their organization. David cites the importance of communicating with team members, asking questions, and finding answers.
Investing in Your Security Team with Zane Gittins
On this special episode of The New CISO, Tim Lowe and Katie Hatch sit down with Zane Gittins, IT security manager. The co-founder of Rincon Security, Zane discusses what he’s learned building and managing an IT team. From computer science to consulting, Zane shares the journey of his career, and what has led him to focus on cyber security visibility. Listen to the episode to hear more about Zane’s day-to-day, his news intake, and how he manages his growing team.
Listen to Tim, Katie and Zane discuss security management:
Zane’s Background (1:58)
Zane discusses his background in IT security management and consulting with his company Rincon. A small organization, Zane wears a lot of hats and tackles a variety of issue.
Zane breaks down the misconception that it’s impossible to find good staff. He believes that if you invest in junior employees, as well as off the right packages, you can put together a great team.
He believes that people who are great communicators perform well in security. Zane sets up “lunch and learns” as a way to meet and bond with people in other areas of the business.
One internship can change the course of your career. At least, that’s what happened when Zane took on a security internship in college. Interested in computers from a young age, his education helped focus his path.
Advice to the Younger Self (8:54)
If Zane could change one thing about his journey in security, it would be to meet key members of the business sooner. Through making connections, Zane has learned what their concerns and risks are when it comes to security, and how he can help in those areas.
The Day-to-Day (11:00)
With security visibility as his top priority, Zane focuses on updating the systems and tools of the business, onboarding new people, helping the business move in the direction it desires.
Zane spends several hours a week staying up to date on current trends, utilizing Twitter to identify cybersecurity news. This preparation also helps him give context to family, friends and coworker who hear about security stories in the media.
Managing the Security (16:26)
A high-pressure job, Zane must stay on top of things to prevent threats. In particular, he is concerned about supply chain attacks and any new type of attack we do not yet know exists.
On the other side of the coin, Zane enjoys the technical side of the job. He shares a time where he had to act like a cyber detective while consulting.
Motivating the Team (20:17)
Hunting down false positives every day, all day, can be fatiguing. Zane shares how weekly practice challenges have boosted the confidence and knowledge of his team.
Growing Team (24:07)
Zane chats about the specific skills and tools he and his team have utilized as they’ve grown. As there are a lot of tools to learn, Zane encourages team members to become experts in certain tools and platforms.
Security Threats and People (27:44)
When consulting, Zane is most considered with external threats.
Overall, he believes that everyone has something to bring to this growing industry. When it comes to hiring and training, Zane looks to people with passion. By documenting everything, Zane and his team can better scale and onboard.
24/7 Coverage (32:25)
Zane talks about what it’s like to cover the environments 24/7 and still allow himself and his team to sleep.
https://www.rincon-security.com/ (Rincon Security)
https://www.exabeam.com/library-by-type/ciso-podcasts/ (Exabeam Podcasts)
Cybersecurity Trends and Practices
On this special episode of The New CISO, Steve chats once again with Chuck Markarian and Sean Murphy. The CISO for Paccar and BEC U respectively, Chuck and Sean share their insights on the current trends in cybersecurity, as well as delve into their predictions for the field and the changing relationships within it. Listen to the episode to hear more about how the government has influenced cybersecurity, the importance of cyber insurance, and much more.
Listen to Steve, Chuck and Sean discuss cybersecurity trends:
Who are Chuck and Sean? (2:23)
Chuck and Sean explain their current roles at Paccar and BEC U respectively, as well as the backgrounds that led them there.
Political Influence (4:32)
Steve, Chuck, and Sean touch on the increasing presence of politics in cybersecurity. Sean weighs in on how relationships to law enforcement are altering, as well as how perceptions on cybersecurity have evolved and changed.
The Perception of the Hacker (9:57)
As the government becomes more involved, the blame on organizations for being attacked has now shifted to the attacker, rightfully so. No longer are hackers a kid in basement; hackers are real and dangerous threats that need to be stopped. This greater understanding of cyber warfare has better informed the public and organizations of what could truly happen.
Investment and Involvement (14:22)
With this increasing awareness of cybercrimes, boards and executes are more willing to invest in CISOs and their teams. It’s better to invest in preventative tools than to pay a bigger price after an attack. Steve, Chuck, and Sean also discuss what changes when the FBI gets involved and when organizations have to wait to fix problems.
When simulating a breech, Chuck and Sean urge any leaders to really mimic the chaos that would naturally happen at that time. Be sure to include executives in this simulation, so they can gain practice and understanding of what will be a stressful situation in the future. In doing so, you’ll also be able to identify who is making what decisions before an event occurs.
Cyber Insurance (24:20)
Cyber insurance is becoming more common. CISOs need to educate themselves on policies and the language of cyber insurance. This brings up other questions such as, should individuals have coverage? Should CISOs and board members? Additionally, insurance forces companies and leadership to define what an incident and breech are. This helps in determining what to report externally.
A Third Party (34:43)
With a third party involved, like vendors, your risk level increases. From there, you need to assess how important that third party is and the level of risk with which you’re comfortable. It is part of the CISO’s job to help navigate those relationships and dynamics, and to make sure the organization is still protected.
The New CISO (45:27)
Before wrapping up, Sean touches on the importance of connecting and having conversations with other CISOs. If listeners have any questions, they can contact him via LinkedIn.
https://www.exabeam.com/library-by-type/ciso-podcasts/ (Exabeam Podcasts)
https://www.linkedin.com/in/seanmurphy092009/ (Sean Murphy - LinkedIn )
Management Training: Learning How To Manage Managers
On this episode of The New CISO podcast, Jeremy Sneeden joins Steve to chat about needing management training to learn how to manage others, advocate for his team, and quantify risks. As someone with a technical background, Jeremy had to learn a whole new set of skills for his managerial role at Allina Health. He talks about how the “focus funnel” approach for his new team helped save time and money, as well as how he removes obstacles so his team can do their job. Now the Director of Operations and Engineering, Jeremy coordinates with other managers to ensure the different organizational groups are up and running. While he excels in his position, he believes in continuing to learn and support others.
Listen to Steve and Jeremy discuss management training:
Jeremy’s Background (1:47)
Jeremy chats about his current position as the Director of Operations and Engineering at Allina Health. Originally a technician, Jeremy still views himself as a security engineer, despite now being in management.
Management Training (6:35)
When asked to be a manager, Jeremy was terrified. He had to learn a new set of skills on his own. He advocates for better training for managers, as well as finding a philosophy that fits your style.
Tools for Your Team (10:30)
A great manager removes obstacles for their team. Jeremy discusses how his job is helping his people do their job, particularly in obtaining the right tools so that they can do so.
Talking Money and Partnerships (14:45)
Oftentimes, Jeremy needs to pitch higher-ups on a new tool or equipment. In order to gain approval, he recommends talking in specific dollars and cents. Additionally, he pairs up with other infrastructure groups who want the same things as he does. Together, they ask for additional money or tools for their teams.
Knowing Your Numbers and Team (19:10)
Know your assets—and their costs. When quantifying security risks, Jeremy had to understand the business better, as well as how important those assets are in dollars and cents.
The Focus Funnel (25:12)
After three years of managing, Jeremy became director. In charge of IT Asset Management, he sat down with his new team to examine their current tasks. If the task could be automated, they started that process. While it took time and upfront money, they saved hours and millions of dollars in the long-term.
Embracing the Fear (34:01)
A great manager pays attention, genuinely cares, take care of their people. They handle tasks that go unnoticed such as dealing with angry customers to advocating for your promotion. Jeremy believes that a great manager is also willing to get uncomfortable—or even scared—in order to grow and do what’s best for the team.
Manger of Managers (40:30)
As someone who manages other managers, Jeremy has learned when to get involved and when to back off. He has adapted to letting go of certain tasks and oversights, with the help of communication.
The CISO in Training (45:44)
Being a CISO-in-training to Jeremy means listening to his mentors, and continuing to learn and take care of his employees.
https://www.exabeam.com/library-by-type/ciso-podcasts/ (Exabeam Podcasts)
Managing Your First Zero-Day Attack
On today’s episode, we are joined by Chris Wolski, the CISO of Port of Houston. He chats about job hunting, the aftermath of an attack and more.
Becoming a CISO
A returning guest, the last time Chris was on the show, he was unemployed. From being let go to landing his current position, the process took Chris six months. He chats about what that was like and the normal CISO versus the “Rockstar” CISO. Despite his limited experience in maritime, Chris took a chance and was rewarded.
Socializing as a CISO
Via events and even LinkedIn, Chris was able to expand his network. Through his connections, he was able to educate himself well enough in maritime transportation, laws and security to better understand his current job. Overall, Chris encourages you to do your homework on the industry, company and people when job searching.
The First CISO
The first CISO at Port of Houston, Chris has faced unique challenges. In part, he’s had to convince the port why cybersecurity is needed, and how it can impact cargo movement.
Attacks and Risks
Recently, the port had an attack. Having a zero-day used against them, Chris found the experience eye-opening. Thankfully, Chris already had an action plan, as well as a risk metrics to guide him. Within 2 hours, the attack was contained and fully remediated after 10 hours.
The Aftermath of an Attack
Although doubted initially, Chris found himself trusted, despite it being done after an incident. He documented everything and encourages other CISOs to do the same. As a result of his work, he was elevated within the organization and the maritime community. There was no doubt of Chris’s ability and purpose within the organization. Within two hours, the port saw its ROI.
After the incident, they shared what had happened in the hopes of opening up communication. By sharing, Chris can help others avoid what happened to Port Houston.
Due to the severity of the attack, Chris explains why the Coast Guard, FBI and other entities had to offer assistance. While it may be hard to juggle all those organizations, they have access to resources that Chris couldn’t have had otherwise. Again, it came down to reaching out to connections.
Do you need to have a major incident in order for an entire organization to believe in the role of a CISO? Chris explains how equating cybersecurity to something others already know can help convince them of its importance so they can better understand. With Port Houston, Chris compared cybersecurity to physical security to put everyone at ease.
Nowadays, cybersecurity impacts everyone. Any machinery, manufacturing and more has computer chips in their parts, which makes them susceptible to an attack. It’s important to convey the severity of cybersecurity to others.
The New CISO
To Chris, being a new CISO means doing your homework on your industry, company, and the people around you. Be willing to learn and you’ll find success.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-wolski/ (Chris Wolski - LinkedIn)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaZSfEwDjQ-KQdgNdVs-aYA (Maritime Security Talk - YouTube Channel)
https://www.exabeam.com/library-by-type/ciso-podcasts/ (Exabeam Podcasts)
Entertaining, insightful and actionable! 👏👏👏
Whether you’re well established as someone innovating in the CISO role, or just getting started as a catalyst for change within your organization - this is a must-listen podcast for you! Steve does an incredible job leading conversations that cover a huge breadth of topics related to the ins and outs of navigating an ever changing data and compliance environment - from leaders who’ve actually walked the path. Highly recommend listening and subscribing!
Useful Podcast for Techs and Non-Techs Alike
I do not consider myself a tech-oriented person. However, I am a lawyer that understands that cyber security risks have become an omnipresent issue in our professional and personal lives. This podcast is an insightful discussion from individuals who clearly understand this space. It is well worth the time.
Great take on cybersecurity leadership
I loved the natural back and forth of this program on cybersecurity leadership. Since listening, I’ve been thinking a lot about how CISOs and Security Directors need to relinquish the console password and worry more about emotional intelligence and the careers of their people, budgets and planning planning planning. It can be hard to give up LDAP, Regex and the bits that got us here.
Overall, this is a great new listen 😊🌴