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University of St. Andrews develops cyber resilience into HR Management student learning

BRIM's Joanna Goddard and Alan Greig recently delivered a guest masterclass to a group of Post Graduates in HR Management at the University of St. Andrews. Using data, insights, and real-world case studies ranging from small businesses to some of the world's largest corporations, student feedback was overwhelming in support of the HR industry's need for more executive education on its role in cyber resilience.

With students from a variety of industries in attendance, one from the energy sector highlighted how, despite being in an industry awash in security, it was their first exposure to the critical role HR plays in the management of cyber risk after ten years.

Joanna and Alan are specialists in their respective fields of data-informed engagement and technical security knowledge. They were happy to share their knowledge with the post-graduate students and discuss the increased risk faced by companies that exclude consultation with HRDs from their strategy for cyber resilience.

Our students found this to be really helpful. Since then, we have included this as an assessed topic for the course.

As a team, BRIM invests in expanding the fields of study related to strategic executive education. Together with our work on the Talent Pipeline Programme Cyber PATH for undergraduates in cyber with UK Law Enforcement and Home Office, partnerships like the one with the esteemed University of St. Andrews are assisting in preparing the talent for the work place in both technical and leadership positions.

Joanna commented "I have delivered a guest lecture at the post-graduate HRM course at the University of St. Andrews Management School for a number of years. Working with a School of Management that is so involved with The Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and management practise standards is a pleasure for me as a Fellow of CMI. The session focuses on the crucial yet underappreciated role that the HR function plays in security, covering the key concepts of cyber resilience—people—and the danger of human error. Not just end user error, but management and leadership error when employee brand, culture and process does not best serve employees or customers.”

The mix of students in a postgraduate degree who are just starting their careers and those who are already working in business HR departments and enhancing their professional development is intriguing. Yet, the industry has generally reported that HR is infrequently, if at all, involved in security and resilience planning and testing for any organisation.

The University of St. Andrews' Dr. Giulia Giunti said, "Our students found this to be really helpful. Since then, we have included this as an assessed topic for the course, and we appreciate Joanna and Alan's help. Our students' reliance on partnerships with business is essential if they are to ensure that their studies include real-world learning.

Joanna's tip to CISOs is to work with HR and Marketing leaders to examine employee brand, procedure, and internal communication in support of large organisation resilience plans. This will help to improve the pace of resilience and/or gain support from colleagues. Please get in touch with us if you want to learn more about that.


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