​​I was lucky enough to share wine and some stories with a group of wonderful people yesterday. One of them was Ann Herrmann-Nehdi, CEO at Herrmann International and co-author The Whole Brain Business. We talked through how the brain works and I was particularity drawn into discussing how beliefs lead to emotions that results in behaviors. If these beliefs are held long enough, then those behaviors become habit.

So what if the beliefs we have around our daily interaction with technology are building habits that cause us to be susceptible to cyber attack? If that’s true, then shouldn’t we be able to become safer if we modify our beliefs with the goal of changing Key Habits?

(If this is sounding familiar, you might have read the book The Power of Habit.)

If correct, then the next step is to start trying to understand what people believe. I had lunch with my father today. The majority of his career has been focused on how people react in stressful environments and how to help them before, during, and after those experiences. We spoke about combat stress today.

I asked…

“Pops, how did you measure stress in combat units? What Key Performance Indicators and Metrics did you use?”

He replied…

“I didn’t measure stress in combat units. I focused on creating a healthy group of people before they were deployed and then paid attention to the individual for signs that they might need help.”

I replied….

“How in the hell is that going to help me create a scalable and repeatable system to identify people who need help in the new cyber theater of war?”

His reply…

“Yeah, that sounds hard. Maybe you are going about this the wrong way? Maybe you have an answer you want the problem to fit into and that is getting in the way of you asking the right questions?”

The older I get, the smarter he becomes. Thanks, Pops.

Adam Anderson

Adam Anderson is the author of Built to Survive: A Business Person's Guide on How to Recover and Thrive After a Cyber Attack. Adam’s 15 years of entrepreneurial startup experience and his knowledge Enterprise Cyber Defense gives him a window into what’s wrong with communication between large and small companies. He combined this knowledge and the good works from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cyber Security Framework to co-author the book “Small Business Cyber Security”. This book was later turned into an online class by Clemson University. Adam has been active in peer advisory boards for small business CEOs. He took this experience and co-founded a peer advisory board for Chief Security Officers of fortune 500 companies. This mix of small and large businesses has positioned Adam as one of the few people in the world to understand the complete supply chain of cyber security.
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