March 2, 2022

The Benefits of Building a Diverse Cybersecurity Leadership Team

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If you want to build a strong and diverse cybersecurity leadership team for your organization, you need to strategically attract and secure talent from across all of the spectrums.

According to a report published by ISC in 2019, less than 25 percent of all professionals in cybersecurity are women. Black people represent just 9 percent of the cybersecurity workforce and Hispanics hold just 4 percent of cybersecurity positions. This lack of diversity flies in the face of evidence showing that diverse teams make better decisions most of the time. Given that there is a potential shortfall of 3.5 million jobs expected in cybersecurity, it is important to build a robust and diverse cybersecurity leadership team. There are myriad benefits to doing so.

Maximize Strengths and Cover Weaknesses

Cybersecurity professionals come from a wide range of backgrounds and possess a wide range of knowledge and expertise. They may have experience in IT, engineering, incident response, management, consulting, or testing and hacking. One person might specialize in defending against ransomware attacks while another might specialize in social engineering and defending against phishing attacks.

A diverse cybersecurity leadership team is a multi-disciplinary group in which people with different backgrounds contribute. The key is to have a broad scope of strengths from which the team can draw from when necessary. Diversity makes the team more well-rounded, nimble, and responsive. As was reported recently in Dark Reading, “One of the biggest things I consider when hiring talent is gathering a diversity of perspectives,” wrote Geoff Belknap, CISO of LinkedIn. “Many different types of people interact daily with the products we're working to secure, which means our team needs to be able to understand and consider needs, work habits, and challenges from several points of view.”

Foster Innovation

According to a report by Boston Consulting Group, a diverse leadership team can foster innovation throughout an organization. Slone Partners Cybersecurity understands the extraordinary value of constructing a team where the whole is significantly stronger than the individuals who comprise it. The magic of the diverse team is illustrated by its capacity to see more clearly, to detect and interpret data more quickly, and to make and move on decisions in a more agile fashion.

Even though women aren’t historically equally represented in the world of cybersecurity, they have been contributing to the digital space for decades. It was Radia Perlman who fostered the growth of secure ethernet connections that most businesses rely on today. A 2019 Accenture study found that innovation is greater at organizations that treat men and women more equally. This is just more evidence in favor of building a gender diverse cybersecurity leadership team. But diversity goes far beyond gender. As business executive Vijay Eswaran wrote in a recent article published by the World Economic Forum, “diversity in the business environment is about more than gender, race and ethnicity. It now includes employees with diverse religious and political beliefs, education, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientation, cultures and even disabilities. Companies are discovering that, by supporting and promoting a diverse and inclusive workplace, they are gaining benefits that go beyond the optics.” Slone Partners Cybersecurity understands the value of cultivating an inclusive workplace as an absolutely essential ingredient in the effort to build and sustain a diverse cybersecurity leadership team.

Better Emotional Intelligence

When you build a diverse cybersecurity leadership team, you dramatically improve the emotional intelligence of your cybersecurity department, improving its functionality and productivity.

When people of diverse backgrounds work together, it leads to deeper relationships, a feeling of camaraderie, and a greater appreciation for those who think differently. This heightens aggregate emotional intelligence, improves the mental health of the team, and leads to better results. Slone Partners Cybersecurity is prepared to work with you to build a diverse cybersecurity leadership team to help achieve all these goals.

Encourage Collaboration Among Team Members

Hackers are working harder than ever to get around your cybersecurity defenses, as reflected by the growing prevalence of ransomware attacks. Guarding against and preventing these types of attacks requires a team effort – up and down the company organizational chart. But it all begins with the people charged with building and executing the cyber defense strategy, your diverse cybersecurity leadership team.

The only way you can overcome these dangerous threats is if you work together. Communication is critical. Every member of the organization needs to be informed and educated about the cyber threats they could be facing. Remember that an organization’s defenses are only as strong as the weakest link. And that is where a diverse cybersecurity leadership team can help. A diverse cybersecurity leadership team possesses the full spectrum of experience, backgrounds, understanding, awareness, and perception necessary to allow for 20/20 vision on the cyber landscape. That’s what your organization needs to be in this era of ever emerging and evolving cyber threats! Trust Slone Partners Cybersecurity to work with you to build a diverse, collaborative cybersecurity leadership team.

A Diverse Cybersecurity Leadership Team Helps You Retain Talented Employees

Finally, a diverse cybersecurity leadership team will only happen when you make it happen. Many organizations unintentionally put roadblocks in the way of their recruiting efforts. As Ian McShane, Field CTO at Arctic Wolf, has written, “Tech vendors aren’t making their lives easy when it comes to their hiring criteria; using words like 'cutting-edge,’ ‘rock star’ and ‘unicorn’ in their job descriptions just gives the impression of a closed, exclusive cybersecurity club when actually we’re in desperate need of fresh, diverse talent. Organizations must start reframing their expectations of who can fill roles and analyze what skills are required for grappling with a threat landscape that is radically changing.” All organizations need guidance in negotiating the DEI landscape in order to craft more inclusive job descriptions that capture the widest swath of potential candidates and build rich and robust candidate pools. That is how great diverse cybersecurity leadership teams are made.

Turnover is a major problem in the world of cybersecurity, and it can make it nearly impossible for you to maintain continuity in your cyber defenses. This leaves your company vulnerable to a variety of cyber threats, which threaten your data, systems, your, and customers. Therefore, you must do everything you can to convince your most talented employees to stick around. A diverse cybersecurity leadership team can drastically improve the company culture, bring your employees closer together, encourage innovation and respect, and vastly improve employee retention. Slone Partners Cybersecurity understands the importance of assessing culture to ensure that new employees are aligned with the values that their company espouses.

Trust the Slone Partners Cybersecurity to Help You Build a Diverse Cybersecurity Leadership Team

Regardless of what industry your company operates in, a diverse cybersecurity leadership team is an asset. We can help you build that cybersecurity dream team. At Slone Partners Cybersecurity, we have the resources and professional recruiters required to conduct a thorough talent search and build a rich and robust candidate pool of cybersecurity leaders. Slone Partners Cybersecurity has the extraordinary networks in place to find the right candidates to fill your organization’s most important cybersecurity roles with expertise, speed, and efficiency. To learn more about our services, contact us at 1-866-245-9653 or reach out online today. At Slone Partners Cybersecurity, we secure amazing cybersecurity leaders for amazing organizations like yours.

Slone Partners Cybersecurity understands and meets the talent needs of high-performing organizations and health systems.
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