#RSAC: RSA President Calls for Cultural Focus on Inclusion and Neurodiversity

It’s time for the information security industry to rethink its culture and focus on inclusion, RSA President Rohit Ghai said in his opening keynote at RSA Conference in San Francisco.

“We need to rethink our culture and shift from a culture of elitism to a culture of inclusion,” said Ghai. His opening keynote called for the information security industry to change its narrative: “to change our future, we must change and spread our story. We need to agree on the story we want and land it in lots of heads.

“Expanding our talent pool and filling the talent gap, however you look at it, requires finding people outside of the tech community. Let’s stop being tech and STEM snobs,” he said.

One of the largest untapped resources for the information security industry, said Ghai, is neuro-diversity. “They can bring new perspectives to company’s efforts to create recognized value.”

The neuro-diverse population problem-solve in different ways, he said. “It is a largely untapped talent pool with unemployment running as high as 80%.”

There are currently seven generations in the US and five of these in the workforce, he said, each with a different set of characteristics, norms and of course, perspectives. “We need to harness this entire spectrum and be open to considering potential and not just expertise when we hire.

“We need to collaborate, not just within security teams but with businesses, risk, ID and users.” The industry needs to change to a culture of perfection and pragmatism, Ghai said. “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good. I am not saying we should lower our standards but let’s prioritize our risk, take care of basic things like multi-factor authentication.”

Whichever way you choose to tell the story of our industry, make sure it is the right one, concluded Ghai. “You are the humans of infosecurity, the keepers of our story and when the fire is long gone and so are we, it is our story that will stay behind, and if it’s the right one, it will guide those after us on the right path. It will tell them what to hold on to. We are only as good as the story we leave behind.”

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