Lindsay Smith: Making an Impact During Uncertain Times

Lindsay Smith

Follow Us:

A strategic communications plan is an integral part of any organization—it ensures a smooth and impactful workflow internally while driving the storyline of its unique services/solutions externally. In the wake of COVID-19, there was a high need for tackling the unannounced circumstances of the communication crisis within security advisory firm The Crypsis Group, now a Palo Alto Networks company. This was successfully ensured by Lindsay Smith, Senior Director Corporate Communications at The Crypsis Group (a Palo Alto Networks Company), who brought her immense experience in communications to rise up to the challenge.

As a corporate communications professional in the cybersecurity space, Lindsay was given the responsibility to drive the communications at the start of the pandemic. She flawlessly fits the shoes, as she previously led communications efforts for small companies, cybersecurity startups, advertising/public relations agencies and Fortune 500 technology companies alike. Through the strategic use of executive communications, thought leadership, public relations, and internal communications, she utilized a variety of tactics to boost the overall health of the business leading up to the successful acquisition by global cybersecurity leader Palo Alto Networks.

Recently, the team at Mirror Review had the chance to interview Lindsay to understand the industry scenario and how Crypsis has performed so far amid the crisis. Here are the snippets:

Would you brief us about Crypsis and its services?

Established in 2015, Crypsis aims to create a more secure digital world by providing high-quality incident response, risk management, and digital forensic services. In September 2020, Crypsis was acquired by Palo Alto Networks and is now Crypsis, a Palo Alto Networks Company.

We offer a range of services to expertly respond to and prevent cyberattacks. These include Data Breach Response, Managed Security Services, Cyber Risk & Resilience Management, Data Analytics & Intelligence, Digital Investigations, and Expert Witness & Litigation Support. Additionally, Crypsis provides opinions and counsel from our expert team of Litigation and Witness professionals, who review digital evidence and serve as expert witnesses in court, deposition, and open court testimony.

Please share your personal experiences while dealing with the novel coronavirus.

The effects of COVID-19 rippled across every facet of my life, from personal to professional. No one escaped the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty of the initial wave of the pandemic or the many concerns around how it may affect our loved ones, companies, and coworkers. I saw family members displaced from jobs (suddenly losing associated housing), facing empty grocery store shelves, and struggling with the many unknowns of a totally uncharted future.

Can you share your thoughts on the COVID-19 outbreak? 

The COVID-19 outbreak was quite unique. It required us to quickly shift employees to a fully remote and secure work model, while ensuring their safety and addressing the challenges they faced in this “new normal.” We were helping to resolve the heightened cybersecurity risks our clients faced while also dealing with this issue internally. As a corporate communications professional, the early stages of the pandemic were quite busy. On top of this, as human beings we were all dealing with our own personal life challenges, as well. However, it’s been an opportunity to make a difference.

Talking about the new working pattern, how did your team adapt to remote working?

Transitioning to remote working was not as much of a challenge for Crypsis as it may have been for other business models. We had a fairly geographically distributed workforce prior to COVID-19. Being an advanced cybersecurity services firm, we hired experts with a mastery in their field as well as the ability to care about clients’ needs, regardless of location. However, generally speaking, remote work models can increase companies’ cybersecurity risk. While this was less of a concern for us as a cybersecurity company, we saw many other organizations struggling to quickly implement the proper security safeguards–but we were there to assist them with their cybersecurity responses as needed.

What are your opinions on remote working? Do you think it will replace the normal working pattern?

I think that COVID-19 will have companies assessing the viability of remote work models going forward. Today’s collaboration platforms are fairly sophisticated, and if employees demonstrate the ability to produce results regardless of geographical location, companies can derive financial benefits and employees can gain work flexibility—a powerful recruiting tool. Some employees want to be in an office every day; others may prefer to work from home. But we support employee choice as everyone has unique needs and circumstances. Only time will tell how much of an impact COVID will have on the long-term business landscape, but it will be interesting to see it unfold.

How did you ensure that the team maintains social connections despite remote operations?

The focus has remained on the wellbeing of our employees and supporting our customers. In the Spring, we established our “new normal” routines and kept employees connected through collaboration channels and virtual Happy Hours and events, and this will continue as we enter the fall. By now, most people have become accustomed to having their dog jump in their lap during a virtual meeting or tending to a child during work hours. The adaptations may not be ideal, but we have, for the most part, adjusted. The key is solid, frequent communications, building a sense of community and support, and knowing we are all in this together.

As we move forward as part of Palo Alto Networks, we have continued to receive ongoing communication and support from leadership as we’ve remotely onboarded and met our new teammates.

Having been in the cybersecurity industry for years, how would you describe the gender disparity issue?

While it is a fact that women are underrepresented in cybersecurity, I do see advancements in how companies are working to improve diversity, equity, and inequality. Many companies, both large and small, have reaffirmed their commitment to addressing inequalities on multiple fronts. There is certainly still work to be done, but being a part of Crypsis and now Palo Alto Networks, I admire both companies’ commitment to building a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Lastly, would you like to share any advice for women entrepreneurs?

Be brave and be resilient. Bravery comes in many forms and it presupposes some level of fear. Being resilient means knowing you can shake it off and keep trying. The most successful leaders and entrepreneurs have tried, failed, tried again. It took bravery and resilience to keep trying and putting themselves out there.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

More To Explore

Scroll to Top

Hire Us To Spread Your Content

Fill this form and we will call you.