Name: Tony Cole
Why Nominated: As a global strategist and evangelist in cybersecurity, Tony has worked to educate the industry and the general public on the evolving threats to our interconnected world. Having served in the military, Cole brings a unique perspective to the industry on the concept of Active Cyber Defense (ACD). Changing the way security teams defend their network, ACD has gained significant traction in the military, but is still in the early adoption phase for enterprises.
Cole has made it his mission to educate the industry on ACD – what it is, whether commercial companies and government organizations should embrace it, and if so, how far they should go to implement this concept. Cole believes the most critical ACD-related consideration for organizations is the integration of deception-based technology into cyber defenses for early threat detection and the reduction of attacker dwell time.
He has spent much of his career meeting with CISOs and CIOs to advise and educate them on threats, required policies, processes, expertise, and of course technology
Profile: Cole is a cybersecurity expert with more than 30 years of experience in government and industry in a variety of roles. He has successfully built program-driven business development teams driving millions in revenue, and large global consulting teams assisting customers in all aspects of security defense and operations. As CTO, Cole works to drive a cohesive strategy across marketing, sales, and the technology platform to address and respond to today's evolving cybersecurity landscape. He is first and foremost a public voice for the industry, educating the market on the cyber deception space and cybersecurity in general. Cole built U.S. Army and Pentagon's security infrastructure and he was nominated and served on the President's National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee's IoT security subcommittee and the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC-V). Tapping into his military experience, Tony recognized the importance of early threat detection and the reduction of attacker dwell time. Security breaches continue to occur at an unrelenting pace and therefore a need to adopt a new approach to cybersecurity. This change shifts from a perimeter-only defense mentality to one that accepts that attackers can and will penetrate a network. It also includes understanding the attacker and applying countermeasures to not only shut down a current attack, but strengthen ongoing defenses. In his role as CTO, he has the unique opportunity to educate the market on new technologies that can be applied for effective in-network threat detection and to directly influence cybersecurity policy and recommendations. Collectively, this influence will make it harder for attackers to complete a successful breach and give organizations the upper hand in responding to threats.
What colleagues say:
“I have known Tony since his days in the Army. Tony is a proven cybersecurity expert. He is a forward thinker that knows his way around a very dynamic and complex landscape. Cyber is an ever-changing environment, but Tony provides a level of knowledge that helps anybody he works with navigate the risks. When I was the Director of the DoD CERT/J34 JTF-GNO I could always count on Tony's expertise to provide sound advice and assistance. Whether it's at a local diner at 7am or a technical discussion with a broad sampling of the industry, Tony has the right leadership to provide insight and perspective to solve problems. His grasp of cybersecurity and expertise in its enterprise application was a distinct advantage to DoD through the work he contributed to on HBSS program. Without a doubt, I confidently recommend Tony as a dedicated partner for the most demanding and mission critical infrastructure missions. As a committed and informed cybersecurity expert and just an all-around great person, I know that he will be a beneficial addition to any team or partnership.”
– Ann Barro-DiCamillo, VP, Cyber threat intelligence and incident response at American Express