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What Would You Do As Chief Information Security Officer?

What Would You Do As Chief Information Security Officer?

Four CSOs share insights into what's involved in being the security guardians of their enterprises

Name: Isabelle Theisen

Title: Chief security officer at US-based First Advantage mortgage services

Installed base: About 6000 workstations, PCs and servers, plus some BlackBerry and mobile phones, for about 4500 employees

When Isabelle Theisen joined Florida-based First Advantage about one and a half years ago as its first-ever chief security officer, she sensed the new job, where she reports directly to the company president, was going to be dynamic.

"This is intended to be proactive management, and a team of five people, also all new, came in at that time, too," said Theisen, who says she started out in her career as a firewall administrator at US Ernst & Young, with her previous job in security at American Express.

Her CSO team now works with 17 members of the First Advantage IT department on security tasks that include risk evaluation, logging and monitoring of all security devices. There are plans under way to monitor all the servers.

One main security push is to deploy intrusion-prevention systems, in this case TippingPoint, at first just in monitoring mode but eventually to block attacks. "Are we getting attacks, perhaps from Russia, China or whatever?" Theisen asks. "It's about stopping that." As it deploys IPS, First Advantage will probably phase out stand-alone intrusion-detection systems that only monitor.

First Advantage has "allowed me to build a three-year strategy and road map" in order to dovetail security with business plans for a Web portal and other online efforts, Theisen notes. In her own security division which she has organized, compliance reporting and building a security operations centre are two main areas of focus, with future efforts to encompass identity management.

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