Programme Director, the IMI Leading in Cybersecurity Programme
The cybersecurity sector is undergoing a massive scaling operation, and with new ways of working determined by ongoing changes to the digital economy, organisations must be adaptable.
The challenges facing cybersecurity firms, and those with strong cybersecurity functions, are two-fold: it’s not only the required technology and the related skills, but the leadership capabilities needed to drive change and culture forward. To normalise the mitigation of risk and build business resilience, organisations must have a balance of the two.
Considering strong leadership
“Cybersecurity functions in Ireland employ over 7,500 people, with potential for a further 10,000 roles by 2030. The opportunity for the sector is huge,” says Cyber Ireland Cluster Manager, Eoin Byrne.
To achieve cybersecurity goals, the obvious solution is to bring in cybersecurity professionals — those who can problem-solve by harnessing the power of technology. However, it’s also important not to underestimate the impact that professionals with strong leadership skills can have on the changing face of the world of work.
How do we ensure that leadership and people skills are integrated into the fabric of the way they do business? The answer lies in the diversity of thinking and practice — and that’s the beauty of people-driven organisations.
Progressive leaders recognise that an organisation is only as good as its people and that technology exists to support and extend human activity.
Diverse skills and work culture
Businesses in Ireland are known for being entrepreneurial, innovative and creative. It stands to reason then, that the people working in cybersecurity firms and functions would reflect this diverse culture.
“Organisations seeking to maximise the effectiveness of cybersecurity build strategies around their human infrastructures and capital to protect their information and digital assets,” says Tony Moroney, Programme Director for the IMI Leading in Cybersecurity programme.
“Progressive leaders recognise that an organisation is only as good as its people and that technology exists to support and extend human activity. Everyone must be part of a cultural firewall that shares assumptions, values and priorities about what it means to be secure.” In summary, it’s all about mindset.
Embracing different personality types, different ways of working, cognitive diversity and neurodiversity are all key for organisations as they begin to scale. It’s not enough that buzzwords like ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion’ are considered within hiring policies. It’s about leaning into the true diversity of people and unlocking their potential to contribute to leadership rather than expecting them to conform to established standards.
By truly listening to people’s interpretation of their challenges and supporting them at the right time, we’ll begin to see characteristics like neurodiversity not only accepted in the workplace but embraced.