Background and current work
Not simply a hot trend or this minute’s buzzword, “cyber is not new,” posits SecureStrux Managing Partner Sienna Crawford. “Much like my experience in different aspects of this field, cyber has evolved from Information Operations, Information Warfare, Information Security, and Information Assurance—which are all known as cyber today.”
Sienna has seen the evolution of cyber first-hand through her work being entrenched with the DoD and pioneering commercial networks. Following her career as an Intelligence Specialist for the U.S. Navy, Sienna had the opportunity to become more tech savvy by working with GTE Internetworking/Genuity, who acquired a Tier 1 backbone network from BBN (pioneers of the Internet). Sienna leant her expertise to exciting projects like VOIP when it was in its infancy stage, and later joined the Air National Guard Information Warfare squadron. “This brought my knowledge of Information Operations/Warfare and technical abilities together when working with sensor technologies and assisting with Command Cyber Readiness Inspections (CCRIs),” she explains.
In addition to the experience she gained serving in several military positions, Sienna explains that she was heavily influenced by a book she still refers to today, Cyberwar: Security, Strategy, and Conflict in the Information Age, authored in 1996 by Alan D. Campen, Douglas H. Dearth, and R. Thomas Godden. “I have always had an interest in security related focuses,” says Sienna.
Working for SecureStrux
After proudly serving a 20-year military career within the cyber and intelligence fields, Sienna has been able to translate her experiences to providing leadership for an accomplished small business that is purely dedicated to providing cyber support services to both government and commercial organizations.
Sienna’s current role as Managing Partner for SecureStrux enables her to lead the integration of all aspects of the company—from HR to contracts, business development, security, and operations. “I am responsible for ensuring the lines of business and internal functions are operating smoothly,” Sienna describes. “I am very excited to be in this role; it is very rewarding to see our growth and maturity.”
What Sienna likes most about her position is seeing the outcomes of SecureStrux teams functioning together to get the job done successfully. The SecureStrux team is made of dedicated personnel who are extremely knowledgeable and really care about their careers. Sienna says that when the team is challenged on a project, they are able to overcome the obstacles by having the ability to rely on the team’s strengths as a whole.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
According to Sienna, cyber is important because of our reliance on technology in virtually every capacity of our modern lives. As people become more aware of this reliance, we more clearly understand the dominance of cyber to protect our information, the infrastructures that provide us with access to critical resources, and the communication paths that enable us to continue functioning as a society.
There are so many layers of protection without pure visibility into what an organization’s security posture really looks like from the top down. As a result, Sienna believes one gap in the industry is our narrow understanding of the big picture of systems, the “system of systems and their dependencies.” The cyber field is overrun with security applications, tools, and toolsets. Furthermore, cyber resilience is moving fast and is a concept that will become more important now and into the future. “Cyber is a top down approach,” she explains. “Whether in small or large businesses, cyber practices can be integrated through a variety of ways. Having a good cyber strategy in place that is designed to assist decision makers in their implementation of regulations, requirements, or general security best practices is a start.”
Women in Cyber
Sienna believes that it takes the right frame of mind to want to take on the challenges of running a business. She feels she was prepared for this environment through the leadership and guidance she received from a large variety of individuals over the years. “I feel I am in this role now based on my desire to run my own business after working on the front lines over the years. I also think that participating in Junior Achievement entrepreneurial education programs when I was a young student prepared me with a basic understanding of the global marketplace and general business operations early on,” she describes.
As far as the current ranks of women in the cyber industry, Sienna believes that businesses can be doing a lot to address building these numbers. SecureStrux is made up of almost 40% highly-qualified, dedicated, professional women. When it comes down to it, however, she believes that team cohesiveness is the way to get through everyday barriers.
“I want to encourage women to stay on the path that most interests them, even if it’s the NOT the path of least resistance.”
SecureStrux, LLC is a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Cybersecurity Firm that provides specialized services in the areas of compliance, vulnerability management, cybersecurity strategies, and engineering solutions. We offer a comprehensive range of services that provide clients with proven methods and common-sense approaches to secure their data, build trust with their clients, and remain compliant with DoD, Federal, and Commercial cyber governance.