Home / Explore our latest insights / Life & Leadership in Cyber Security: In Conversation with Prof Bill Buchannan OBE

Published: 29th May 2020 | In: QC in Conversation

On Friday 15th May, 2020, Quorum Cyber’s Managing Director, Federico Charosky, sat down for a virtual chat with Bill Buchanan OBE, Professor of Cryptography at Edinburgh Napier University. In this conversation, Federico shared insights into the experiences and lessons learned in his journey to founding Quorum Cyber, with sage advice for anyone in cyber security, technology, or leadership in any field.

Conversation Highlights

“… what defines one of my key drivers is the idea that, because of the skills that we dominate, we’re able to stand up on behalf of others that can’t. So, we are now able to defend organisations that couldn’t defend themselves. I’m able to be that grown-up in the schoolyard that I needed when I was a kid… and actually defend people from being attacked is incredibly powerful.”
— Federico Charosky, Managing Director of Quorum Cyber

Advice for Entrepreneurs & Innovators

  1. Fall In Love with the Problem

If you fall in love with a problem, as opposed to your idea or your solution, you’re going to be much more objective and able to criticise your ideas to see if they address that problem. But, if you fall in love with your idea, you’re going to try and a space for it regardless of whether it’s right or not.

  1. Find a Partner

Being the entrepreneur, the leader, the Managing Director is incredibly lonely, because everybody that you relate with is a stakeholder in one way or another. It’s either people that want returns from you or are your employees, so they have different angles and perspectives. One of the most powerful things to have when going through the journey is to find a true partner that is equally co-invested in the success of the journey.

Getting Young People into Tech

We should be teaching [coding and cyber] skills to youngsters, but the best way forward now is to invest in making it easy for them to explore their curiosity, and if their curiosity takes them in that direction.

Building Resilient Organisations & Careers

For the longest of times, we have not used data to make decisions. We’ve used intuition – and intuition is great, it’s a really valuable tool to use when making decisions, but if you cannot measure it, it does not exist. Analysing data in order to let data guide your decision-making process is essential. So, the progress we’ve made in the last decade or two has been fundamental in being able to effectively defend organisations.

Our investment in data analytics and the understanding of data – being able to draw insights from data – is going to be a fundamental capability that any professional has to have. Whether it’s SOC Analyst or pen-tester, or any discipline we can’t even think about that’s going to be coming in the next ten years, it has to be evidence-driven. It has to be data-driven. The ability to parse data at volume, at scale, at a speed with great accuracy is going to be as fundamental as knowing how to program in Python.


Building community through the sharing of knowledge, experiences, and learning is part of Quorum Cyber’s foundations. We hope you enjoyed everything Federico Charosky shared in this talk. If you would like to keep in touch with the whole Quorum team, joining us on this community journey, subscribe to our newsletter, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, or simply get in touch!