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How To Build A High-Performing Team In Cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

VP and CISO for Star and Disney India, overseeing the company’s cybersecurity strategy in India. Passionate Whitehat hacker. LinkedIN.

Recently, high-profile breaches that took place at Uber and Medibank raised the alarm across different industries to rethink their security strategies. The success of these hacks reinforces the thought that cyber defenders’ strategies are no match for the ever-evolving threat landscape.

In cybersecurity strategy, we have three pillars: people, processes and technology. But the key differentiator between a winning strategy and a losing one is people because intelligent people know how to leverage processes and technology to build a highly efficient and effective strategy. No wonder all industries are frantically searching for high-performing individuals to develop their cybersecurity strategies.

These hackers are competent, highly skilled, focused and motivated toward their goals. Still, a cyber defender’s team typically consists of high-, medium- and low-performing individuals, and a cybersecurity leader will perform a bell curve analysis at the end of each year to evaluate these individuals. So, it is evident that we need a framework to transform the average defenders into high-performing defenders. In this article, I will share one framework I came up with to complete this job. This framework has three pillars, and all these pillars are further broken down by looking at “what,” “who” and “how.”

I like to refer to this framework as the “3i” framework. The three i’s stand for

1. Innovation

2. Inspiration

3. ignite

The following three-step implementation plan will help any organization to adopt this framework quickly into their existing processes. The idea behind this framework is to enable an organization to transform, hire and retain high-performing individuals.

Here’s a brief overview of the why, who and how:


This section covers the answer to “why” one should adopt this in the team. This part includes some benefits related to that domain, but one should be open to more than these options.


This section explains who is responsible for implementing this in their current operation, although everyone should participate.


This section provides some ideas to start implementing this framework in your organization. However, one should be open to more than these options.



Innovation helps us stay ahead of our adversaries. It also allows us to take advantage of new technologies and enable us to take our current operations to the next level.


Individual contributors/leads/people managers/CISOs


Open-source tools


Data Insights





Feeling inspired in our day-to-day lives can play a pivotal role in motivating teams and helping employees reach their full potential. Inspiring your team can help individual workers unlock creativity, increase productivity, serve as a confidence booster and help with engagement.


Leaders/people managers/CISOs


Brownbag sessions

Initiatives related to new technologies

1-to-1 sessions at least every quarter

Building career paths

Thought leadership seminars



“There is no passion to be found in playing small — settling for a life that is less than what you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela


Leaders/people managers/CISOs


Understanding that passion starts with you

Knowing your resources

Establishing a positive work environment

Ongoing training and coaching


As we know, there is no silver bullet to building a high-performing team, but a solid framework increases the probability of making one. I hope the above “3i” approach will enable the organization to take the leap of faith toward building a high-performing team.

Forbes Technology Council is an invitation-only community for world-class CIOs, CTOs and technology executives. Do I qualify?


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National Cyber Security