Expert Spotlights

Meet Cyber Security Professional Services Expert, Tina Smith

March 30, 2023

As part of a series called “Meet our Deeps,” we introduce you to Tina Smith, a cyber security professional services expert at DeepSeas. Let’s dive in to learn more about Tina’s work and career.

Q: Hi, Tina. Tell us a little bit about your story. How did your life experiences lead you to a role in cyber security professional services?

A: To be honest, I hadn’t always envisioned myself working in cyber security. In the past, my education and career path had pointed me to project management in voice networking, mostly focused on enterprise and federal clients. However, six years ago I entered the world of project management in cyber security, and I am so happy I did. It opened up a whole new opportunity to deliver cyber security professional services in a fast-moving market.

Q: Can you tell us about your current role at DeepSeas and what attracted you to it?

A: As a cyber security professional services manager, I currently manage a group of talented team members who share a common vision – to transform our team into a full-service professional services crew, where project management is just one of many components of our work. One of my favorite parts of this role is the ability to not only manage change but to lead others to embrace the changes. To me, remaining in the status quo is scarier than change itself. Always seeking to improve ourselves and what we deliver keeps us on top of our game at DeepSeas.

Q: Have you had any special mentors in your life who have helped you along your career path? What advice would you offer others for their careers?

A: I have fostered allies and friends by being transparent and worthy of their trust. I have had multiple people in my life who have allowed me to learn and live out the “best of the best” from each of them. Even those who were not positive role models in my life have allowed me to shed undesirable character traits by helping me understand who I don’t want to be.

To other women building careers in cyber security, I would say – be you. You don’t have to change to fit into cyber security professional services. The variety of roles in cyber security require all the basic traits innate to so many of us already – to analyze, hunt, find the root cause of a situation, organize, be relational, document, be an advocate, be influential. It’s really a matter of further refining who you are and finding where you add the most value in the cyber security world.

Q: Do you believe cyber security leaders should be motivated by fear or peace of mind, and why?

A: Fear motivates people to react, whereas peace of mind motivates people to respond. I would much rather have a thoughtful approach to how leadership responds to situations than to react out of any emotion – including fear.

 Q: We like to say that at DeepSeas heart rates go down, careers take off, and security programs mature. Does this resonate with you? Why or why not?

A: I relate to each of these statements deeply and broadly across both our customer base and employees who we call Deeps. Heart rates go down when people feel secure, either in their jobs (Deeps) or in their security program (clients). Careers take off when we make our clients look good, and when we develop our Deeps to grow in their careers at DeepSeas so they can do more through others. Security programs mature when we go deep with our clients to increase their security posture and also internally as we invest in our own knowledge, experience, tools, and people.

Q: What examples have you seen or experienced when security leaders sacrifice their personal health and wellness for work? Why do you think personal wellbeing may be especially important in the cyber security professional services area?

A: As a leader at DeepSeas, I watch for signs of burnout in our Deeps. We all know the signs when someone is fraying around the edges – consistently working long hours, not using PTO, and allowing negativity to creep in with short responses. Cyber security is ever changing, and it takes a lot of energy to keep up and stay ahead of the curve. While it’s easy to say that “we work to live, we don’t live to work,” it’s harder to walk-the-walk. It’s important we stay focused on the long-term wellbeing of each person so we can stay fresh, recharged, and balanced. The best way to do that is to be the example, foster the culture, and ensure direct team members are free to thrive in that culture.

We’re fortunate to have Tina as a cyber security professional services expert at DeepSeas and thank her for sharing a bit about herself and her career journey. Come back to meet more of our DeepSeas cyber security experts in future issues of our “Meet Our Deeps” series.