Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Management & Strategy

The Human Connection: A Mindset for the Coming Year

I’ve written about people and the contributions they make on protecting our email and IT systems, but I’d like to shift focus this last article for 2021 towards a deeper but related topic: human connections.  

I’ve written about people and the contributions they make on protecting our email and IT systems, but I’d like to shift focus this last article for 2021 towards a deeper but related topic: human connections.  

We are amid the holiday season, and around the world people are looking inward to family and friends, and to resolutions that we hope will stay around longer than the New Year Champagne.  I am certainly doing this, and as I look back on 2021, I find the joyful things that have happened when it comes to work, are much like the ones I have at home. With that in mind, I want to make 2022 the year to focus on establishing connections with, and helping, other humans.

The best experiences of 2021 have been when I have had a meaningful impact on persons or people, I have a meaningful connection with. For instance, it might be a homework assignment or studying for a test with my kids that resulted in a good grade. Or it might be a conversation with a multi-national industry-leading company fighting through a cyber-attack where the conversations we have had over the years has created a partnership and trust that enables action to happen. These engagements are often ones that require some considerable sacrifice for me personally or on the part of my team. 

For instance, a very large corporate organization needed customizations of the environment my company’s software was operating in. This required somewhat of a “leap of faith” on both sides. In the end, we had a system that performed as the customer needed and we had provided a very significant increase in email security to an organization with a terrifically consequential mission. This happened through many honest, real conversations that resulted in a meaningful human connection between our teams.

These activities, whether at work or home, have been wonderful things to be part of. But what is interesting is how in every case, other people benefited most directly by the work our team did, more so than I did, at least initially. 

If the best experiences we have are those when focused less on our own needs, but more on the outcome the other person is seeking to achieve, then why not spend time focusing on helping the outcome of the person next to you? If this is done in both directions, than everyone will be taken care of.

I would like to suggest a New Year’s Resolution for my peers in the security industry: Focus on the outcome the other person is seeking, and if you agree with it, help make it happen. 

Things that I think we should worry less about: Don’t worry about whether you’ll get credit for it. Don’t worry about whether you’ll be hailed a hero. Don’t worry about whether it will be paid back 10x. Instead, focus on whether it is the right thing to do and if so, do it. 

I know so many people (myself included) on occasion will ask, what is in it for me? Instead, seek to understand the outcome your customers and partners are looking for. Have real conversations, where the reality of circumstance is shared. Live up to commitments, make meaningful human connections, build features as promised, release capabilities that solve real security challenges, share blockers or delays that crop up, and basically get the right stuff done.  

In 2021, despite all the craziness of the pandemic and challenges in the world, I saw my team and the teams we work with have a fantastic year. And that in no small part was because we made human connections that built real and lasting trust. 

Let’s do more of it in 2022! Happiest of holidays to all.  

Written By

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...


Twenty-one cybersecurity-related M&A deals were announced in December 2022.

Management & Strategy

Industry professionals comment on the recent disruption of the Hive ransomware operation and its hacking by law enforcement.

Management & Strategy

Tens of cybersecurity companies have announced cutting staff over the past year, in some cases significant portions of their global workforce.

CISO Strategy

SecurityWeek spoke with more than 300 cybersecurity experts to see what is bubbling beneath the surface, and examine how those evolving threats will present...

CISO Conversations

SecurityWeek speaks with two leading CISOs in the aviation industry – Mitch Cyrus of Honda Aircraft, and Mark Ferguson of Bombardier.