Leadership and Culture: The Foundations of Cyber-Risk Management

Major General (Retired) Brett T Williams

Leadership is the essential element of success for any military operation. And good leadership is as important to the mission of cybersecurity as it is to any other mission. The same applies to business operations. Leaders make the business successful and good leaders understand they must actively lead in the area of cyber-risk management just as they lead all other aspects of the business. Fortunately, leadership is technology agnostic. No matter how quickly, or frequently, the technical aspects of cyberspace change, good leaders who establish a strong organisational culture will continue to be effective when it comes to managing cyber-risk. When I reflect on my career as a Major General in the United States Air Force, especially on my final assignment as the Director of Operations for US Cyber Command, I am struck by the fact that leadership and organisational culture are the areas where the Department of Defense (DoD) is leading when it comes to managing cyber-risk. DoD is out front because, for the most part, military leaders treat cybersecurity as a command issue.

Commanders recognise that mission success depends on their ability to leverage cyberspace to get information, mo

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