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Top 100 Interview: Michael Owens

Business Information Security Officer, Equifax

Michael Owens leads the team responsible for providing cybersecurity strategy and connecting security initiatives to compliance, audit, and regulatory requirements within Equifax’s largest business unit. He is the sitting President and CEO of the nonpartisan organization the US Global Center for Cyber Policy. He was a candidate for the US House of Representatives for Georgia’s 13th Congressional District in 2020.

What were your greatest achievements in 2020?

Since I joined Equifax in the aftermath of the 2017 breach, we have worked incredibly hard to recover and we have made tremendous strides every year. But in 2020, it became clear we had turned the corner to becoming a top-notch global information security program. Outside Equifax, I was recently selected to join the United States Marine Corps Cyber Auxiliary. Getting to join this highly talented group of cyber experts is an opportunity not only to share what I have learned over the years but also away to substantially contribute to the national security of the country.

What should information security executives focus on in 2021 to generate business value?

Focus on making cybersecurity a competitive advantage and become business enablers inside your organization. This means taking time to better understand the business and using that understanding to put our people, processes, and tools more effectively in a position to achieve business goals. I also think that as security leaders we can add business value by ensuring that we are empowering our teams to continue to look for evolving threats, work through tough challenges, and remain vigilant in securing assets in a rapidly changing landscape.

Michael Owens is featured in our Top 100 Global Leaders in Information Security Report. Click here to read the full list.