• March 11, 2024

#CFInfluencia Series: Interview with Ronita Sengupta

Welcome to CFInfluencia, a distinguished series by CyberFrat, where we celebrate the unsung heroes of cybersecurity. Join us on a journey of recognition and appreciation as we showcase the remarkable stories and professional journeys of cybersecurity professionals. Through this exclusive series, we aim to shine a spotlight on their invaluable contributions, passion, and dedication in safeguarding the digital realm.
In this edition, we are thrilled to have Ronita Sengupta, a trailblazer in technology and a powerhouse in the HR domain, sharing her inspiring journey.
Please Note: The views expressed are those of the author/interviewee.

How would you describe your professional journey in the IT and Cybersecurity sector?

I embarked on my journey in the IT Industry in 2013 with a passion for employee well-being and helping them manage change. As an HR and communication professional, I recognized the pivotal role effective communication plays in incident response. Early in my career, I actively sought opportunities to bridge the gap between technical experts and non-technical stakeholders.

My commitment to fostering a collaborative environment led me to engage in various forums, where I gained insights into the industry’s intricacies. I immersed myself in learning about emerging threats, compliance standards, and best practices, translating this knowledge into communication strategies and organizational practices that resonate with diverse audiences.

Over the years, I have cultivated an understanding of the unique challenges within the cybersecurity landscape through my interaction with industry experts and working in the IT space. I have worked in close coordination with information security and compliance teams, facilitating streamlined communication during high-stakes situations.

My journey has been marked by a commitment to continuous learning. I actively pursue training and stay in sync with industry trends to enhance my proficiency in navigating the dynamic IT landscape. Through workshops, webinars, and networking events, I have built a robust professional network, fostering collaborations that contribute to the collective knowledge base.

In summary, my trajectory in the IT Industry has been shaped by a fusion of HR expertise, communication acumen, and a genuine dedication to employee upliftment. I am poised to bring these multifaceted skills to the organization, contributing to its mission of fostering resilient and informed employees.

Can you mention any significant achievements/awards you have received in the industry?

Besides being acknowledged as an impactful HR and communications professional, I have been recognised by Fox Story India as one of the top 100 women influencers in our country. I have been featured in Her story Inspiration and the Indian History of Women’s Museum. In 2019, I won the first runner-up title in the Mrs. India International Pageant and was an English News anchor with Delhi Doordarshan for more than 10 years.

One piece of advice you would like to give to new Cybersecurity leaders.

To emerging leaders in the cybersecurity industry, my foremost advice is to recognize the symbiotic relationship between effective leadership and a resilient cybersecurity environment. In my 19+ years of journey in the industry I’ve witnessed the transformative impact leadership can have on any organization’s cybersecurity culture.

Firstly, prioritize fostering a culture of security awareness and inclusivity. In a field where collaboration is crucial, leaders should champion an environment where employees feel empowered to report potential threats without fear of retribution. Open communication channels and regular cybersecurity training sessions can significantly contribute to creating a vigilant workforce.

Secondly, embrace a proactive stance in addressing the human element of cybersecurity. Recognize that employees are not merely end-users but integral components of the organization’s defence mechanism. Provide continuous awareness on the latest cyber threats and equip the team with the knowledge to identify and respond effectively. Additionally, cultivating a sense of responsibility among employees towards the organization’s cyber resilience is essential.

In the realm of change management, I advise new leaders to approach cybersecurity as an ongoing evolution rather than a static set of protocols. Stay agile and adaptable, fostering a mindset that is responsive to emerging threats and industry advancements. Encourage a culture of continuous learning, enabling your team to evolve alongside the rapidly changing cybersecurity landscape.

Lastly, lead by example in championing a holistic approach to cybersecurity. Acknowledge that it is not solely the responsibility of the IT and Cybersecurity department but a collective effort that involves every individual in the organization.

In conclusion, my advice to new leaders in the cybersecurity industry is to embody leadership that prioritizes people, fosters a culture of continuous learning, and recognizes the collective responsibility for cybersecurity.

According to you, which are the top 2 threats in Cybersecurity?

In the dynamic landscape of the cybersecurity industry, two prominent threats that demand attention are phishing attacks and insider threats. As an HR professional and communication professional, I recognize the critical role of proactive communication in mitigating these risks.

To tackle phishing attacks, fostering a culture of cyber awareness among employees is paramount. Regular training programs, simulated phishing exercises, and clear communication about the evolving tactics of cybercriminals can fortify the human firewall.

Addressing insider threats involves a comprehensive approach that extends beyond technological solutions. Emphasizing a positive work culture, encouraging open communication channels, and conducting periodic reviews contribute to early detection. Sensitizing leaders to the importance of their role in cybersecurity and involving them in fostering a cyber-resilient culture can significantly enhance the organization’s overall defence posture.

Do you have any feedback for CyberFrat?

As a newcomer to CyberFrat, I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to engage in a fireside chat on the crucial topic of “Navigating the Digital Storm: Corporate Communication Strategies in Cyber Incident Response.” Being invited as a panelist is an honor, and I am eager to contribute insights, especially from the perspective of an HR professional, to the conversation. I express my sincere gratitude to CyberFrat for this opportunity.

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