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Top 100 Interview: Sandy Silk

Director of Information Security, Education & Consulting, Harvard University

Sandy Silk became Director of Information Security Education and Consulting at Harvard University in February 2015. She leads a team responsible for ensuring the security of the data, technology, and vendors used by the university’s staff, researchers, and faculty. She is passionate about promoting diversity and inclusion in technology and sits on the advisory board for technology training nonprofit Per Scholas and Brandeis University’s program for MS in information security leadership.

What long-lasting effects will the pandemic have on information security teams?

Firstly, now we have remote teams, we do not need to look only in our immediate location for someone who is going to be able to physically commute to the office. We have proved that you do not need to be physically in the space to do the work, which presents so many more options for hiring to fill that skills gap. Secondly, I think we need to focus on embracing mobility. With more people working from home, we are going to see more people using untrusted devices. Managing this is going to be all about taking digital rights management and authentication to the next level.

What were your greatest achievements in 2020?

I have just joined as an advisory board member to Per Scholas in greater Boston, which provides full scholarship retraining to people who would not otherwise be able to get an education in IT and cybersecurity. When they complete the course, they will not only have a certificate to prove their achievements, but they will also have experience in the soft skills they are going to need for business, like interview skills. This kind of initiative is important because innovation is fueled by new ideas and new experiences. If we are going to grow as a profession and along with the rest of the world, we better represent what our customers look like.

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