By KATHLEEN STURGEON
With the rise in cyber threats over the past few years, Cyberhub CEO Karin Zalcberg saw a void and began a program to educate and protect the public.
That was when she was at her previous job where she led an aggressive sales team in financial services and worked with a diverse clientele of companies, including online gaming, biomedical, insurance and education.
As they moved through the sales cycle for the clients, she began to see patterns of behavior. The most prevalent was the little amount of time spent on education in customer service and overall people management skills.
“Leadership in the relationship-building arena was needed very badly, especially in the medical field,” Zalcberg said. “Many doctors do not have the best bedside manner, and ironically, it’s this human interaction that can make or break even the most talented physician’s reputation or their medical group.”
She combined psychology, sales strategies, leadership and education, along with the digital interaction of commerce, and developed a strong understanding of virtual trade and human element. That drives what she does daily. It also helped her form Cyberhub.
“My work ethic and problem-solving skill set, combined with my fascination for emerging technologies, led me to create a platform that was ultimately designed to help people,” she said. “There is a great need for leadership in cybersecurity, a need for understanding of the motivation of the cyber-criminals. This is an emerging field with global ramifications. It’s important, always evolving and fascinating.”
This year, she expanded her business to create the Cyberhub Summit on Nov. 8-9 at the Omni Atlanta Hotel at the CNN Center.
“CyberHub Summit is, at its heart, a teaching and sharing platform for executives whose responsibilities lie outside of the information and data categories, but whose jobs are reliant on the information they provide,” Zalcberg said. “Understanding your business is critical to success.”
She said she admires businesses like UPS that make their employees work on a truck delivering packages, no matter what they were hired for.
“This experience is essential to the culture and success of the company,” Zalcberg said. “Today, corporate leadership skills must include knowledge, actionable knowledge, of technology, its data component and a rich understanding of the fluidity of the digital commerce border of the company. Any executive must be equipped with the knowledge of its companies’ infrastructure and that now includes technology and its applications.”
She also encourages women to enter the cybersecurity industry because she thinks they’d thrive in the industry that’s a combination of criminology and technology, mixed with the intricacies of human behavior.
And although she faced sexism, she said she never allowed it to determine her actions or stop her.
“When you really look at it, cybersecurity is an attempt at social engineering with a goal at understanding how online criminals are working and what their motivations are,” Zalcberg said.
“I think women can do a brilliant job in this complicated industry. Tracing hackers can take years, but I believe women, because of the intuitive way they think, can trace hackers better than men. Women are very good at analyzing behavior and always ask why. This is crucial to understanding the hacker.”