• Shamane

The Discovery | Part two of a two-part mini series

Updated: Jan 26, 2019


There are 'celebrities' in every industry. People gravitate towards people for various reasons. From simple admiration, or respect for one's achievements or accomplishments, differences or uniqueness, their boldness, charisma, or maybe there's just something different about them.


For me, these are a few common phrases that I have been hearing when my LinkedIn followers come up to me:

  • "How do you find the time to do what you do?"

  • "It's incredible, the number of connections and people you actually know in this industry."

  • "I have been following you on LinkedIn. I love your work! How do you keep up with all your cyber risk meetups, and your posts?"

  • "I wanna be like you!" (This one comes as a big surprise and it's from the millennials) 

I never thought that the work I've been doing would have made such an impact. I started out with lots of hard work, being steadfast and consistent. The two things that I've learnt to value in my journey, mentioned briefly in part one? Here we go!


  1. The value of community

  2. Keep the faith in the goodness and kindness in humankind (you will be pleasantly surprised)


In all that we do, the sky's the limit when you are working together. I have to always remind myself, that in organising the Cyber Risk Meetups, it's about serving the greater need of the people. We are not competing against other industry associations. It is about complementing them. And offering to equip the people and aid them in their work life as they fight to protect and keep our world safe. There's a number of great associations that aim to meet different needs at different levels, from the AWSN to SecTalks to CoderAcademy to ISACA etc. and we all work together to serve the big picture. It's all about cross-selling and creating more awareness for each other in this journey.


In this world of cybersecurity, collaboration is very important. Even the bad guys work together - we need to do the same if not more, as the world advances.


Kindness Goes a Very Long Way

I am also constantly encouraged by the amazing people we have in this industry, who also say yes to helping those who are new to this industry, transitioning, or climbing up the executive ladder. Without the help of those who have 'been there, done it', it will be harder and longer for those who are heading down the same road. 


I heard once that it's better to learn from the mistake of others than your own. I had more than 1,000 coffees in my time in this industry, just with various CISOs, CIOs, CROs, Head of Security, InfoSec Managers, etc. In all these conversations, I've learnt so much by simply hearing them talk through their perspectives and experiences - (hence, my #coffeewiththeCSuite weekly segment). I have really been so blessed as these countless meetings were incredibly invaluable. Everyone's stories and insights were like gold; they are your legacy.


Much later on, I found myself being invited at conferences to share my perspective, and then to giving keynotes at smaller growth industry events. I just kept saying yes through it all. And the rest is history. It really takes a brave person to keep saying yes to new opportunities that are presented to you. I find that the more you allow yourself to venture into uncharted waters, the more your inner strength is being built.


In a nutshell, if I were to summarise five key things I would now impart to others this year:

  • Be disciplined to prioritise learning

  • Say yes to opportunities

  • Take ownership to gain new experiences 

  • Keep curiosity alive

  • Actively seek out mentors, and one can never be too busy to pay it forward


About the Author


Shamane Tan is the APAC Cyber Security Advisor at Privasec, a leading and independent Security Consulting Firm. She has worked with exciting start-ups all the way to global organisations extensively across Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. Shamane advises the C-Suite and IT Executives on their business security posture to the reality of the challenges they faced from regulatory issues and cybercrime. She is also the founder of the Cyber Risk Meetup which is in four major cities in Australia, as well as Singapore. Her meetups offer Security Enthusiasts and Executives a unique platform to impart and exchange innovative insights. 

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