Cyber Security Pro Goes With His Strengths
Adam felt right at home on computers at age six. He wanted to make them talk to each other so he could play games with friends. “Without knowing it, I was teaching myself the fundamentals of computer science and information technology. They just didn’t call it that at the time.”
Adam Anderson is a serial entrepreneur, author and founder of Palmetto Security Group (PSG), an IBM Premier Cyber Security Business Partner. He recently launched Element Security Group. With 20 years in cyber security, and 13 as a small business owner, Adam is positioned to understand both sides of the cyber security equation in a way most aren’t. He got tired of answering all his business owner friends’ questions about cyber security, so he co-authored a book and created some tools for them. The book is called “Small Business Cyber Security: Your Customers Can Trust You…Right?” Adam is on a mission to help fellow business owners find the answer to the question, “Should I even care about cyber security?”
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
“Starting at around age six, I was always on computers. I became very comfortable with them at an early age. I really wanted to play games. And I wanted to make computers talk to each other so I could play games with my friends. Without knowing it, I was teaching myself the fundamentals of computer science and information technology. They just didn’t call it that at the time.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
College was not working out for Adam. It did not give him the space to try lots of things before committing to them. So, he drew on his lifelong fascination with computers. “If I ever wanted to get a job, I knew I had to get professional certifications. So, I got a bunch of certifications from Microsoft. My first gig was working on the Y2K crisis back in 1999. The financial industry, and a lot of other industries, spent an awful lot of money on protecting themselves from ruin when the year 2000 arrived, which is why I was allowed to touch multi-billion-dollar infrastructure when I was a 19-year-old kid.”
The Most Powerful Lessons Learned?
“I have ADHD and dyslexia, so school was very difficult for me. But, because of them, I learned to build coping mechanisms that gave me shortcuts. You realize where your strengths are and go there, and what your weaknesses are and don’t worry about them. So, for example, today I don’t worry about my spelling and grammar. I have somebody else check my work. If it’s going to be published, I have editors. The secret is not to focus on why you can’t and on what the barriers are, and focus instead on how to do it differently next time.”
On His Bookshelf
Small Business Cyber Security: Your Customers Can Trust You…Right?, by Adam Anderson and Tom Gilkeson
Built to Survive: A Business Owner’s Guide on How to Prepare for a Cyber Attack, by Adam Anderson
Steps to Success from Adam Anderson
1. Build on your strengths and adapt to your weaknesses by finding workarounds, support and alternative approaches.
2. Operating out of fear leads to poor decisions. Focus on planning to survive and thrive.
3. Do not buy into the myth of absolute security. It does not exist. Accept that crises will come and prepare for them.
Connecting With Adam Anderson
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Careers: Author, Business Owner, Cyber Security, Entrepreneur