Cybersecurity is a fast-growing industry, and there is a constant need for experts in the field. Anu Laitila sees significant potential, not only in inspiring young people to enter the field, but also in attracting those who would be interested in changing their career from one industry to another.
Anu has had a career change herself, and for over 15 years she worked in media and marketing related positions. However, her interest towards cybersecurity developed as did her career in the field. There were some significant cybersecurity events that Anu participated in, such as a workshop organized by F-Secure at the Women in Tech Finland event, which helped grow her passion for cybersecurity.
Better quality by changing mindset, attitudes, and behavior in cybersecurity
Anu joined Nixu as a Cybersecurity Awareness Business Manager in 2019 and worked alongside studying a master’s degree in cybersecurity at Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences. Currently, Anu also takes on the role of the team lead for the Awareness team and with the help of her team, she works towards the objective of changing people's mindset, attitudes, and behavior in relation to security. Anu’s work also includes consultancy, and she regularly interacts with organizations and other clients to train, guide and develop the security culture within their organizations. A substantial number of cybersecurity related issues are caused by human error, so changing mindsets and staying at the forefront of new cybersecurity topics is crucial.
It is important to recognize how the human mind works alongside technology.
Anu’s team comprises of individuals with diverse skills and career backgrounds, such as marketing, communications, teaching, and psychology. According to Anu, the team is very humane and people-centric which is an asset when providing an important service. “It is important to recognize how the human mind works alongside technology to improve cybersecurity culture.” Anu says.
An everyday challenge for Anu’s team is to teach people new habits and show them how to eradicate poor habits in relation to their cybersecurity. “It requires long-term, consistent work, and that is why we work in close co-operation with our clients.” Anu states.
Diversity is fundamental to change and improvement
One common question that Anu hears frequently is: “Why don’t you hire more women to the cybersecurity industry?” From Anu’s point of view, we should not just talk about hiring more women, but also hiring more individuals from a bigger multitude of backgrounds such as gender, age, race, and education. Diversity is fundamental to change and improve mindsets, so that new ideas are created, and we can build better teams, organizations, and the world around us. “Most importantly, we need people who have a passion for cybersecurity and making young people interested in this subject area is really important.” Anu explains.
Now, after three years at Nixu, Anu is grateful for all the help she has received from her colleagues and mentors. “The culture at Nixu encourages sharing and helping each other. Especially, when you have entered the industry as a newcomer, it has been extremely important. Sharing is caring.” States Anu.