Security Expert Interview Series: Deidre Diamond
In our recent episode of the Security Expert Interview Series, we interviewed Deidre Diamond who is a Cybersecurity Hiring Expert (see her LinkedIn profile here). Deidre combines her 25 years of experience working in technology and staffing, her love for the cyber security community, and a genuine enthusiasm for people. In this episode, she answered our questions around the demand for cyber talent, organizational issues that arise from a cybersecurity skills shortage, and others. Uncover her full insights below.
1. Firstly, thank you for taking part in this campaign, Deidre. Can you tell us about your professional background and areas of interest?
I have a background in sales and management in technology and staffing and I have dual degrees in sociology and criminal justice. I worked for two serial entrepreneurial men who hired me out of college for 21 years before I founded my own firm CyberSN, nearly 8 years ago. My experience is rare. It is rare for humans to work for people for long periods of time and grow and prosper and I want it not to be rare.
My area of interest has been for a very long time in building organizations people love to work at and providing a service to our clients that people love. I like to be around people feeling really good and so these two things really work for me. I am interested in building companies that people love to work for, and caring for others, and also thinking about how to solve complex social problems like job searching or how broken the system is today.
2. As we noticed, you have 25 years of experience working in technology and staffing. Could you please share with us what are the challenges that excite you in this industry?
What excites me is the possibility of great change. Today employment, and how we find employment, is a broken system. If the system wasn’t broken, I wonder how much more joy we could have at work. I think about that often. It’s the reason why I self-funded the solution that we have here at CyberSN. I believe passionately about the broken job searching system. Based on 21 years of experience in staffing before founding CyberSN, I know that I have the experience to solve job searching and thus, create better work cultures.
3. What advice would you give to entry-level women in the cyber security industry?
The advice I would give to entry-level women in the cyber security industries is that the world is your oyster. The data is out there that women and diverse teams are highly lucrative and therefore, the demand is great. Start by knowing all of the 10 job categories and 45 functions in the security industry and know what roles you want before you start interviewing.
Use this info to start planning your career so that you really understand what it is that you want to do. The cybersecurity industry is so vast that if you don’t come to the table knowing what you want, people will see that as a weakness. It may be perceived that you’re not focused or you don’t know what you want to do.
4. According to your experience, do you think that women must prove twice as much as men so that their opinion is taken into consideration when carrying out a career in cyber security?
I’d say yes, the women still feel this way. I don’t personally feel this way, again, I have a rare story. It’s not fair that I worked in an organization with high emotional intelligence and my sisters and brothers and others don’t get to do the same. When there is a high level of emotional intelligence skills in an organization, women don’t have to prove themselves twice.
When they work at organizations where there is a low degree of emotional intelligence skills, they absolutely do and this problem. It is also a national security issue, this low EQ skills challenge, so my advice is that everybody thinks and practices emotional intelligence skills.
5. Cyber security is a constant battle, with demand for cyber talent continuing to increase and outpace supply. Where does the situation stand today?
The situation is dire we are short so many people – it’s overwhelming. At the end of the day and the attacks continue to increase every month. They will only continue to increase moving forward. So, not only must we solve the talent gap, but we must also solve burnout and job dissatisfaction. We must solve the inequality of who we tell about these jobs. We need all genders and backgrounds because if we don’t include everybody, we will lose. Everyone is capable of participating.
6. What kind of organizational issues do arise from cybersecurity skills shortage? Your recommendations on how to tackle these issues.
Threats to organizations include everything from loss of money to health implications and even death. Breaches are serious organizational threats because they affect an organizations’ ability to prosper. There are more attackers than there are defenders and so the war for cyber talent should be of concern to all employers.
My recommendations are that all organizations implement emotional intelligence skills training, support and hire cybersecurity professionals, and provide succession planning. Truly you need to do that in every department because all of the people in the organization, and their career success, matters.
7. How do you stay up to date with industry news and updates regarding cyber security? Feel free to share your top 3 sources with us.
I focus on the cybersecurity talent workforce as a whole and I focus on their happiness levels. I focus on why they’re leaving jobs and CyberSN then focuses on what it is that they’re looking for, or what they’re missing. We then utilize that information to service the Cyber professional and our, clients and help people bridge the gap of not just hiring, but also retention. That being said there is no doubt that somebody needs to be looking at cyber threats as a full-time job and my CSO keeps me abreast of any new threats or security risks that I need to be aware of, which changes every day.
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