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The National Cybersecurity Alliance is pleased to present the eleventh edition of our Board Member Spotlight.
Our Board member companies are leaders in cybersecurity education and awareness and are an integral part of making the organization a successful public-private partnership.
Get to know Anastasia Tsimiklis, Chief Marketing Officer at Terranova Security in this Board Member Spotlight.
You are a very active board member and joined our Marketing Committee in 2021. What has it been like to be a part of rebranding the organization, creating Cybersecurity Awareness Month messaging, and kicking off our Regional Conference Series?
It has been really exciting to be a part of the rebranding strategy for NCA! Programs like Cybersecurity Awareness Month and Data Privacy Week have achieved global recognition and influence millions of individuals and organizations. I am proud of the work that the Marketing Committee and I have accomplished including a refresh of the NCA name, logo, and vision statement. The Regional Conference Series will help fill a gap in our community.
Our vision is to help bring security leaders together with great speakers and content. Security awareness leaders carry great responsibility and are key to building organizations with stronger security cultures and security-aware workforces.
Our first event is in Arizona and we already have an excellent lineup of speakers and vendors that will share inspirational and educational cybersecurity sessions.
The Terranova Security headquarters is in Canada! Can you talk about your experience on the National Cybersecurity Alliance board as a representative from a company outside the U.S?
The National Cybersecurity Alliance is well positioned to take the lead and bring cybersecurity awareness and education outside of the USA to a global audience. Aligning itself with partners such as Terranova Security will support its vision of empowering a more secure interconnected world. The board members have been extremely welcoming and warm and it’s been such a pleasure to meet and work with so many inspiring leaders.
Why is it important that we look at cybersecurity issues from a global perspective?
Everyday, three billion phishing emails are sent out worldwide. And just like global climate change and the pandemic, we must tackle cybersecurity like the global issue it is. This requires a global perspective and effort.
Cyber criminals have the advantage of targeting and attacking individuals and organizations anywhere and from anywhere – borders are insignificant. Instead, global partnerships across public and private sector are necessary to help bring change across all continents.
How does Terranova Security’s cybersecurity interests align with the National Cybersecurity Alliance mission to educate and empower our global digital society?
Terranova Security is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. So much has changed over the last two decades – but one thing remains as critical as it did 20 years ago – the need to educate and empower so that we can protect our personal and organizational data safe from cyberattacks. We have been training cyber heroes for 20 years. Our mission is as important as ever and we are committed, as is NCA, to help make our daily lives a little safer online.
As a Chief Marketing Officer, where do you think the cybersecurity field can improve communication to consumers about cybersecurity issues and best practices to stay safe online?
I firmly believe that security leaders have such an awesome opportunity to help educate their employees and make them aware of the risks of phishing attacks.
Communication about ransomware, malware, and other forms of social engineering does not have to be fear-based. My guidance is to use positive language and optimistic messages that provide hope around our ability to face a growing, global issue with confidence. Everyone can be a cyber hero!
What is one recent project in your career that you were proud to be a part of?
The Gone Phishing Tournament helps organizations compare their click rate with other organizations by vertical, geo location and by size or number of employees. The Tournament is very unique. We open it up to any organization globally. This past October, we sent the same phishing simulation, in 20 languages, to almost 1 million users.
The data we collected allowed us to publish the Global Phishing Benchmark report and provides an important data point in the importance of strong cybersecurity awareness programs. One in five employees clicked on the phishing simulation. I am very proud of this project as the tournament provides a safe learning moment using a phishing simulation based on a real-life phishing email. We are already planning next year’s Tournament! It has been amazing to part of it’s the program’s growth year over year.
When and how did you know that you wanted to work in cybersecurity awareness?
I met Lise Lapointe, CEO of Terranova Security, a little over three years ago and she shared her passion for cybersecurity and her vision for growing cybersecurity awareness both within Canada and internationally. Her commitment to supporting security leaders in their awareness journey is real and I decided pretty quickly that I wanted to join her and the rest of the Terranova Security team and work in cybersecurity. As CMO since 2018, it’s been such an incredible journey. I am grateful for the opportunity to help make our world cybersafe.
You were featured in our Women in Cybersecurity blog in honor of Women’s History Month last year. You spoke about the importance of connecting and learning from a mentor. What are some good qualities to look for in a mentor?
The best mentors are great listeners and act as a sounding board – provide guidance and feedback with honesty and provide connections to other leaders.
What sports or activities were you involved in as a kid? Are you still involved?
I grew up in Montreal and my city hosted the summer Olympics in 1976. These were the games where Nadia Comaneci would score the first perfect 10 and make history with seven perfect 10s. I was in awe of Nadia and of her sport. I had the opportunity to meet her in the late 80s. Over the years, I pivoted from a gymnast to downhill skiing and to running. I enjoy compiling my 10k playlist which includes tracks from Eminem, Jennifer Lopez, and Flock of Seagulls.
What is your favorite book right now?
I just finished reading The Body Book: Feed, Move, Understand and Love Your Amazing Body by Cameron Diaz – a great read. Cameron breaks down the science of healthy eating with great context on how different foods strengthen the body and the key to good nutrition. It was published in 2013 and still a good read!