University of Wisconsin–Madison
astronaut watching a spaceship land

The CISO’s Perspective—The Undiscovered Vulnerability

The CISO’s Perspective: Special Edition Blog


Intergalactic farewell perspectives from Chief Information Security Officer Bob Turner as he departs UW–Madison.

2021—July
Cyberdate 60609

It has been a rough year for the Starship DoIT’s crew of cybersecurity experts charged with defending the Badger Universe(ity) from the evil hackers of Nation State and Criminal Syndicates. Older adversarial tactics have been refreshed with new weapons aimed at the boundary and seeming to get through, despite the sophistication of the cyber defenses. Phish, supply chain risk, and the evil Rye-yuk—along with battling a cyberspace syndicate with a nearly unpronounceable name reminiscent of the favorite disc of food covered with cheese and Italian sausage—have attempted to land ransomware, and exploit other vulnerabilities.

The Rise of Planet Cyber

At the beginning of this 6-and-a-half-year journey, See-so Bob had just arrived at the Badger Universe(ity) and found an exceptional crew who were willing to endure development of cybersecurity strategies, risk management frameworks, and building a Cybersecurity Operations Center that others now envy. They recruited students to join the team and trained them in the ways of the Cyberspace Warrior.

As the years passed and missions morphed into crusades, they found new allies in a re-energized population that inhabited Planet MIST. They found more creative ways to connect with kindred spirits of the Big Ten Academic Alliance and the UW-TISC people who frequently were allies in the cyberspace battles.

Journeys to Maturity

Beginning close to start of the annual celebration of Fiscal New Year aligned to Cyberdate 50015, Admiral See-eye-oh Maas announced an investment in new defensive tools and later Admiral See-eye-oh Lehman endorsed See-so Bob’s plan for creation of new policies for managing risk brought by the Evil Hackers.

Through many smaller battles, the Cybersecurity Crew refined processes, managed risk, and learned clever ways to thwart the Evil Hackers and their allies, Malware and Third-Party alliances. See-Eye-Oh inspired Badger Universe(ity) leaders to invest in additional crew with blue jerseys, indicating specialized skills in analyzing risk and managing cyber tools used to thwart the enemies of Hip-Ah and Pry-va-see, along with refining the playbooks used in battle against the evils of a cyber world gone mad.

They supported the promotion and departure of Deputy Stefan and welcomed the promotion of A-Dee Jeff and arrival of A-Dee Tim. They embraced restructuring and formation of the Risk Management and Compliance team and consolidation of functions with the Cybersecurity Programs & Business Systems Security team, and increased proficiency and skills on the Cybersecurity Operations team. All of this required careful planning, which was enhanced by a worthy counselor know as Port-fol-eee-Oh Manager Shannon.

The Battles of COVID

Throughout the past 17 months since Cyberdate 10400, the pandemic siege of the evil COVID-19 has forced the cybersecurity team to retreat to their dispersed home planets and form a formidable network that kept the evil hackers under control. This band of experts has fought many battles from their remote positions. They suffered the loss of teammates to other cyber armies and willingly welcomed new leaders like A-Dee Patti – Manager of Risk.

And they will persist… embracing the new strategy inspired by Admiral See-eye-oh Brooks, which will push Cybersecurity to the Edge! (Seriously, it’s not at all how it sounds—it’s a good thing!!)

One Last Thing…

Cyberdate 20210716 (revised date system closely aligned with Planet Earth)

This is the last CISO’s Perspective Blog entry for See-so Bob. He is leaving the Badger Universe(ity) to go on an adventure as a Field CISO for crew exploring the Private Sector. He leaves knowing the defenses of the Badger Universe(ity) are strong. The Cybersecurity Crew, while weary from the Battles of COVID, remain ready and eager to continue exploring the Cyber Universe—battling cyber thugs and enabling learning, research, and outreach; frequently going where no cyber analyst has gone before.

Simply stated, it is time.

Cybersecurity Forward!!!

As the sun sets for this CISO, the brightest chapter in Cybersecurity’s future is being written. New threats, new vulnerabilities, increased likelihood, and potentially greater impact await the cyber heroes in our story. With iCISO (Interim Chief Information Security Officer) Jeff Savoy as their leader, the crew of Starship Cybersecurity will continue working closely with their colleagues on Planet MIST to meet the challenges of the next frontier.

(Cue the closing music that was hopefully written by someone with a style closely aligned with James Horner, who composed the music for “Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan” and “Star Trek: The Search for Spock”).

As See-so Bob launched to his next adventure, his last radio signal heard was: “So long, and thanks for all the phish….”

As the music fades and the credits end, iCISO Jeff yells: “Cybersecurity FORWARD!!!”