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Champions in Security – Honoree Profile: Tyson Kopczynski, 2023 Champion for Respect

Tyson Kopczynski was a nominee for Portal26\’s first-ever 2023 Champion in Security Awards. The Champion in Security Awards recognize security professionals that uphold important principles in the security industry and improve the field for both present and future practitioners.

Tyson received the Champion in Security Award for Respect, which recognizes security executives who model respectful behaviors inside their businesses and encourage other executives to adopt sympathetic reactions to trying professional situations. Tyson Kopczynski has become known as a leader with both strategic vision and a reputation for helping organizations cope with an ever-changing technology and risk landscape. His abilities span a variety of technologies and specialties, with experience across a number of different industries as part of his prior consulting roles and ongoing advisory work with early to late-stage companies.

What does it mean for you to win The Champion in Security for Respect award?

So simply put, I’m very humbled to receive this award. That being said, this is not about me. Instead, this is about the industry recognizing that we need to value more than technology to be successful, and these words are incredibly important in representing that value.

Who in your career has helped demonstrate the attribute of respect and has influenced your professional behavior?

So honestly, it\’s never been one person. Throughout my career, it\’s been a series of people and mentors over the years that have shown me kindness and respect as I developed in my own career, which obviously, I pay forward to show to others.

What advice do you give to professionals who want to work in cybersecurity?

This is an amazing industry and problem space with tons of opportunities. Security is a big ball of stress, and ultimately, it\’s our responsibility to help folks navigate that ball of stress. That being said, don\’t forget to have fun. To do that, we obviously need to start with our own selves and take care of ourselves.

How has fostering relationships within the cybersecurity industry affected your career?

So fostering relationships has been an incredibly important part of my career. Ultimately, it takes a village to do what it is that we do. Therefore, if we didn\’t have those relationships, then there wouldn\’t be a village, and ultimately, the success of our industry would be incredibly diminished.

What are some of the unique relationships you forged within this industry?

So bottom line, I think the unique relationship in general that I\’ve forged is being part of this very global village that has emerged over the last couple of years. That includes basically members from all avenues of industry. And I think it\’s really special to be part of something like that.

How has respect in the professional world changed since you began your career?

So going back to that concept of ‘a village’. When I started my own career, it really wasn\’t about a village. Furthermore, it wasn\’t even global in nature. Some might even say it was somewhat lonely to do this job. You know, so I think, you know, these words again, going back to the words themselves, kind of just embody that the fact that there is a village, there\’s a village that values certain things. And then again, it\’s not just about the technology.