Meet the Authors: Gloria D’Anna and Zachary A. Collier
Posted: August 10, 2023
Being a small business owner can feel like a test of endurance.
Luckily, cybersecurity expert and author Gloria D’Anna and Radford University Assistant Professor of Management Zachary A. Collier understand the many responsibilities that entrepreneurs take on.
In their book Cybersecurity for Entrepreneurs, the authors discuss cyber-topics for small business owners so readers can gain the knowledge needed to push their business forward.
The pair came together after Zachary invited Gloria to speak to students during one of his entrepreneurship courses. Following her talk about the importance of cybersecurity, the two formed the idea to create a book around the topic specifically designed for small business owners that educates entrepreneurs on key elements of security to help get their business up and running safely.
“From an entrepreneurial perspective, you have to manage your risks. Cybersecurity is just one risk of many that any enterprise, whether large or small, have to think about and contend with in today's business environment,” Zachary said.
Each chapter of Cybersecurity for Entrepreneurs covers a different topic through the perspective of a fictional character, Peter the Salesman. He guides the reader through the book as he experiences cyber-challenges that small business owners are likely to face.
“[With] this character Peter, you start thinking about where he is, his business, what process he would go through—and what would happen if he decided he didn’t want to do anything, all because it’s just too hard?” Gloria said. “How would you encourage him to do certain things?”
These questions helped make for an organic process when writing the book. Peter’s fumbles and successes provided an organized framework to how the book would be written.
“I think it went very well because of him,” Gloria said. “We took something that I think is difficult, and we tried to make it both simple and entertaining at the same time.”
Both she and Zachary knew what material they sought to include in the book, and this structure seemed to help make for moments of creativity.
“Your plan shouldn't be too rigid,” said Zachary, “but at the same time it should have broad contours of the steps you need to do, and you can have room for flexibility within that.”
Zachary and Gloria emphasized the vital roles their team played throughout this project as well. They praised contributors, and urged professionals to trust both in both the creative process, and in those around them—especially when taking on the lengthy task of developing a book.
“If you don't know where to start,” Zachary said, “there's lots of people that can help that do know what to do. [The book] wouldn't have happened without all the talented people behind the scenes.”
More so, Gloria and Zachary cited their involvement with SAE’s G-32 Cyber Physical Systems Security Committee as a vital component to the book’s creation.
“It's just such a brilliant group of cyber security experts, from product development, and even from an entrepreneurial standpoint, it’s really a tremendous group we get to work with,” Gloria said.
While some information did not make it to this book, Zachary and Gloria hope to include it in future installments, should they choose to write a sequel. As Peter the Salesman’s business grows from a startup into a larger company, new cyber challenges will emerge.
As technology continues to advance, so too will the needs to keep precious data safe—in both business and in life. Check out Cybersecurity for Entrepreneurs today, and see what it can offer you.
“Cybersecurity…It's not just for entrepreneurs, but things in your everyday life that you should be aware of,” said Gloria.
For more information about the G-32 Cyber Physical Systems Security Committee, visit them on StandardsWorks.