Monday, June 19, 2023
It’s Not Goodbye, It’s See You Later
When I started my role as Cybersecurity Program Director for the State of Indiana, I started with an Executive Order from the Governor and a blank piece of paper.
Skip forward 6+ years and now we have two comprehensive (and successful) strategies and a highly visited cyber hub website with a multitude of easy-to-use cyber resources that are focused and used by a number of sectors and businesses who need the help.
How were we able to accomplish all of this? It was through the efforts of the dedicated members of the Indiana Executive Council of Cybersecurity, who have all donated hundreds of hours and millions of dollars in the way of expertise, services, and resources for the benefit of all Hoosiers, governments, and businesses.
It has been an amazing 6+ years serving the State of Indiana in this role. And while today will be my last day with the State of Indiana after 15 years of service, I am so excited to continue serving Hoosiers in my new role with USDHS CISA. The best part of my new role is that I’ll be able to continue my work in cybersecurity to help Hoosiers, in a federal capacity, as the first cybersecurity state coordinator for Indiana with the USDHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
As I look back over my years in this role and my philosophy on this blog, I’m happy to know that many of our readers have provided feedback that has only reinforced things about cyber that I think are missed by the movers and shakers of our world, such as:
- Cyber can be fun! National Selfie Day? National Hug Your Pet Day? Why not connect that to cyber? There is no reason to just focus on the doom and gloom of cyber all the time. I know for me; I learn better when training makes me laugh. I learn better with cartoon illustrations and metaphors. We have been able to accomplish this not just with our blog, but our social media as well.
- Cyber can be simple. A famous Einstein quote that has been at the heart of my core work philosophy since college is “Out of clutter, find simplicity.” I am always leery of anyone in cybersecurity who can only explain something in a very technical way. I truly believe that if someone understands something, he/she should be able to explain it in laymen’s terms. Cybersecurity sounds scary, but it can be demystified.
- Cyber is very personal. I truly believe that if we only focus on our organization’s interests then it will take 100 times longer for people to understand that good cyber hygiene is not only important to keep an organization secure, but (more importantly) it is important to keep YOU and YOUR family safe. Beating the drum on losing weight to help lower the cost of an insurance premium will never get me to eat healthier, BUT if you talk to me about how losing weight will improve my quality of life and allow me to see my grandkids, NOW you have my attention. Talking about cybersecurity shouldn’t just be focused on protecting our state or local government, it should also focus on our homes and families.
Now the great thing is that we have many guest bloggers in the coming months who will keep the blog going. I would be remiss to not call out our amazing communications manager, David Ayers, who is the backbone of our website and communication channels. His dedication will keep important information coming your way, even with me gone. If you have any ideas, don’t hesitate to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am truly looking forward to being out and about more with the local governments, organizations, and individuals who want to learn how to better protect themselves, their communities, and our state. So, this is certainly not goodbye by any measure. You will see me around Indiana, and I will always be happy to help in any way I can.