CSO of the Year: John South, Heartland Payment Systems
CSO of the Year: John South, Heartland Payment Systems

SC: How will the role of the CSO look in five years? In 10 years? In 20?

JS: In the next five years, I expect that we will see increasing turmoil as criminals and nation-states continue to develop and use their capabilities to attack our infrastructure as well as the networks and computers of companies and individuals. The incentives for our adversaries far outweigh the repercussions. But we aren't just going to be sitting around, as I believe corporate and federal law enforcement will increase the use of offensive tactics and weapons, and implement better defensive capabilities. 

My projections for 10 and 20 years out are a bit more fuzzy. But wherever that may take us, we need to ensure that security stays engaged early and often in new projects. One thing that is fairly apparent about the future is that there will be a glut of open security jobs as baby boomers phase out of the workforce. There are few colleges and universities that are educating students with degree programs focused specifically on security. nurtured. This is where active mentor and internship programs can help identify new talent for your organization. 

SC: Any hobbies, destination spots or other more personal areas of your background that you would like to share?

JS: My wife and I have taken up running (after a long hiatus for me, a new adventure for her). Though we both enjoy competing in 5K races around Plano, [Texas], we have a long way to go before we get competitive. But, at least at this time for us, it's about the running and not the medals. It's fun to challenge ourselves to improve, even if the only reward is in knowing that we finished.