In this episode of The New CISO, Steve is joined by guest Mark Weatherford, CISO and Head of Regulated Industries at AlertEnterprise.
After many years in CISO roles, Mark eventually found himself in the White House. Reflecting on his incredible career journey, Marks evaluates the opportunities that led him to success. Listen to part one of this episode to learn more about Mark’s navy experience, the importance of delegating in leadership, and how to become the guy who always gets the call.
Listen to Steve and Mark discuss when to put the fear aside and embrace the possibility of failure and the willingness to take on new opportunities:
Meet Mark (1:51)
Host Steve Moore introduces our guest today, Mark Weatherford. The current Chief Security Officer at AlertEnterprise, specializing in IT and OT security.
Before starting his cyber security career, Mark wanted to build dams and roads in the navy. Instead, the navy had other ideas and picked Mark to be placed in the advanced electronics program, leading him to the CISO industry.
Measuring Your Day (7:21)
Mark measures his work day by the goals his team achieved or when a project is done. Although it’s a different set of standards than when you see a road or other construction projects completed before you, cyber security work can also be assessed.
Life After The Navy (9:08)
By the time Mark started his job at Raytheon, the Navy had a contract to complete a security project with them. Already determining when he would leave the Navy, Raytheon called him about a position that fit his skillset: building a security operations center from the ground up.
Relying On Your Team (14:14)
Steve presses Mark on what he learned from managing the start of the security operations center. Mark gathered that no one can do everything and that it’s essential to have a core group of leaders to rely on.
Good leadership comes from delegating authority to people without micro-managing, empowering them to excel at their jobs.
Working With Fear (22:07)
“That’s all part of learning. Things are going to break now and then,” Marks explains when expanding on his leadership philosophy.
Reflecting on his own experience with gaining new skills, Mark’s advice to anyone is that mistakes happen when you’re learning. We may be uncomfortable when things are unfamiliar, but as long as we’re not doing anything malicious, we can figure things out.
What Happens Next (24:14)
One day Mark received a call from his boss about a project with the Federal Government in Colorado. A year later, Mark got another call from his next job, leading him to a cabinet position.
Through his impressive work experience, Mark was considered for exciting political opportunities impacting our country.
That’s Politics (28:53)
Mark discovered pretty quickly in politics that people aren’t always truthful. Unfortunately, he understands that this is the industry's nature, and that is how things are. As a result, it’s natural to become wary and not take everything you hear at face value, although Mark still gives people the benefit of the doubt.
Working With The Legislature (31:13)
Mark’s work in government allowed him to influence policy as well. Mark learned about the trade-offs in politics during this experience and why opposition can create barriers to security policy.
Becoming The Terminator’s CISO (34:58)
After leaving Colorado, Mark was called for the opportunity to work for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.
Mark recognizes that the secret to his success derives from being prepared for new positions when they arise. Mark never directly worked with Governor Schwarzenegger, but having this role gave him a lot of respect in the security world.
Having Pride (38:06)
Mark is very proud of his time in California. With over 160 departments, agencies, and organizations operating there with different security needs, Mark worked with them all to find solutions. This level of collaboration and relation-building was an incredible experience with lasting, positive results today.