Cyber security crisis leadership: what can go wrong and how to get it right


Natalia Smalyuk

President, NBAU Consulting

Ian Mitroff, Ph.D.

UC Berkeley CCRM Researcher


The world is increasingly crippled by the new pandemic of cyber attacks. According to the Cisco Security Outcomes Study: Endpoint Edition, over 40 per cent of organizations report having had a major security incident in the last two years. While many of them lag behind in their cyber defenses, the intruders are continually upping their game by exploiting vulnerabilities. The shift to remote and hybrid work brought on by the pandemic opened new doors for cyber criminals, with large numbers of employees accessing tremendous amounts of data on a plethora of devices and applications. In this new pandemic of cyber attacks, threat actors target critical sectors, from public service to infrastructure to healthcare and the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain. What can go wrong, and how can organizations get it right? The talk will focus on the nine common mistakes in cyber preparedness while exploring suggestions on how companies can rethink the entire continuum of prevention, detection and mitigation to boost resilience throughout the continuum of “before,” “during” and “after” cyber events.

Ian I. Mitroff and Natalia have joined forces in collaborating on Crisis Management as it applies to cyber attacks in an effort to promote best practices in crisis leadership and help organizations build resilience.


Natalia Smalyuk, MBA, MA, is an award-winning communications strategist with a focus on crisis and reputation management. With a passion for helping people and organizations fulfil their missions and live their dreams, Natalia believes there’s no such thing as “business as usual.” Known for her ability to dig into the issues from a 30,000-feet-view right to the core to unpack insights and paths to value creation, she quickly zeroes in on the real problem. And the real story. Natalia works closely with executives in diverse Canadian and global markets to prepare them for all scenarios of change, position them as thought leaders with strong and authentic narratives and equip them with practical tools to advance their growth agenda while navigating risks. Her firm NBAU Consulting offers reputation management and crisis leadership consulting, planning and training to guide organizations through adversity and build resilience. Her full bio can be found here:

Ian I. Mitroff is credited as being one of the principal founders of the modern field of Crisis Management. He has a BS, MS, and a PhD in Engineering and the Philosophy of Social Systems Science from UC Berkeley. He is Professor Emeritus from the Marshall School of Business and the Annenberg School of Communication at USC. Currently, he is a Senior Research Affiliate in the Center for Catastrophic Risk Management, UC Berkeley. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Academy of Management. He has published 40 books. His most recent are: Techlash: The Future of the Socially Responsible Tech Organization, Springer, New York, 2020 and The Psychodynamics of Enlightened Leadership; Coping with Chaos, Springer, New York, 2021.