Why you really need trust and influence in cybersecurity 

 July 24, 2020

By  Jane Frankland

‘Will you walk into my parlour?” said the Spider to the Fly, ‘Tis the prettiest little parlour that ever you did spy; The way into my parlour is up a winding stair, And I've a many curious things to show when you are there.'

The ‘Spider and the Fly’ is a famous poem by the Victorian author Mary Howitt. First published in 1828, it tells the story of a spider who ensnares a fly through the use of seduction and flattery. I used to read it to my children at bedtime. It was a firm favourite, and with a theme of trust, I believe its simple message is ever more relevant.

You see, we live in remarkable times, where trust is re-emerging as a currency of the new economy. Going hand-in-hand with influence, trust is enabling companies and individuals to stand out from the crowd, be heard admidst the noise, and become more successful in their bid for new opportunities. Let me explain.

Never before, in our history, have we been healthier, wealthier, and more able to utilise as much cheap resource, worldwide, as we can now. Having moved through three industrial revolutions – the first, the age of mechanical production (agricultural); the second, the age of science and mass production (industry); and the third, the age of digitalisation (information) – we’re now entering the fourth, the second machine age, where the fusion of technology is blurring the lines between our global digital, physical and biological spheres.

Over the next decade we'll see advancements in technology that will radically transform the way we work, live, and interact. New innovations in technology will bring us new found freedoms, empowerment, and unification. And, our transformation will be exciting, as well as difficult.

Right now, we stand at a perilous intersection in our evolution – dealing with the challenges of big data, emerging technologies, and an assault on trust like we’ve never seen before. Our present subjects us to fake news, bogus identities, hoax communications, and counterfeit companies. And as a result, trust in organisations and institutions is declining, and trust in people and peer-to-peer networks (i.e. social capital) is growing.

In cybersecurity, this is momentous, for in a hyperconnected, data driven ecosphere, we’re now handling cyber as a weapon and attack vector. We’re aware of its disruptive and destructive capabilities, as cybercriminals and state sponsored attackers have repeatedly proven they can bring down organisations, political regimes, and countries through the use of technology and malicious, manipulative and deceptive activity. And, as we're waking up to it being the new battlefield, we – as its custodians – have the responsibility to build and secure it, rather than watch it falter and erode.

So how can we tackle such a challenge?

The answer is by properly defining today’s cyber risk, building our personal brands so we can influence the stakeholders around us, and establishing better boundaries in terms of exactly what we're accountable for. Doing this, ensures we progress from playing the victim role in the drama triangle to authentic, capable, empowered cybersecurity leaders. It enables us to strengthen collectively as an industry, too, and bring true, indispensable value to the board. Further, by reminding us of what matters most, it restores our faith in the system, and reignites our passion for our profession.

Now I want to hear from you…

  • Tell me how you ensure trust is built for your personal brand and in your organisation?

In my next blog, I’ll be examining trust in more detail. Until then, if you want to get started with creating a personal brand and learn how to better position yourself so you can build influence and trust within your organisation, sign up for my FREE masterclass.

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Jane frankland


Jane Frankland is a cybersecurity market influencer, award-winning entrepreneur, consultant and speaker. She is the Founder of KnewStart and the IN Security Movement. Having held executive positions within her own companies and several large PLCs, she now provides agile, forward thinking organisations with strategic business solutions. Jane works with leaders of all levels and supports women in male dominated industries like cybersecurity and tech. Her book, IN Security: Why a failure to attract and retain women in cybersecurity is making us all less safe' is a best-seller.


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