By Larry Williams, president and CEO, Technology Association of Georgia


Cybercrime costs at least $1 trillion a year globally, and that number is likely to go far higher with the rash of ransomware attacks this year. In October, during Cybersecurity Awareness Month, TAG is putting a spotlight on this growing threat to businesses, governments, academic institutions, and our personal lives.

The need for individuals capable of securing networks against attackers has never been greater. With cyber threats increasing at an exponential rate, trained cyber professionals are in high demand to protect our economy as well as our national security.

TAG and TAG-Ed continue to focus on both awareness and career development opportunities within the cybersecurity fields. Working through the National Technology Security Coalition (NTSC), which was created by TAG in 2016, we’re also bringing a private sector perspective to influence national policy discussions about cybersecurity and our critical infrastructure.

Our banking and financial institutions, metropolitan infrastructure, and state fiscal health are targets needing protection. We have the technology and funding, and now we need skilled cybersecurity professionals capable of protecting us and our systems against threats from malicious actors.

The top cybersecurity person in an organization is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO). According to, a CISO’s key responsibilities may include:

· Developing and enforcing security-related policies

· Monitoring compliance

· Preserving data privacy

· Managing Computer Security Incident Response Teams

· Overseeing ID and access management

· Managing security architecture for the organization

· Performing digital forensic investigations or electronic discovery

· Contributing to the development of disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity plans

Core CISO skills include: application development security, which involves security automation, SecDevOps, predictive analysis, and machine learning. Others are cloud security, threat hunting and incidence response, and data security/privacy.

In addition, CISOs need to understand the business needs of the organization. They should have the people skills to motivate teams in a high-pressure environment and be globally aware of the trends in the industry.

Jamil Farshchi, Chief Information Security Officer at Equifax and NTSC Board Member, recently co-authored an op-ed with Dr. Samantha Ravich for The Hill entitled “The next pandemic may be cyber.” They urge businesses to set international standards, improve cyber threat intelligence sharing, and address supply chain security vulnerabilities now making headlines.

Cybersecurity can offer exciting careers in the private and public sectors. TAG and TAG-Ed are united with public and private sector stakeholders. We’re committed to policies and education pathways that improve national cybersecurity standards, grow our talent and create awareness in Georgia and across our nation.

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