Critical Infrastructure Security , Governance & Risk Management , Leadership & Executive Communication

National Cybersecurity and the Broader Threat Spectrum

Ex-Canadian Security Executive Dan Faughnan on Importance of Systems Thinking
Brian Barnier, ValueBridge Advisors (left); Dan Faughnan, ex-Canadian Security Intelligence Service

Critical thinking, systems thinking and design thinking are important elements missing in cybersecurity education today. Former Canadian security executive Dan Faughnan encourages their adoption and says, "Cyber is an important part of a broader threat spectrum, and cyber itself is impacted by that broader spectrum."

See Also: OnDemand Webinar | Mastering Cybersecurity Leadership: Effective Strategies for Boardroom Communication

He says that business leaders need to have "a much greater grounding in the cyberthreat as part of that broader risk to the organization. Failing that, they will only look at the risks that are easy to look at."

In this interview with Brian Barnier, who is developing a course on critical thinking and design thinking in cybersecurity for, Faughnan also discusses:

  • His approach to critical thinking and systems thinking;
  • How to think through specific design steps;
  • Becoming a critical thinker and leader no matter where you are in your career.

Faughnan is a former senior executive member of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service. He spent over 29 years in a host of domestic and foreign environments, working with small and large interdisciplinary teams addressing some of the world’s most critical problems. Faughnan's passion for enterprise risk and planning stems both from his early experiences as a young officer in the Canadian Armed Forces and his later work as a senior organizational executive in the national security space. His working philosophy is that innovation is enabled by leaders who focus on vision, strategy, objectives and performance measurement.

About the Author

Brian Barnier

Brian Barnier

Director of Analytics, ValueBridge Advisors

Barnier is the director of analytics at ValueBridge Advisors. He is also professor of operations finance and economics at the graduate level across several U.S. universities. He has been a guest lecturer in Russia and Mexico and served on the faculty of the Wharton/MBA Stonier Graduate School of Banking. Prior to ValueBridge Advisors, he led teams to nine U.S. patents in technology with AT&T, Nokia and IBM. In 2021, Barnier earned the coveted Joseph J. Wasserman award presented by ISACA for outstanding achievement in information technology risk, governance and security.

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