August 9, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio
Christian Hyatt, CEO & Co-Founder of risk3sixty, knows the secret to building a strong cybersecurity team, and he calls it: Security Team Operating Systems. Walking through his entrepreneurial journey from inspiration as a young child to discovering his interest in the new phenomenon of cyber to co-founding risk3sixty, Christian covers every aspect of intelligent leading and team building. Ready to take your team to the next level? Christian knows 5 key elements you won’t want to miss.
[00:00] Tackling cybersecurity as a business owner in an emerging industry
[07:04] Building better teams with an emphasis on core values
[14:16] Noticing the potential of decentralized technology and data
[18:51] Stepping away from hands-on technician work to be the boss
[22:37] Leading healthy teams through missions, KPIs, and meeting cadences
Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and AttackIQ for bringing this episode to life!
Want to learn more about how Mindbody enhanced their asset visibility and increased their cybersecurity maturity rating with Axonius? Check out axonius.com/mindbody
AttackIQ - better insights, better decisions, and real security outcomes. That's why we partnered with them to create free cybersecurity trainings! Check it out at academy.attackiq.com
Where did the journey of wanting to be a cybersecurity and privacy business owner begin for you?
While many guests on Hacker Valley take the journey from technician to eventual business founder, Christian felt the urge to become an entrepreneur from a young age. Watching his father and grandfather run their own businesses, Christian understood the responsibilities of taking this journey and wanted to make an impact in an industry that was blossoming with potential. Cybersecurity came into Christian’s life later, when he was employed at a consulting industry, but he saw the potential for growth immediately and wanted to be a part of it.
“Along the way, what I learned about myself is I really love building teams. When we built risk3sixty, we were really culture-oriented, even from the early days. We were thinking about scaling the business, career plans, coaching plans, culture kind of stuff.”
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned in the process of building your team at risk3sixty?
Christian cites the books Traction by Gino Wickman and Scaling Up by Verne Harnish as two of his biggest inspirations and influences for team building early on in his entrepreneurial journey. Both of these authors heavily focus on the people element of professional teams, and Christian has implemented that same approach when forming cybersecurity and privacy teams at risk3sixty. The right people in the right positions will make or break a company, which is why risk3sixty has training and apprenticeship programs in place to build a strong foundation of skills with people who are passionate about learning and growing with the company.
“It turns out, if you get the right people in the door, you invest in them, you coach with them, you develop relationships, they're going to serve your clients like no one else is going to do it. They're gonna be part of that mission, they're gonna want to serve, and you do great work.”
Now that you aren’t as hands-on with security assessments as a CEO, what have you learned from the bigger picture, macro-perspective role you have now?
Many cybersecurity technicians feel understandably cautious about taking over C-level positions because of the lack of hands-on technical assessment work. However, for Christian, he’s enjoyed gaining a different perspective on the industry and learning the “why” behind the “what” as CEO of risk3sixty. As CEO, Christian is able to better understand overarching trends and changes in the security assessments his company performs and has the opportunity to talk directly with security executives about opportunities for growth and investment.
“You can walk into an organization and if they don't have a strong leader at the helm, they don't have a security team operating system, they're a little bit dysfunctional, I know already that I'm going to see some problems in there.”
What are the most important characteristics that you're finding for folks that are leading really healthy cybersecurity teams?
Security team operating systems are made up of the non-technical skills and characteristics that make a team effective. When Christian’s team at risk3sixty needed to hone in on these specific elements, they narrowed it down to 5. Teams need to have a (1) defined purpose and mission to go after and a (2) core set of values to not only guide them through their work, but also understand their (3) set of expected behaviors and standards. There also have to be (4) consistent meeting cadences in place and (5) a solid, standard process of goal setting, KPIs, and score carding.
“A great team defines their purpose and mission. Usually, that’s aligned with a business objective. It might be about protecting data, it might be about customer trust, whatever it is that makes sense for that business, they've set a mission that that team can rally around.”
Keep up with Christian Hyatt on LinkedIn
Purchase a HVS t-shirt at our shop
Continue the conversation by joining our Discord
In this episode of the podcast, Maril Vernon joins Ron and Chris and discusses the importance of breaking down silos between cyber teams and inspiring individuals to drive their own careers in cybersecurity. Maril has been a key player in promoting t...
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...
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 ...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...