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Top 100 Interview: Nicola Whiting MBE

CSO, Titania

Nicola Whiting MBE is co-owner of Titania Group, she is also Autistic, an Amazon best-selling author, and is listed in SC Magazine’s top 30 most influential women working in cybersecurity. Honors include the AFCEA International Sparky Bairdaward for her work in AI and the UK’s inaugural ‘National Cyber Citizen Award’. In 2020 she was awarded an MBE for services to international trade and diversity. She serves on multiple boards focusing on increasing ethical innovation in future technologies and AI.

Why do you think diversity and inclusion are important in information security?

Cybersecurity is not about technology; it is about people. People are essential to both innovation, and resilience –the two key things that encompass ALL of information security (innovation in creating new stuff, and resilience in protecting it all, whether it is data, systems, or ideas). To be good at both, you need a diverse team that is going to come up with lots of ideas and be able to think like and anticipate attackers' moves. That is why diversity and inclusion are an essential part of high-performance teams. So, for a technologist who has won awards for writing about the future of AI and the future of technology, I am still ‘all about the people’.

What long-lasting effects will the pandemic have on information security teams?

2020 was the year that I went to pick up my MBA for services to international trade and diversity from Prince Charles at Buckingham Palace. That was a real honor. I was also named one of the top 30 most influential women in cybersecurity by SC Magazine. That recognition has enabled me to do a lot of things that I care about immensely in terms of helping other organizations and businesses build inclusion into their DNA – which has been both challenging and fun!

Nicola Whiting MBE is featured in our Top 100 Global Leaders in Information Security Report. Click here to read the full list.