Growth Mindset Podcast

48: Cyber Attack Wargaming - Top 100 Women in Tech Winner Lisa Forte, CEO Red Goat

February 27th, 2019

Lisa Forte deservedly won the top 100 Women in Tech award for 2018 for her work combating cyber-crime.

She is an inspirational public speaker and a tenacious entrepreneur. Her business Red Goat Cyber Security helps businesses combat cyber crime. If you want to play at cyber wargaming in the office to prepare for malicious attacks she is the lady to call.

Her previous experiences working to combat Somali Pirate attacks on shipping and then for the British government have made her a real expert in the space.

Lisa’s attitudes toward life and learning are as infectious as they are brilliant. I can’t recommend her more highly.

Lisa & Red Goat Security

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My name is Sam Harris. I am a British entrepreneur, investor and explorer. From hitchhiking across Kazakstan to programming AI doctors I am always pushing myself in the spirit of curiosity and Growth. My background is in Biology and Psychology with a passion for improving the world and human behaviour. I have built and sold companies from an early age and love coming up with unique ways to make life more enjoyable and meaningful.



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Our guest, Lisa Forte, labeled as the winner of the top 100 Women in Tech award for 2018 and an established keynote speaker who is passionate about sharing her personal experience on cyber crime, social engineering, and cyber-attack wargaming, a simulation that helps businesses run exercises to prepare for cyber attacks.

With her background working alongside the U.K Police Cyber Crime Units, Lisa is one of the founding partners of Red Goat Cyber Security where they provide a range of security services as well as the only GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) certified social engineering training around.

Aside from her work, Lisa does loads of pro-bono security work for the NHS (National Health Service) and various charities and cares deeply about helping the communities we live in becoming more aware of the growing threat.

She talks about social engineering or human hacking which is the act of tricking someone into disclosing information or taking action, usually through technology. The idea behind social engineering is to take advantage of a potential victim’s natural tendencies and emotional reactions.

*Instead of working on months hacking into a company’s system, social engineering would bypass the process which would make life easier for individuals or criminal organizations. Cyber attacks hit businesses every day and have increased every year as people try to benefit from vulnerable business systems. *

Lisa started out taking every role in the company, Red Goat Cyber security, to set as a sample in getting the business off the ground. If she won’t move, no one else will. She mentions that it’s a constant challenge to run your own business, comparing it to taking care of a child that never grows old. It needs constant attention. Lisa also cited her success in public speaking that helped the company gain more clients and, at the same time, elevate herself.

If you’re really struggling with something, if there’s a block on something, don’t just necessarily go and look for the obvious solution. Go and look outside the box and try to find someone who might offer you something that blows the barrier that you have.

Lisa believes that the Cyber Security industry will grow exponentially since consumer products being developed nowadays are intertwined with the internet. She mentioned that since almost everything would rely on the internet, this would make users more vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Hopefully, individuals will start becoming more aware of how they connect with the internet and become more security conscious in the same way you never go out of the house without locking your door.

Lisa brought up that there are 2 types of hackers: black hats and white hats. Some hackers are criminals and use their computer skills to harm or damage computer systems. These people are called black hat hackers. White hat hackers, on the other hand, use their computer skills to perform ethical hacking. Ethical hacking can determine vulnerabilities in a computer system.

If companies don't hire white hat hackers to seek out potential threats and find vulnerabilities, there would likely be a lot more cyber crime activity and data breaches. It’s basically stepping up their game to make their life challenging.

Our guest talked about the internet becoming a space filled with malicious links, trojans, and viruses. Data breaches are becoming more frequent, and naive users are more vulnerable than ever before. Lisa provided some tips that can help users stay alert and safe online

3 Tips on cyber security

· Check the information you’ve provided online

· Make sure to have a firewall and anti-virus from different vendors that update frequently

· Use a password manager to strengthen your security

Take more responsibility for yourself in the cyber world. These new technologies are something that the NHS (National Health Service) and the government, generally, need to be taking advantage of more.


[2:07] Get to know Lisa Forte

[3:22] Idea of social engineering as a business concept

[8:38] What Social Engineering is

[12:01] Building Red Goat Cyber Security

[14:22] Experience and tips on public speaking

[24:25] Discussion about routines and ways of relaxation

[27:46] Overview of the Cyber Security industry

[41:34] Use of Blockchain



since recording this I’ve read a book called mastery which actually speaks about developing various talents that you’re just bloody interested in which you can then combine into your own unique skill set. I think Lisa’s example of becoming great at photoshop and public speaking along with getting a deep knowledge of cybercrime was genius. She’s perfectly set herself to start a great business just by following her interests in seemingly completely unrelated fields. and further to that it gives you an all-important story to tell which is key for public speaking or just getting people to remember you.


Lisa used Hypnotherapy to convince herself she was excited to go on stage rather than anxious. Now, this is just so awesome and not a tip I’ve ever heard someone use before. If you’ve read one book about public speaking you’ve read them all. but if you go into completely different fields you might learn something. As Lisa says with this podcast it's really nice to hear from types of people you’d never normally listen to but actually find things you’d of never thought that can actually help. Like who’d of thought Lisa a Cybercrime and social engineering specialist would be giving us a public speaking masterclass.


Hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and aren’t just doing crazy things with code to get to you, they’ll often exploit human vulnerabilities by just becoming your friend and finding ways to physically get in. so have some strict policies about who can do what and don’t allow yourself to make any sacrifices along the lines of, oh I’m sure just for you it will be alright. because if your 99% certain you really don’t want to be the lemon that happens to let in that dubious 1%

And of course, don’t use the same password for everything and use a password manager


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An awesome book that will put you off climbing even a slightly snowy hill. It’s a nail-biting read and a huge example of mental courage and human resilience.

If you enjoy it and want to go on an adventurous reading journey then other similar books would be Touching the Void and Endurance by Alfred Lansing.


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