It is fair to say that Adenike Cosgrove is a people person. She has a deep understanding of the “human factor” in cybersecurity, such as the psychology behind the social engineering techniques used by threat actors and how to properly engage people in awareness training.
Infosecurity Magazine: What are you most proud of (professional or personal)?
Adenike Cosgrove: Speaking first-hand to a room of clinicians, nurses and other healthcare workers at a large private healthcare organization in the UK. It was the first time they had really contacted a security professional to understand the threats they faced and what to do. From our research, we know that these frontline staff are often the most targeted by cybercriminals, who realize that they are in a hurry and more focused on treating patients than verifying theft. an email. Nurses had no idea they were at the top of the list because of the access they have to patient data. They now see themselves as advocates not just for patient care, but also for patient data.
IM: What was your background in cybersecurity?
THAT : Even though I really wanted to be an artist when I was a kid, I was told I could be one of three things: doctor, accountant (my father’s preference – he was an accountant) or engineer. So, being a daddy’s girl but still wanting to rebel, I chose engineer. I then held various fascinating positions as an analyst at Canalys and Forrester, developing a deep understanding of the challenges CISOs face and developing cybersecurity strategies for countless organizations.
My mother has also been a driving force in my professional journey. As I got older and closer to my mother, I realized that she had grown up very little in Lagos, Nigeria. Despite the lack of opportunities, she made it her mission to succeed so that her children could lead a better life. His hard work and unwavering determination ensured that my siblings and I were able to get the best education possible. Growing up, I remember her always saying “lọ ka iwe rẹ” in Yoruba, which literally translates to “go read your books!” Courage, determination, hard work and ingenuity are traits she possesses in spades, and these are traits I aspire to in my own life and career.
IM: What is the most important lesson you learned?
THAT : One thing I will never forget is when I started as an analyst early in my career and was about to do my first stage presentation. I was extremely nervous and couldn’t think of anything less that I wanted to do at the time! But the event organizer said to me, “That audience over there, they don’t look at you thinking ‘I want her to fail’, they just think ‘I want to learn something new. I want solve this challenge in a new way or grow based on what she is going to tell me or take on a challenge in a different way Your perception is that you are scared because you will potentially fail, but no one here wants that you do.
From then on, I thought ‘Huh. OK. As long as I tell them something new, it’s fine. It really helped me. Most of us, if not all of us, have something new or interesting to say, or a different perspective on things that people will learn from.
IM: What advice would you give to someone starting out in the information security industry today?
THAT : My advice to anyone looking to pursue a career in IT is to find your courage and go for it without being intimidated by the obstacles you might encounter. That’s what he always comes back to.
Whether you’re just starting out in your job search or have an established IT career, my advice remains the same: Get your name out there. Constantly raise your hand to attend workshops, technical sessions, networking events and industry trade shows. Don’t be put off by job postings because they seem too technical – there’s always the opportunity to learn on the job, and remember that IT teams need diversity and a plethora of skills .
IM: If you weren’t an infosec professional, what would your DREAM job be? (And you can’t say anything about computer security!)
THAT : An artist.
IM: If you could create an “all-star” project team to work with you on a really challenging but exciting project, who would you choose and why?
THAT : I couldn’t pick one individual – there’s some incredible talent out there. For me, it’s more about working with experts who help fill the gaps in expertise.
IM: Who do you really admire in the industry?
THAT : Anyone who contributes to the fight against cybercrime is a superstar in my eyes!
IM: What is your guilty secret?
THAT : The fact that my husband thought I want to move to the countryside and have a dog, when in reality, I’m a city girl through and through!
Organic : Adenike (Nikki) Cosgrove is Vice President, Cybersecurity Strategist for EMEA at Proofpoint, where she drives marketing strategy in EMEA markets. She brings expertise on key regional cybersecurity strategies such as people-centric security, risk management, data privacy and compliance. She works closely with global brands to understand the threats they face and shares them with product development teams to help them combat today’s sophisticated threat landscape.