On this week’s episode of Security Nation, we got a chance to catch up with a bona fide security sage. David Rogers is his name, and being busy is his game. No, seriously. He’s the type of person who accomplishes more within the first two hours of his day than many can achieve in an entire week. But don’t get discouraged—there’s a lot you can learn from his accomplishments!
What accomplishments? Well, for starters, he’s the CEO of security firm Copper Horse. While that may be enough to fill the plate of some, it’s just an appetizer for David. He also finds time to head up the Fraud and Security Group at GSMA, be an executive board member of the Internet of Things Security Foundation, while also discussing the finer points of all things digital security as visiting professor at both York St. John University and the University of Oxford. Oh, and he was recently awarded an MBE in recognition of his services to cybersecurity in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2019.
Suffice it to say, he knows a thing or two about digital security. But he’d also be the first to point out that he didn’t get where he is without first surrounding himself with an incredible team. Here’s how he did it.
A better you starts with a better team
First step? Remember where you came from. David recalls a time in his life when the concept of digital security was basically nonexistent. As challenges came his way, he was forced to forge his own path to the solution, even when dealing with the problems that came with being young and new to the field. When hurdles arose, he simply asked for help. Don’t be afraid to have the humility to admit you don’t have the answer. Chances are, someone else does.
David’s next piece of advice can be summarized with basic math: 2 > 1. As he puts it, “To do great things, you’re going to have to work with lots of other people.” In the same way you’d be a fool to field a football squad with exactly one player and hope to succeed, you can’t expect to be successful in cybersecurity as a lone wolf. Success comes from the ability to minimize your shortcomings by relying on the strengths of others.
Along those same lines, you need to be able to recognize such strengths in others. Seek out and be intentional about surrounding yourself with individuals who have great ability where you have weakness. It’s equally important to compromise. David goes as far as to say it’s a “superpower.” Know when to stand your ground, but at the same time, know when it’s time to concede if it’s not helping accomplish the objective at hand.
Finally, gathering the best digital security team in the world is ultimately worthless without direction. Have a mission, and make sure everyone on your team understands it. Better yet, surround yourself with those who truly believe in the mission. While conflicting opinions are the groundwork for innovation, there’s a time and place for them. Your team’s ultimate mission isn’t such a time or place. It should garner unanimous support or risk being derailed completely.
To summarize David’s advice: Define your mission, surround yourself with those who can help you achieve it, and collaborate like crazy. Oh, and don’t forget a dash of humility.
To hear David’s interview in full, be sure to check out our latest episode of Security Nation, and if you like what you hear, please subscribe! We release episodes every other Friday, each featuring someone who is advancing security in their own way.