Government , Industry Specific , Leadership & Executive Communication

Profiles in Leadership: Don Gibson

CISO Discusses Building a Security Program From Scratch
Don Gibson, head of cyber, Department for International Trade, U.K. government

Tasked with heading cybersecurity in the recently created U.K. Department for International Trade - or DIT - Don Gibson discusses the opportunities and challenges of building a security program from scratch.

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"We're a bit of a outlier in government," he says of the department, because "we are fully virtualized." Building the security program "was a case of ensuring that the correct strategy was put together for the board, that they liked it, and then actually delivering against it," he says.

Gibson describes the initial pushback he received from the development team "mainly because it was going to make their life slightly more difficult." He says he had to win "hearts and minds," which meant "talking with them, working with them, listening to their concerns, and then using it to drive my agenda forward."

In a video interview with Information Security Media Group as part of the CyberEdBoard's ongoing Profiles in Leadership series, recorded at the UKI Cybersecurity Summit 2022 in London, Gibson discusses:

  • Building a security program from scratch;
  • Cloud migration challenges and opportunities;
  • How to find and retain the right talent.

Gibson is head of cyber at the Department for International Trade in the U.K. government. He has been a global security architect and a head of cyber/CISO across a number of businesses in a wide variety of sectors. He's seen some things …

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About the Author

Anna Delaney

Anna Delaney

Director, Productions, ISMG

An experienced broadcast journalist, Delaney conducts interviews with senior cybersecurity leaders around the world. Previously, she was editor-in-chief of the website for The European Information Security Summit, or TEISS. Earlier, she worked at Levant TV and Resonance FM and served as a researcher at the BBC and ITV in their documentary and factual TV departments.

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