What are the challenges associated with building a cybersecurity team?

Date: 30 March 2020

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What is most challenging about building a strong cybersecurity team?

Cyber Management Alliance organises its Wisdom of Crowds events with the core philosophy that the wisdom of many far surpasses the knowledge of one or a few individuals. At every Wisdom of Crowds event, we urge the experts present to share their unique experiences and 'wisdom' with the wider community so that cybersecurity emerges as a stronger industry worldwide.

At the recent Wisdom of Crowds held in Bengaluru, we spoke to the industry’s doyens about a less-spoken-of but highly relevant subject – the challenges associated with building a strong cybersecurity team. 

Scarcity of talent and a lack of experienced people, of course, emerged as some of the key points of discussion. 

Shedding light on the same, Sachin Jain, VP- Global Technology, JP Morgan Chase opined, “The most important challenge for me is finding talent. It’s easy to find people who have the certifications, but do they have practical knowledge? Does the person have guts and skills to protect my organisation?”    

However, Phani Krishna Sunkaranam, Infosec & Data Privacy, Trianz Holdings said, went beyond just talent. He added that getting the ‘right fit’ for the team in terms of organisational vision is equally imperative. “The team’s point of view has to match with the organisational strategy; the team should also be quick to understand the business of the organisation and be able to align with the overall vision of the business.”


Security is the responsibility of the entire organisation, believes Balasubramaniam Narayanan, CISO, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals. He said the real challenge for the cybersecurity team is to create a ‘culture of security’ across the organisation. “Technical skills, managerial skills and soft skills are all very important for building this culture in an organisation. A security-oriented approach is required to build an effective cybersecurity team.”   

Nisha Kesavan, Vice President, Group IT Strategy & Transformation, Deutsche Bank, summed it up perfectly as she said, “Nobody knows where to put a full stop. You don’t know where it ends. And where you think it ends, is where it begins for a lot of reasons. It is multi-dimensional; it is a 360-degree attack that can come to you and then it’s the layers within each angle that you can pick which can be attacked. You don’t know where it stops, and the threats are growing at such a break-neck speed that you have to ensure that you have the ability to scale up and keep growing. If you’re going to fail, fail fast and pick up and keep moving. I think that’s the biggest challenge and it’s ever growing.”

While every organisation has its own set of specific challenges when building a cybersecurity team, advice from the experts and learning from their experiences can go a long way in helping others plan better and set the foundation for their own strong IT security teams. Watch more videos from our Bengaluru Wisdom of Crowds event here and get first-hand insights on a variety of similar subjects.  

For more information on future Wisdom of Crowds events, sponsorship opportunities or participation in a Wisdom of Crowds event, contact rajiv@cm-alliance.com or contact us today.

For more information on Cyber Management Alliance, our NCSC-Certified CIPR training and other courses, webinars, Wisdom of Crowds live events, and our Insights with Cyber Leaders series of executive interviews,  contact us today. You may also want to find out about our Cyber Crisis Tabletop Exercises that can help bolster the breach-readiness of your organisation. 

Subscribe to the Cyber Management Alliance YouTube channel for more insights and interviews from leading cybersecurity executives across the world! 

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