An interview with the co-authors of the Cybersecurity ABC’s book.

In this episode I am joined by my co-authors, Adrian, Ciaran and Jess, of the CyberSecurity ABC’s book for a long overdue catch up. We hadn’t been able to spend anytime chatting for a while and so it was fabulous to get us all together again to enjoy having a talk about security awareness, behaviour and culture.

We touch on not just the challenge of employee awareness, behaviour and culture but also about industry stakeholder’s roles in recognising the long overdue need for change.

We explore the role of the environment in people’s decision making through the way covid 19 has shaped not just the world but highlighted the need for continually re-assessing employee education and awareness.

We tread the well-trodden path and saying that education and awareness doesn’t always deliver changes in behaviour and culture, and we ponder whether there needs to be a change in the language that industry uses to really break through the glass ceiling that’s been imposed on everyone responsible for employee education and awareness.

It’s a great episode, touching on so much, with some laughter rolled in and a dodgy rendition of the Thompson Twin’s Doctor, Doctor track as well.

I hope that you enjoy.


Key Topics

  • Awareness, behaviour and culture.
  • The state of the industry and reflection on a need for change.
  • The influence of industry bias on the human factor.
  • Where do we stand when it comes to skills needed to influence awareness, behaviour and culture.
  • How Covid illustrates the role of the environment on decision making.
  • How the relationship in between leadership and employees, on the matter of trust, may shape the case for employee awareness, behaviour and culture.
  • Metrics and how the social sciences measure things differently to the tech industry.
  • Understanding the “Why”.
  • Industry language.
  • Industry stakeholders’ roles in the past and how they might change in the future.


Our Guests

Jessica Barker is an award-winning global leader in the human side of cybersecurity. She is co-founder and co-CEO of Cygenta, where she follows her passion of positively influencing cybersecurity awareness, behaviour and culture in organisations around the world. She has delivered face-to-face cybersecurity awareness sessions to over 35,000 people in over 23 countries. Jessica has been named one of the top 20 most influential women in cybersecurity in the UK and is the Chair of ClubCISO. She is a popular keynote speaker, including keynoting RSA San Francisco in 2020. Jessica is the go-to cybersecurity expert for many media outlets, appearing on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, BBC radio and much more. In September 2020, Jessica’s book Confident Cybersecurity was published by Kogan Page and became a number one Amazon bestseller within hours of publication.


Adrian Davis. With a career spanning over 20 years, Adrian has worked across many sectors from defence to entertainment as a cybersecurity, supply chain and programme/operations management expert. Currently the CEO of IAAC (Information Assurance Advisory Council), he has significant senior commercial and strategic experience gained by leading the Europe, Middle East and Africa region for a global cybersecurity membership organisation; leading and creating multi-disciplinary sales, technology and consulting teams; and managing a consulting business delivering cybersecurity projects to blue-chip organisations globally. He is an acknowledged leader in information security, a published author and a writer of international information security standards. He holds a BSc(Hons) and a PhD from the University of London; a Durham University MBA; the CISSP; an FBCS CITP; and a Visiting Professorship at the University of Sunderland within the Faculty of Computer Science.


Ciarán Mc Mahon is a director of the Institute of Cybersecurity and an award-winning historian and philosopher of psychology. Ciarán is the author of the critically acclaimed The Psychology of Social Media (Routledge), and editor of the forthcoming Psychological Insights for Understanding COVID-19 and Media and Technology. Ciarán’s research interests lie at the intersection of psychology and technology, specifically cybersecurity and social media. He is an occasional lecturer at the School of Psychology, University College Dublin and a regular tweeter at @cjamcmahon. A former Government of Ireland Scholar, Ciarán has published peer-reviewed research on the history of psychological language, the psychology of social media, the social impact of cybercrime, digital wellness and human factors in cybersecurity. Ciarán has extensive media experience and regularly contributes to international media including Wired, Sky News, BBC World Service, Business Insider, USA Today, Fortune Magazine and The Guardian. A compelling public speaker, Ciarán is a passionate advocate for public engagement with online safety and cybersecurity.


Resources & Links

CyberSecurity ABC book. You can pick this up from the Bristish Computing Society here:  BCS

Click to access the login or register cheese