Improv-ing Your Way to Better Vendor Meetings With Brad Liggett

December 13, 2022 Hacker Valley Studio

00:00:00

Show Notes

Brad Liggett, CTI Intel Engineer Manager at Cybersixgill, puts on his improv hat and joins the pod ready for anything. After COVID pressed pause on daily life, Brad kept himself sane and gained some new skills by returning to his improv roots (a hobby he had in the ‘90s) and taking up Dungeons & Dragons. In this episode, Brad covers the importance of improv skills in the professional world, the opportunities to add elements of gaming into cyber, and advice for practitioners looking to be more agile. Be sure to subscribe to Hacker Valley Studio, the premiere cybersecurity podcast for cybersecurity professionals.

 

Timecoded Guide:

[00:00] Introducing the unique combination of improv & cybersecurity

[05:57] Being a life-long learner in cybersecurity & in improv groups

[13:20] Practicing improvisational skills for cybersecurity customer conversations  

[18:17] Bringing in games & elements of play into cybersecurity environments

[24:38] Advice for a more agile, improvisational tomorrow

 

Sponsor Links:

Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and NetSPI for bringing this episode to life!

Life is complex. But it’s not about avoiding challenges or fearing failure. Just ask Simone Biles — the greatest gymnast of all time. Want to learn more about how Simone controls complexity? Watch her video at axonius.com/simone

For more than 2 decades, NetSPI has helped companies discover and remediate critical security issues through its platform-driven, human-delivered security test. NetSPI is much more than a pentesting company, bringing you the most comprehensive suite of offensive security solutions. Visit netspi.com/HVM to learn more.

 

Is there a skill that you called upon during an interaction with a customer where you really leaned on your improv muscle? 

Improv often involves one phrase that Brad believes other industries should incorporate, too: “Yes, and.” In cybersecurity, Brad leans heavily on the “Yes, and,” phrase because it encourages conversations to move forward authentically. Meetings aren’t successful when customers and clients feel uncomfortable and unengaged. Being able to think on his feet and prepare for changes makes Brad a stronger, more agile practitioner and communicator.

“The whole concept of moving the meeting forward and making sure that there are no uncomfortable silences. Be prepared, have an idea of what you want to talk about, but inevitably, the client you're talking to, everyone's going to be unique.”

 

What do you think is the glue that holds your interests in cyber and improv together?

Being a life-long learner is something extremely important and valuable for Brad. For improv, research on the latest media, memes, and movies influences his work and motivates him to stay up-to-date and be involved in some fun research. Cybersecurity is the same way. Brad believes to be the best practitioner and leader for his team, he needs to be knowledgeable about vendors, threats, products, and all things new in the industry.

“You always have to be reading, you always have to be aware of what's going on in the environment out there in the world, so that as those things come up, at least you can somewhat talk to them and start to put those pieces together.”

 

What has been your experience with bringing an element of play into cyber?

Cybersecurity can’t be all work and no play. Instead, Brad believes that cybersecurity teams should continue to prioritize the gamification of training processes, as well as just letting their teams have a little fun. Sometimes, to build a strong, trusting team, there needs to be an outside outlet for problem-solving, puzzling, and creativity. Brad even brought his team at Cybersixgill to a Meow Wolf exhibition this year for that same team-building reason. 

“We work hard, but we also should make sure that we play, and not only just do that individually, but even as teams, especially now. It's not always going to be about the training aspect, you also have to take that time to bring that team together.”

 

What is a piece of wisdom that people could take with them to work tomorrow to make them more agile and improvisational?

When it comes to agility and improvisational skills, you have to have a strong foundation to build off of. For Brad, taking time for himself and understanding when and how he learns best has been vital to his success. Listening to podcasts at the gym, reading something new at hotels, and getting a good night’s sleep are all little things that help Brad consistently become more agile and improvisational at work. 

“For me, it’s always having some sacred time at the end of the day. There's no TV in my bedroom, and my phone is telling me around 8:30, ‘Hey, it's wind down time,’ and that's when I'm getting in the mode for sleep, and then making sure I've got a good night's sleep.”

---------------

Links:

Keep up with our guest Brad Liggett on LinkedIn and Twitter

Learn more about Cybersixgill on LinkedIn and the Cybersixgill website

Connect with Ron Eddings on LinkedIn and Twitter

Connect with Chris Cochran on LinkedIn and Twitter

Purchase an HVS t-shirt at our shop

Continue the conversation by joining our Discord

Check out Hacker Valley Media and Hacker Valley Studio

Recent Episodes

February 20, 2024

AI & Phishing: Fighting Fire with

Fire

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings is joined by Vishal Dixit, Co-founder & CTO at Graphus Inc., and Sven Bechmann, Senior Product Manager of Email Security at Kaseya to dig into how phishing attacks are evol...

February 14, 2024

Andrew Forgie's Path From Apache

Mechanic to Cybersecurity Sales ...

In this episode, Andrew Forgie takes us on his journey from his early days as an Apache helicopter mechanic in the military to his current role as a regional sales manager in cybersecurity.  Andrew shares his t...

February 6, 2024

Zinet Kemal's Journey From

Ethiopian Immigrant to TEDx Spea...

In this episode of Hacker Valley Studio, we dive into the inspiring journey of Zinet Kamal, an immigrant from Ethiopia who has carved a niche for herself in cybersecurity. Despite starting her journey with limi...

January 30, 2024

Paving the Path for CISOs of the

Future with Gary Hayslip

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings catches up with repeat guest, Gary Hayslip, CISO at SoftBank Investment Advisors and co-author of CISO Desk Reference guide. Gary explains that the varied nature of his current...

January 23, 2024

The Untold Story of Browser Risks:

Pioneering Enterprise Browser Se...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings and guest Or Eshed, CEO of Layer X, discuss how changes in IT infrastructure, employee behavior and malicious tech have created an era where browser security is a must. Or deta...

January 16, 2024

Cyber Defense Reinvented: The New

Era of Attack Surface Management...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings talks with guest Isaac Clayton, Senior Research Engineer at NetSPI. Ron and Isaac discuss the importance of ASM for organizations of all sizes, the challenges of asset identifi...

January 9, 2024

Cyber Resilience Unpacked: Securing

Tomorrow Today with Bill Bernard

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings dives deep into crafting a resilient cybersecurity approach with guest speaker Bill Bernard, VP of Security Strategy at Deepwatch. Bill discusses the necessity of understanding...

January 2, 2024

Looking Backward to GROW Forward in

Cybersecurity in 2024

In this episode, we’ll take a walk down memory lane. Hacker Valley looks back to 2023 to bring you some of the best clips with great advice and insight into being more creative, reflective, and resourceful with...

December 19, 2023

What’s Lurking In Your Containers?

AMBERSQUID Operations, Freejacki...

In this episode, Host Ron Eddings, discusses new tactics of adversaries with Director of Threat Research at Sysdig, Michael Clark. Michael digs into the cloud and shares trends about the AMBERSQUID operation an...

December 12, 2023

Pivotal Policy in the Age of AI

with AJ Grotto

In this episode, Host Chris Cochran chats it up with former White House Senior Director for Cyber Policy, AJ Grotto. AJ shares his viewpoints about the current state of AI policies, the potential risks and bene...

WORK WITH US

PODCASTS + SPEAKING + EVENTS

Are you the best kept secret in cybersecurity? Let's change that by partnering together for podcast ads, social campaigns, and your next event or keynote. Send us your details to get started.