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Consulting Integrity

Consulting with Integrity is critically important in my industry of Cyber Security, there are many consultants preaching to be what they are not, “knowledgeable” people. The Cyber security industry is fully of vendors and sellers trying to position security tooling as a solution to a cyber risk problem.

I want to share a recent story that inspired me:

Meeting a CISO

Yesterday I met with a Crayon customer’s CISO, and a software vendor to discuss a potential addition to their security tooling.

In a refreshing change from what is normal, this CISO stopped the presentation very early on and said “Please show me the product”, he knows what his problem is and wants to determine if this solution will be the answer – transparency is priceless, saving time and getting to the point.

For vendors, talking about who you are comes last, first is understanding the people, knowing who the customer is, what their pain points are and what your product can do to solve their challenge.

Not every meeting is going to have a guaranteed outcome, any client who understands their environment has a fairly good idea of what they need to do next.

If you are positioning a new idea then that is going to most likely be “roadmapped” into a subsequent Budget, appreciate this and don’t push to change, instead seek to understand the decision making process, be involved because sometimes priorities do change or budget is available last minute.

If the client doesn’t know what they need to do then use integrity and don’t insist on selling snake oil that fixes a 1% problem when the 99% is burning down, this destroys not just your reputation but that of the industry and I for one don’t want to be categorised like Real Estate Agents or Car sales – apologies to those in the industry who are conscientious and diligent!

In summary

Luckily it is easy to do things the right way, my approach is to understand the customer and the problem, then try and address how I can help by explaining what my company does for other businesses, ultimately maybe I can not help this time – but I guarantee the 30 or 60 minutes I spent with them has given them some value, because I know my industry.

On top of this I am genuinely curious how our clients businesses work and how we can work together to achieve mutual beneficial outcomes by reducing cyber security risk.

If our interactions are clear, genuine and straightforward then the connection created is valuable because this industry is small and integrity is priceless.

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