December 6, 2022

Prioritizing & Proactive Cybersecurity with Richard Rushing

by Hacker Valley Studio

Show Notes

Richard Rushing, CISO at Motorola Mobility, brings his decades of experience to the show this week to talk about leadership, communication, and perhaps most importantly of all: prioritization. After joining Motorola through a startup acquisition, Richard has been a leader in the company and a defining example of what a CISO should be doing: simplifying the complicated. Richard talks about how his role has changed over the last 10 years and what’s next for him and for cybersecurity.

 

Time Code Guide:

[00:00] Ascending into a leadership role in cybersecurity & joining the Motorola team

[06:28] Defining CSO & CISO at a time when no one understood cybersecurity

[13:01] Communicating with the C-suite about cyber: best practices & tenants

[24:37] Harnessing a proactive cybersecurity mindset with prioritization

[32:13] Extending your cybersecurity career for decades

 

Sponsor Links:

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

The Axonius solution correlates asset data from existing solutions to provide an always up-to-date inventory, uncover gaps, and automate action — giving IT and security teams the confidence to control complexity. Learn more at axonius.com/hackervalley

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.

 

What was your experience of being a Chief Security Officer in the early 2000s?

Richard jokes that he became a part of the cyber industry before the industry was even called cybersecurity, but behind the joke lies the truth that cyber looked extremely different back then. However, no matter how much time passes, Richard is still used to the odd confused looks that come from saying he’s a CISO. People misunderstand the role, Richard explains, but at least more people than ever before understand the importance of cybersecurity.

“There were a lot of other things that you had to talk about, you had to evangelize a lot coming into this [industry] because a lot of the cybersecurity industry was brand new. People were moving around and trying to figure these things out and everybody struggled.”

 

How many times would you say you feel like you've had a new job or a new role being in the same role for over 10 years? 

Being a CISO has had its ups and downs during the 10 years Richard has spent in that role at Motorola, but the changes have been welcome and interesting. Every few years, the technology landscape changes, and with those changes in tech come massive changes in company ownership, leadership, and security. However, Richard is thankful that through these changes, his core team has stayed the same, giving him a trustworthy group to learn from.

“It's always changing, but at the same time, there are some static components. When I came on to Motorola 15 years ago and established teams, most of my team, except for a very small portion of people that retired or left, are still with me today.”

 

What are your thoughts and best practices for proactive cybersecurity?

Although “proactive cybersecurity” has become a buzzword we’re all paying attention to, Richard warns that most companies aren’t really being proactive with cybersecurity just yet. Instead, what the industry has shifted towards is prioritization. Understanding what’s important, prioritizing those aspects of a business, and knowing what you don’t have the resources to handle can make the security work you’re doing feel more proactive. 

“Why do I need to prioritize? Because you're getting more alerts than you have people to be able to handle it or technologies to be able to handle it in an automated way. So, you have to prioritize what's important.” 

 

What would you recommend people consider to extend their cybersecurity career life as long as you have?

After nearly four decades in the industry and over ten years at Motorola, Richard has been in cybersecurity longer than most modern-day practitioners. When asked about his secrets for an extended cybersecurity career, Richard reflects back on his advice around prioritization over “proactive cybersecurity”, and emphasizes the importance of community. Cybersecurity is a collaborative field, and practitioners have to stay open to learning together to succeed. 

“In the cybersecurity world, we will talk to our competitors and share what we're seeing. I think that community effort is one of the key things. You have to enjoy what you're doing, reach out and be collaborative with people. Don't be the security guy that people are scared of.”

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

Links:

Keep up with our guest Richard Rushing on LinkedIn and Twitter

Learn more about Motorola Mobility on LinkedIn and the Motorola 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

Read more

Listen Now

test
Prioritizing & Proactive Cybersecurity with Richard Rushing

December 6, 2022 Hacker Valley Studio

00:00:00

Recent Episodes

January 24, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

In this episode of Hacker Valley Studio, Rob Wood, Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) at CMS, discusses the challenges of data silos within organizations. Rob explains that security teams often operate in silos, with different departments focu...

January 17, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

Taylor Lehmann, Director of Office of the CISO at Google Cloud, has made it his mission to make healthcare and life sciences more secure and strategic for everyone. Joining our security podcast this week, Taylor talks about how security and strategy ...

January 10, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

Maxime “Max” Lamothe-Brassard, Founder of LimaCharlie, brings a tech-focused community perspective and a history of working at Google to the Hacker Valley security podcast this week. Inspired by the internal motivation to empower others and build wha...

January 3, 2023
by Hacker Valley Studio

Brian Haugli, Founder and CEO of SideChannel, brings his CISO expertise to the security podcast this week for a discussion about strategy and leadership in cybersecurity. Working alongside CISOs and fractional VCISOs, Brian has seen his share of lead...

December 20, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio

Allison Minutillo, President of Rebel Interactive Group and Host of the Rebel Leadership podcast, joins the Hacker Valley team this week to talk about her journey from individual contributor to company leader. With a leader’s mind and a rebel’s heart...

December 15, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio

Cody Wass, VP of Services at NetSPI, brings his near-decade of experience to the pod to talk about longevity, development, and leadership. It’s no secret that cybersecurity is in need of people. Cody’s journey from intern to VP at NetSPI has shown hi...

December 13, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio

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 hobb...

December 6, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio

Richard Rushing, CISO at Motorola Mobility, brings his decades of experience to the show this week to talk about leadership, communication, and perhaps most importantly of all: prioritization. After joining Motorola through a startup acquisition, Ric...

November 29, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio

Kenneth Ellington, the Senior Cybersecurity Consultant at EY and Founder of the Ellington Cyber Academy, achieves his goal of being on the Hacker Valley Studio this week. From working at Publix in college to becoming an online course instructor, Kenn...

November 22, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio

Lesley Carhart, Director of Incident Response at Dragos, takes some time off mentoring cybersecurity practitioners, responding to OT incidents, and training in martial arts to hop on the mics this week. Named Hacker of the Year in 2020, Lesley’s impa...