The highlights of my time at Mandiant involved two sets of responsibilities.
First, as CSO, I enjoyed working with my small but superb security team, consisting of Doug Burks, Derek Coulsen, Dani Jackson, and Scott Runnels. They showed that "a small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players."
Second, as a company spokesperson, I survived the one-of-a-kind ride that was the APT1 report. I have to credit our intel and consulting teams for the content, and our marketing and government teams for keeping me pointed in the right direction during the weeks of craziness that ensued.
At FireEye I transitioned to a strategist role because I was spending so much time talking to legislators and administration officials. I enjoyed working with another small but incredibly effective team: government relations. Back by the combined FireEye-Mandiant intel team, we helped policy makers better understand the digital landscape and, more importantly, what steps to take to mitigate various risks.
Where do I go from here?
Twenty years ago last month I started my first role in the information warfare arena, as an Air Force intelligence officer assigned to Air Intelligence Agency at Security Hill in San Antonio, Texas. Since that time I've played a small part in the "cyber wars," trying to stop bad guys while empowering good guys.
I've known for several years that my life was heading in a new direction. It took me a while, but now I understand that I am not the same person who used to post hundreds of blog entries per year, and review 50 security books per year, and write security books and articles, and speak to reporters, and testify before Congress, and train thousands of students worldwide.
That mission is accomplished. I have new missions waiting.
My near-term goal is to identify opportunities in the security space which fit with my current interests. These include:
- Promoting open source software to protect organizations of all sizes
- Advising venture capitalists on promising security start-ups
- Helping companies to write more effective security job descriptions and to interview and select the best candidates available
|My main instructor, Nick Masi (L) and his instructor, Eyal Yanilov (R)|
Anyone who has spoken with me about these changes has sensed my enthusiasm. I've also likely encouraged them to join me at my current Krav Maga school, First Defense in Herndon, VA. Tell them Richard sent you!
Change, while often uncomfortable, is a powerful growth accelerator. I am thankful that my family, and my wife Amy in particular, are so supportive of my initiatives.
If you would like to join me in any of these endeavors, please leave a comment here with your email address, or email me via taosecurity at gmail dot com. Best wishes to those remaining at FireEye!