February 29, 2024
JOURNEY INTO CYBERSECURITY

Adrianne George has worked on critical national security issues since right after 9/11. Her motivation has always been clear: to win. Still today, the cyber war is being waged and the end is nowhere in sight. Adrianne is working tirelessly to fix this by addressing the cyber talent gap, and more importantly the cyber talent management process. She’s identified a niche and plans to fill it leveraging her unique insights, experience and connections. Let’s support her on this Journey into Cybersecurity so we all can be successful and win the battle together.

Biography

Adrianne George is the Founder of MyCyberExec.  She holds an SPHR and is a CompTIA SME, two distinctions that when combined with her executive-level talent acquisition and talent management experience allow her to provide insightful solutions to an organization.

Ms. George spent 15 years in federal service to include serving as the Acting Deputy Cyber Executive. She previously served as the Director of Analysis for the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC). Adrianne’s other career highlights included serving as Director for Counterterrorism for the National Security Council, deploying to Afghanistan, and multiple joint duty assignments with other federal agencies.

These experiences gave Adrianne an in-depth understanding about the challenges facing the public and private sectors to recruit and retain cyber talent. Through MyCyberExec, she enables businesses to meet the growing cyber challenges and build strong security teams. She established MyCyberExec with intent to do these things a little differently as she believes cyber should be demystified. For that reason, her goal is to work with clients on approachable, authoritative, and actionable plans for their cyber needs.

Recommendations from Adrianne

  • Cybersecurity is national security!
  • Cybersecurity is a people business.
  • There are artificial barriers to entry in cyber.
  • Networking is critical in your career, at the beginning and during.
  • Chief Information Security Officers need to have a seat at the executive leadership table.
  • The CISO needs to be able to understand the language spoken at the leadership level and use metrics that are relatable to that leadership.
  • You can lead from where you are. You can make a difference in any role you play.
  • Cyber is a business enabler. You need cyber as an enabler to your business to survive!
  • The HR function like Cybersecurity is seen as a business function but not a revenue creator, i.e. a cost center where cuts are made first when times get tough. This can lead to loss of institutional knowledge and priceless talent (in HR and Cybersecurity) an organization cannot afford to lose.
  • Durable skills include collaboration, communication,… Being able to communicate a technical problem and business case in a non-technical way will be one of the greatest skills you can develop.
  • Durable skills are important to cultivate and should play an important role in the hiring process of talent.
  • Durable skills are qualities job applicants should highlight in the application process.
  • Veterans are the most adaptable and resilient people you will find. Veterans have durable skills in droves and are perfect candidates for cybersecurity!
  • HR looks for impact and results. Being able to translate skills acquired through work experiences, even internships, into values HR is looking for. Be specific and focus on results.
  • The educational programs focused on cyber offer more diverse options and paths. Some are more technical while others are more business focused. You a path that aligns with your interests and strengths.
  • Don’t silo IT and technology from the business side of an organization.
  • Cross-pollination is important between the technical and business sides in order for them to develop a common language.
  • Building a people strategy based on the business strategy may require the hiring of an HR strategist and advisor, like Adrianne.
  • The CISSP is a very challenging cyber certification to achieve and shouldn’t be expected from entry-level job applicants.
  • Building a resilient cyber workforce requires an understanding of the goals for the position as well as budget constraints.
  • Fractional cyber talent may be an option when budget constraints exist.
  • HR must work in reality, and budgetary constraints are challenging HR professionals when it comes to hiring and retaining cyber professionals and in general.
  • Investing in people and their continued development will pay dividends in the long run for an organization and increases employee engagement and satisfaction.
  • Understanding funding streams can highlight why certain educational programs are not evolving versus others.
  • AI should be used carefully in the hiring process. You want to ensure it doesn’t exclude qualified talent. Ensure it’s not using biased models.
  • Cybersecurity is a party! The community is so welcoming and supportive to newcomers.
  • You will never know everything.
  • Let’s win!

References

Cathy Olieslaeger

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