Welcome to The Cyber Ranch Podcast, recorded under the big blue skies of Texas, where one CISO explores the cybersecurity landscape with the help of friends and experts! Today, host and CISO Allan Alford interviews Gabe Lawerence, General Manager of Cyber Security Protection at Toyota Motor North America. Gabe has seen the good and bad of purple teaming, and we’re here today to discuss what a mature purple teaming organization looks like.
To start the conversation, Allan asks Gabe to share a little about himself, his background in information security and what he does at his day job. His path to security hasn’t been linear - he has been a developer, an entrepreneur and a startup owner, slowly making his way to different levels of management in the security space. Gabe runs Enterprise Security at Toyota North America and is responsible for the technical side of the business and manufacturing environment.
When discussing what successful purple teaming looks like, Gabe points to the heightened alert of fidelity being among its greatest benefits. Rather than a red versus blue mindset, purple teaming encourages community and collaboration. Then, Allan asks Gabe to share a specific time he found unexpected success in purple teaming. Gabe gives an example reiterating the advantage of having a red and blue team working collaboratively.
In managing an enterprise, Gabe says there is always something changing. Validating your controls, alerts and responses are just a few of many tasks best tackled in smaller chunks. Embedding the automation from purple teaming as the ongoing environment keeps things in a high functioning state and serves as a persistent health check. Gabe explains how a buffer overflow isn’t exactly instantaneous and combatting lingering attacks.
Though purple teaming has many great benefits, it requires a bit of maturity. Having different teams interact together as they mature ensures they understand each other's roles and can effectively work together. Gabe urges people in the industry to think of themselves not only as part of a specific team, but as a part of a broader collective. In the hiring process, he describes seeking candidates with experience in software development and scripting. Additionally, it’s crucial to be willing and excited to learn and have keen problem solving abilities. In closing, Gabe looks forward to working in server-less spaces like the Cloud in the future and says his favorite thing about his career field is that it never fails to offer something new.
0:21 - Host Allan Alford welcomes listeners to the show and introduces Gabe Lawerence.
1:12 - Allan asks Gabe to share about his background and day job.
2:40 - What is successful purple teaming?
4:30 - Gabe shares both positive and negative personal experiences in purple teaming.
9:42 - How do you automate purple teaming?
14:11 - Fine tuning the deployment of the controls.
19:20 - How Gabe designs and hires for his team.
26:20 - What keeps Gabe in Information Security?
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