June 30, 2021

All About Analysts w/ Christina Richmond

by Cyber Ranch

Show Notes

With us today is Christina Richmond program Vice President at IDC. She's an industry analyst, and she's here to talk to us all about the analyst lifestyle. Allan starts the episode asking Christina to share all about how she got into cyber and what her day job is like. Christina actually began by working in the storage space, and discovered security. To her it was like a drug. What does she do throughout her days? Partakes in hundreds and hundreds of calls with companies who need help with launches and marketing, specifically in growing areas of cybersecurity. In essence, there is a lot to being an analyst. But to be successful, you have to be curious! The best way to put Christina’s job in words, is “learning the whole from the parts.” She talks with individual players, studies market trends, and then circles around again to piece it together. One big feedback loop. On a side note, Christina would like everyone to know she is looking to hire at the director level! If you know anyone, send them her way. There are certain aspects necessary, and they are: First, understanding the technology. Next, either having been an analyst before or being in market research of some kind. Finally, the soft skills or executive presence. Christina admits she is not a technologist, but she also says there's a benefit to having a non-technologist covering this space. She thinks it's important to know that analysts take all shapes and sizes, and there is a benefit from bringing in somebody who thinks about the market differently. In one word, she describes the plight of the analyst as “overwhelmed”. There aren’t enough people, and some people just don’t have enough skills. The skills gap is real. One of the top skills that is missing for practitioners is cloud security, and that is true for analysts as well. The bottom line for Christina is helping; it is her favorite thing to do. When it comes to changing things, Christina wouldn't throw anything out but would have more people doing more of the work. Because really, there is a resource shortage in the analyst realm. Finally, Allan as the one question he asks of all his guests, “What keeps you going in cyber, why do you hop out of bed in the morning, jump in your shoes and say, all right, another day of cyber.” Christina responds, “Every day, there's a new breach, every day someone is suffering because a Florida Water system was poisoned or because the oil the gas pipeline has been interrupted, and we're not going to have gas at our gas stations or because you name it. There are so many reasons to get up every morning. And, I think every cyber security person needs a mission. I'm here to help, I'm the one helping make sure the message gets out. And that's really important to me.” Key Takeaways 1:17 Christina’s background 3:02 An analyst’s day job 6:02 Learning the whole from the parts 7:46 We’re hiring 11:02 Staying informed and in the game 13:05 Non-technologist 14:22 Plight of the analyst 16:38 Favorite part of the job 18:44 What would Christina change 19:35 How to get the best engagement 23:11 Storytime 25:55 What keeps Christina going Links: Learn more about Christina on LinkedIn and Twitter Follow Allan Alford on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about Hacker Valley Studio and The Cyber Ranch Podcast Sponsored by our good friends at Axonius