What Topics Will You Be Covering At Forrester?
I am very excited to be covering security and risk for operational technology (OT) environments, including the critical infrastructure and manufacturing industries. This is a growing area of concern because OT-specific attacks are increasing and the stakes are higher regarding the potential impact to human safety and the environment. I plan to explore the following areas:
- The state of the current OT security threat landscape and how CISOs can foster collaboration to help secure their critical infrastructure.
- How to incorporate and customize IT cybersecurity best practices to the unique characteristics of an OT environment.
- The security technologies and services specifically designed for OT environments.
I will also be covering cyber threat intelligence (CTI), including strategic, tactical, and operational threat intelligence.
Tell Us About Yourself!
After spending my college years in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I quickly moved to Texas to start my career as a programmer and systems administrator. One day, I discovered a password-cracking program running in our data center and was able to track down the malicious actor, thus igniting my passion for security. Progressing from cyber forensics investigator to CISO, I have experienced the entire spectrum of cybersecurity in my 20-year career. Over that time, my responsibilities expanded to include physical security, privacy, and industry thought leadership.
In addition to helping Forrester customers protect their clients, systems, and data, I am preparing the next generation of cybersecurity professionals by teaching graduate-level cybersecurity courses at the University of Dallas. There is a tremendous shortage of skilled cybersecurity professionals, but it is encouraging to see an increase in interest and participation in our profession.
When I’m not working or teaching, I enjoy running, golfing, reading, and playing video games.
What Are The Key Issues In Operational Technology Security Right Now?
We have reached the tipping point where cybersecurity incidents are affecting human life and safety. As the critical infrastructure and manufacturing industries undergo digital transformations, they are placing their OT environments at greater risk to traditional and new cyber threats. While IT/OT convergence has been underway for some time, we can leverage experience gained from prior IT transformations and take advantage of frameworks, reference architectures, and proven security controls to secure OT environments. Traditional cybersecurity principles are still relevant, but they must be adapted to the unique characteristics of OT environments. Now is the time to forge a strong partnership between OT and IT personnel to adopt foundational IT security principles coupled with OT-tailored solutions to protect OT environments and support successful OT/IT convergence.