Cybersecurity Tips from The High Performance Podcast

Jake Humphrey & Damian Hughes, from The High Performance Podcast, offered advice to the cybersecurity industry at Inosecurity Europe 2024.

Performing at the highest possible level is crucial for cybersecurity professionals and society at large. Attack rates are increasing, threat actors are growing more sophisticated, and the cybersecurity job market is more competitive than ever. To protect their organizations from threats and advance their career, cybersecurity professionals do everything possible to maximize their performance.

Fortunately, help is on hand. On the second day of Infosecurity Europe 2024, Jake Humphrey and Damian Hughes, hosts of The High Performance Podcast, offered advice to the cybersecurity industry on achieving high performance. Few people are better placed to provide this advice: Jake and Damian have spent the past four years interviewing over 250 of the world’s most successful people to get their tips for success. Keep reading for our key takeaways from their keynote presentation.

Focus On the Little Things

Cybersecurity is full of fine margins and unsung heroes. The difference between a thwarted cyberattack and a headline-grabbing data breach can be a matter of seconds. Jake and Damian pointed out that, just like in the world of sports, where players make countless unseen efforts, cybersecurity professionals must prioritize the seemingly minor aspects of their work.

They played a clip from one of their podcast episodes in which Sam Tompkins, former England rugby league captain, emphasizes that while 1% efforts often go unnoticed, they contribute significantly to overall success. For Sam, the most valuable players are those who do little things like running those extra few meters to close a gap, not necessarily those who score a spectacular try or make a big tackle.

The same is true for cybersecurity. Whether it’s analyzing logs, scrutinizing code, or identifying vulnerabilities, paying attention to detail can make all the difference in thwarting cyber threats.

Learn from Your Failures

All high performers will experience failure on their journey to success. Greg Hoffman, Nike’s chief marketer, told Damian and Jake that failure is the price of ambition. High performers must understand that it’s not the failure itself but how they respond to it that determines their success.

Cybersecurity professionals can use their failures to inform future incident response efforts through a post-mortem analysis. Post-mortem analysis, also known as a retrospective or after-action review, is a critical tool for learning from failures. This process involves thoroughly examining an incident to identify what happened, why it happened, and how it can be prevented in the future. Cybersecurity teams should conduct post-mortem analyses for every significant incident to uncover root causes and implement corrective actions.

Practice Emotional Control

Cybersecurity can be a demoralizing business. Facing increasingly sophisticated attacks and enormous pressure, it can be tempting for cybersecurity professionals to give up. That’s why, according to Dan Carter, a legendary All Blacks rugby player, emotional control is critical to consistent high performance in the face of extraordinary pressure.

To effectively control their emotions and maintain composure in high-pressure environments, cybersecurity professionals could practice mindfulness and develop healthy coping mechanisms like exercise, spending time with friends, or simply pausing to reflect before making a decision. Most important, however, is recognizing that well-being comes first. Whether facing a sophisticated cyberattack or navigating complex organizational dynamics, maintaining composure and resilience is vital, and excessive stress levels will only get in the way.


Cybersecurity is not a solitary endeavor. It is a collaborative effort that involves diverse teams working towards a common objective. Like effective businesses, high-performing cybersecurity professionals understand the value of teamwork and communication. They recognize that sharing knowledge, leveraging each other’s strengths, and fostering a supportive environment are essential for success. High-Performance Podcast guest Dame Stephanie Shirley, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, built her business empire by empowering her team – cybersecurity professionals can do the same, becoming more effective by collaborating with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders.

Define Your Culture

We’ll end with a tip from Damian and Jake themselves. Culture is important. Defining a commitment culture characterized by a clear sense of purpose and non-negotiable behaviors can help foster an environment where individuals feel valued, motivated, and empowered. This allows organizations to unleash the full potential of their cybersecurity teams. Cybersecurity organizations should do their best to create this environment, while cybersecurity professionals should do their best to contribute to it.

In conclusion, cybersecurity professionals have a lot to learn from other high performers. By focusing on the little things, learning from failures, practicing emotional control, collaborating effectively, and defining a robust organizational culture, cybersecurity professionals can enhance their capabilities and contribute to a safer digital environment for all. Embracing these principles can empower individuals and organizations to achieve high performance and make a meaningful impact in the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape.

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Cybersecurity Tips from The High Performance Podcast
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