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Event Spotlight: The Future of Cybersecurity with a Former FBI Special Agent

Monday, September 17, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Gary Hotze
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Leo Taddeo, Chief Information Security Officer, Cyxtera; Former Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations/Cyber Division of the FBI’s New York Office

How have your other industry roles led you to where you are now?

My experience at the FBI trained me to double and triple check my facts before committing resources or taking operational action.  Question everything.  This approach works well in cybersecurity where the impact of a decision can directly affect the health and welfare of employees, customers, or company assets.

What's been the most interesting part of your career thus far? 

 I have a long list of interesting experiences from my days as an FBI agent.  The most interesting cyber cases included the Silk Road investigation and the investigation of the data breach at JP Morgan in 2014. 

What do you think are the top issues facing the tech community when it comes to cybersecurity?

 One of the top issues is legacy systems that are full of vulnerabilities.  It's not possible to completely replace all of these systems, so enterprises are forced to bolt on imperfect security solutions.  The challenge is effective risk management.  In other words - how to invest in the security that provides the most protection against the most likely threats. 

Why should people attend the event? What should they expect to learn?

 Attendees will benefit from the insights of someone who saw the cyber threat from the inside of the FBI and now has the experience of being a CISO in the private sector.  These are two different perspectives on the same challenge.  Many of the things that look easy from one side aren't really so easy when you switch roles.  

This one is all you!  Tell us anything you want to add. Any topic at all.

Most enterprises can't afford the talent or technology to defend against a dedicated adversary.  Cybersecurity professionals need to get more bang for the security dollar.  I am laser focused on long-term solutions that are effective, flexible, extensible, and cost-efficient.  That's why I am a big advocate of software-defined perimeter and zero trust architecture.

ITA's The Future of Cybersecurity: What You Need to Know is Thursday, October 4, 9:30 AM - 11:00 AM at TechNexus



Leo Taddeo is responsible for oversight of Cyxtera's global security operations, investigations and intelligence programs, crisis management, and business continuity processes.  He provides deep domain insight into the techniques, tactics and procedures used by cybercriminals, to help Cyxtera continue to develop disruptive solutions that enable customers to defend against advanced threats and breaches.

Taddeo is the former Special Agent in Charge of the Special Operations/Cyber Division of the FBI’s New York Office.  In this role, he directed over 400 special agents and professional support personnel conducting cyber investigations, surveillance operations, information technology support, and crisis management. Previous responsibilities focused on FBI international operations, including service as a Section Chief in the International Operations Division, where he managed operations in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

Taddeo received a B.S. in applied physics in 1987 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.  After completing his studies, Taddeo served as a tank officer in the US Marine Corps.  In 1991, he was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal for valor for his service in the Gulf War.  Following his service, Taddeo earned a J.D. from St. John’s University.  Upon graduation, he joined the law firm of Mound, Cotton & Wollan in New York, where he practiced in the field of civil litigation until entering duty with the FBI.

Taddeo is a graduate of the CISO Executive Program at Carnegie Mellon University. He maintains the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and GIAC Certified Incident Handler certifications.

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