Role of Emotional Intelligence in Creating a Healthy Information Security Culture

Nadia El Fertasi, Human Readiness and Resilience Expert and former NATO senior executive, highlights the importance of leveraging emotional intelligence to create and sustain a healthy information security culture. During a very thought-provoking discussion, Nadja made some poignant statements and recommendations such as a) build a culture of empowerment and not fear, b) use empathy to counter social engineering attacks, c) make cyber hygiene practices non-technical and reduce human firewalls, and d) practice reason over fear.

Time Stamps

00:49 — I’d like to begin by asking you to reflect on your experience at NATO.

09:25 — How do you get organizational members at all levels, more committed to achieving a high level of cybersecurity performance?

19:38 — There is growing recognition that security is an important organizational capability, a very important organizational competency? How do you get that realization shaping the organization’s culture?

41:01 — During our podcast planning discussion, you shared some very powerful quotes, such as a) practice reason over fear, and b) use empathy to counter social engineering attacks. Can you speak to them?

49:59 — This discussion we’ve had speaks to human-related controls. The ability to effectively implement such controls requires a very different skill set. Can you speak to that, as we wrap up this conversation?

Memorable Nadja El Fertasi Quotes

“If you want to change mindsets and implement cyber hygiene, language is important.”

Build a culture of empowerment, not fear.”

“So how can you speak in a way that security is seen as an enabler and not as a barrier.”

“Practice reason over fear.”

“Use empathy to counter social engineering attacks.”

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Cybersecurity Readiness Book: https://www.amazon.com/Cybersecurity-Readiness-Holistic-High-Performance-Approach/dp/1071837338