Building The Right Relationships with Den Jones
Episode 6816th June 2022 • The New CISO • Steve Moore
00:00:00 00:50:06

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On this episode of The New CISO, Steve is joined by Den Jones, the Chief Security Officer at Banyan Security, to discuss the importance of trustworthy and transparent relationships in the cyber security field.

Before joining the security intelligence industry, Den first worked as a postman walking the streets of his native Scotland and dreamed of becoming a musician. Now a CISO, he shares how to deal with misleading salespeople and create effective data security strategies. Listen to the episode to hear more about Den’s journey, the problems with vendors, and his thoughts on building relationships.

Listen to Steve and Den discuss the importance of building a network and proactive security intelligence:

Meet Den (1:40)

Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, Den Jones, who shares a bit about his past and how he transitioned from postal work into cyber security. 

The Must-Have Gear (3:31)

As a postman obsessed with music, Den saw his buddy's house and a Roland RSP-550 that he was dying to have. Seeing this quality of gear led Den to quit his job to find a more lucrative career path, which eventually brought him into the world of cyber security. 

College in the UK (7:03)

Unlike college in the US, where you learn several subjects, Den only took classes focused on IT. Unable to finish his degree, Den reflects on how he had to drop out of school yet was the first out of his peers to get an IT job.

Get IT Started. Get IT Done. (12:18)

Den also discusses his Banyan Security podcast, Get IT Started. Get IT Done. Every episode, Den brings inspirational guests on to share their cyber security journeys and the full cycle of their business endeavors.

The Issue With Vendors (18:23)

Den recognizes that the hype around marketing distracts cyber security professionals from their work and that harassing salespeople can be a considerable frustration. Den explains how it’s better to have a “build relationships, not sell stuff” mentality in addition to ways to build transparent vendor relationships.

Building A Team (27:28)

Steve asks Den why he had the mission to build a strong security intelligence team. 

Den explains that much of his motivation came from wanting to solve a major question the cyber security industry had not yet solved: “Was that you who logged in?” With a small team of college grads that Den organized, they built a data security platform that secures users from computer hackers through password protection.

Keeping Data Safe (32:58)

Den understands that executives do not share his interest in users' security and are motivated by staying out of the press, which a preventable security breach could cause. For practitioners, the goal then must be to help their firms maintain a solid reputation but also to find ways to use their work for good.

The Pillars Of The Job (36:35)

Steve presses Den on the ways to push and maintain proactive security intelligence. 

Den explains how to determine the core questions that lead to protecting data and the vital importance of having users’ login information. By looking at identities, user devices, and the intelligence behind the users and the device, Den can develop data security strategies.

Tips and Recommendations (42:23)

All service accounts should be predictable because it allows their team to detect when there are deviations from the norm. Den recommends maintaining tight access and monitoring service accounts’ task functions to keep data safe.

What Does It Mean To Be A CISO Leader? (48:40)

To Den, being a CISO means building a solid network of healthy relationships. With the right people around you, you can leverage their wisdom and advice to be a productive leader in the cyber security world.

Links mentioned:

Podcast - Get IT Started. Get IT Done. 

Banyan Security

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