From childhood fascinations and unlikely epiphanies to unexpected opportunities and market surges, top security managers find inspiration in almost anything – and they're willing to seize opportunity and take responsibility to lead their teams.
Scott Charney, corporate vice president, Trustworthy Computing
Being in the right place at the right time is a common career-finding mantra, and Scott Charney credits that for the start of his career. The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) created a Computer Crime Unit, and as he put it, “I was in the right place at the right time.”
But what really got Charney started was his father's job as a systems administrator back in the “vacuum tube days” of computers. Charney wrote COBOL routines at a young age, which in February 1991 led him to the DoJ's Computer Crime Initiative. In 1996, he was named the first chief of the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section, which combats computer and intellectual property crimes.
At Trustworthy Computing, Charney is responsible for the corporate programs that improve the security of Microsoft products, services and internal networks. This year and looking ahead, hybrid networks, the Internet of Things (IoT) and advanced persistent threats (APTs) present the biggest, and most exciting, challenges, he says.
Kristin Lovejoy, general manager, IBM's security services division
Kristin Lovejoy remembers when during her work at a Bronx correctional facility she had a security epiphany. During a paralegal study she helped run, prisoners were asked what would most deter them from breaking into a house. It could have been a gun, for example, or an alarm. Instead, prisoners gave a surprising answer: a dog.
“It was interesting because it was a profound ‘aha' moment,” Lovejoy says. “Security is not necessarily solved by the thing that one would assume solves the problem. The security problems might be solved by something quite different.”
To this day, in her role as the general manager of IBM's security services division, Lovejoy remembers that lesson. As a self-taught security professional, Lovejoy is a major proponent of talent development, especially with high school students.
“I'm passionate that you don't need to go to college to have the right skills to be hired in security,” she said.
In addition to her high school program endeavors, Lovejoy is keeping her eye on the cloud and is making an effort to explain it to people who might not have a total understanding. She wants to address concerns at varying levels to keep the field moving forward.