Episode 23

Michael Gregg, CISSP, Chief Information Security Officer, North Dakota Information Technology - Be Legendary

Published on: 4th April, 2022

About Michael Gregg:

Michael Gregg is the state of North Dakota’s Chief Information Security Officer. The state CISO is responsible for establishing and leading the strategic direction of cyber security for the state and advising the governor and legislators on key cyber issues.

With Michael’s cyber experience span being over a period of two decades, he has been a pioneer of helping people interested in becoming IT professionals as well as seasoned IT professionals achieve by sharing knowledge by means of authoring over 25 IT cyber security books, including:  Inside Network Security AssessmentHack the StackCISSP Exam Cram2Build Your Own Network Security Lab ,and Certified Ethical Hacker Exam Prep2. He has developed high-level security classes and has been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on news programs such as MSNBC, The New York Times, Fox News, CBS News, etc. He enjoys contributing his time and talents where there is a need to help others learn and grow by holding board, committee, and advisory positions for non-profit organizations. 

Michael is also a faculty member of Villanova University and creator of several of their security programs. He also serves as a site expert for four TechTarget sites, including SearchNetworking, SearchSecurity, SearchMobileNetworking, and SearchSmallBiz. He is a board member of a Houston area Habitat for Humanity.

He holds a Bachelors degree, Masters degree, and many security certifications.



Episode Highlights:

  • Volunteer to get skills
  • Leadership is not a title, it’s what you do
  • Going to the gym is like doing security – It’s ongoing
  • Vendor Partnerships – Looking for win-win
  • Give effective feedback
  • Focus on Collaboration
  • Advice - Be Honest, Humble, and Hungry
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About the Podcast

The CISO Diaries
The path to cybersecurity leadership is not a direct route and it's those divergent routes that create the amazing stories and histories of leaders who are driving security to keep businesses and people safe.

We’re Leah McLean and Syya Yasotornrat and we intend to give CISOs and cybersecurity professionals a place to be their authentic selves. These are the unedited stories told of how they got into cybersecurity, the real struggles they’ve persevered through, personal anecdotes that make them tick, and leadership advice based on experiences.

We aren't the kind of cybersecurity podcasts that focuses on the technologies, or recent incidents. We are the podcast that focuses on the people behind the headlines and the incredible diversity of experiences and backgrounds. (And it's not lost on us that we're two awesome female hosts)!

Let's face it: we are a cybersecurity tribe and we need all hands on deck!

We hope you enjoy our CISO diary entries.

After all, we're only human, right?

Special thanks to our sponsor, Cyber Future Foundation, a non-profit global cybersecurity executive leadership community, where leaders, thinkers, and futurists discuss and develop actionable guidance and frameworks for a trusted and safer world.

About your hosts

Syya Yasotornrat

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Syya is a tenured tech sales professional with her time at SonicWALL and Hewlett Packard (HPE) with some hospitality at the Walt Disney Company and IT recruitment experience in the mix. She is currently a podcast strategist and consultant, helping others to bring out their voice and legacy through podcasting. She loves to learn and talk about anything, so feel free to reach out!

Leah McLean

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Leah is Vice President, Cybersecurity Specialist at Mastercard. She is focused on implementing strategy and programs to evolve cybersecurity risk management approaches and cybersecurity awareness and training. She actively contributes in community working groups to advance cybersecurity risk management and third-party risk. Leah is also a mentor to candidates breaking into cybersecurity careers, and collaborates with employers to rethink their workforce and hiring strategies.
Leah is a co-founder at Whole Cyber Human Initiative, a non-profit focused on redefining how we identify, train, equip, advance knowledge, and build workforce development within IT and Cybersecurity. She also volunteers for Cyber Future Foundation, a non-profit driving workforce development initiatives and private and public sector collaboration.
Previously Leah held senior level roles as a cybersecurity practitioner at Armor, a cloud security company protecting data for SMB and mid-market customers, Apstra (acquired by Juniper Networks), A10 Networks and Cisco Systems. Leah serves on the Board of Advisors for Cloud Defense, Inc., a breach visibility cloud security startup and is on the board for the Cloud Security Alliance North Texas Chapter.
Leah holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science, with an emphasis in International Relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an active outdoor junkie always chasing adventure.