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What I Learned from My NPR Interview


I had my first opportunity to be interviewed by National Public Radio, on short notice, to react to the White House announcements on cybersecurity policy. The issue was front and center most of the week, including a reference to cybersecurity in President Obama’s State of the Union speech (a first, I think). In retrospect, three things stood out about this interview:

  1. Given North Korea, Sony, Target, and now the White House, cybersecurity is 100% mainstream. When 60 Minutes ran a piece about cybersecurity late last year, I must have had a dozen people ask me about it at the gym, at breakfast, and at lunch that Monday. My family reunion last year turned into a discussion about Heartbleed. My uncles were deeply impressed.
  2. I have to spend WAY more time following cybersecurity issues in the popular press, in addition to the security bloggers and press. My ability to comment on the fly on any and every cybersecurity issue at the drop off the hat has to improve. Sleep is optional going forward, I guess.
  3. I hope I have more time to prep for my second national-level radio show. From notification to interview was less than twelve hours, and the matter discussed was one that had just been release by the White House, so there was very little info on the streets. I have a friend who works in the White House for the National Security Council on cybersecurity policy. My analysis was really first-level reactions. Next time, I hope I have the opportunity to have deeper thoughts or even a catchy quote!

It was spontaneous, and I didn’t say anything I regretted, although I wish I had an opportunity to socialize my thoughts a little more with security brethren and talk to my White House friend to get more background. Perhaps next time.

About John Dickson

John Dickson web resolution

John Dickson is an internationally recognized security leader, entrepreneur and Principal at Denim Group, Ltd. He has nearly 20 years’ hands-on experience in intrusion detection, network security and application security in the commercial, public and military sectors. As a Denim Group Principal, he helps executives and Chief Security Officers (CSO’s) of Fortune 500 companies, including major financial institutions, launch and expand their critical application security initiatives.
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One Response to “What I Learned from My NPR Interview”

  1. Phil Beyer

    Great insight John!

    It’s helpful to hear the behind-the-scenes version of your interview experience. It sounds like adding thoughtful commentary to the public discourse on cybersecurity is not as easy as pros like you make it sound! :)

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