ISSA Middle Tennessee Chapter

Todd Fitzgerald highlights heart and mission behind information security

Though cyber security is a growing concern, information security expert Todd Fitzgerald is optimistic that his industry will rise to the challenge. 

Since 2005, more than 11 billion records have been reported as breached, and a recent study indicated that 48% of respondents had experienced a serious cybersecurity incident within the last two years, Fitzgerald said. 

“We have nation-states that are really after our information, because we’re in this global economy, and there are countries that are trying to get ahead,“ he said. “Some countries get ahead by stealing intellectual property, others get ahead by stealing financial information.” 

Fitzgerald will be sharing his thoughts on the pressing threat to information security as one of two keynote speakers at InfoSec Nashville 2019. Listen to why he's working so hard to break down stereotypes that keep people from entering his industry on this episode of the InfoSec Nashville Podcast.

In addition to more than 20 years of experience as a CISO at numerous large companies, Fitzgerald runs CISO Spotlight — an independent cybersecurity and awareness training firm — and has published two books on CISO leadership. 

While it’s easy to blame users for information security breaches, Fitzgerald is passionate about helping organizations to tackle cybersecurity challenges head-on. Though the statistics about cybersecurity incidents may seem daunting, he remains confident that the information security industry will evolve and grow with time. 

“I’m optimistic. I think we also have to recognize that this industry is actually a very young industry. 1995 is when we had the first CISO name, and it probably took 10-15 years before organizations seriously put CISOs in place. So we haven’t really been at this long,” he said. 

Fitzgerald also cares deeply about breaking down stereotypes that keep people from entering his industry. While cybersecurity workers are typically portrayed as people working on a computer to find hackers, there is so much more to the field, he said. 

“We have so many other jobs and so many opportunities, from communications to somebody doing work with investigations for cybersecurity incidents to training users to setting policies and doing governance to doing auditing. It touches so many different skill sets, and we need to attract all genders, all races, to make sure that we have the best security program that we can have.”

While the work of a CISO is difficult, it’s also incredibly important. And for Fitzgerald, it’s all about making a positive difference in the world. 

“I think that this is one of the best careers that someone can enter today. We’re talking about cybersecurity, but it’s going to provide the opportunities in a field that has evolved to the point where this is really a career, and not just a career, but I think it can be a calling for some people to really help others in a very positive way,” he said. 

“Much like a police officer is there to protect society, that’s really what we’re doing from the cyber criminals.”

Todd Fitzgerald will be a keynote speaker at InfoSec Nashville 2019, held on Sept. 13 at the Music City Center. Register now to attend the conference.

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Middle Tennessee ISSA Chapter

P.O. Box 1431

Brentwood, TN 37027-1431

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