Five Questions With: Jason Albuquerque

JASON ALBUQUERQUE is the first chief information security officer for Carousel Industries of North America Inc. / COURTESY CAROUSEL INDUSTRIES OF NORTH AMERICA INC.
JASON ALBUQUERQUE is the first chief information security officer for Carousel Industries of North America Inc. / COURTESY CAROUSEL INDUSTRIES OF NORTH AMERICA INC.

Jason Albuquerque is the newly appointed chief information security officer at Carousel Industries of North America Inc., a new position created to streamline Carousel’s cybersecurity readiness and prevention initiatives.

Albuquerque spoke with Providence Business News about his new role and where he intends to focus his attention as Carousel’s inaugural cybersecurity executive.

PBN: What does the creation of a CISO position at Carousel represent in terms of the company’s commitment to cybersecurity?

ALBUQUERQUE: We’ve been formalizing Carousel’s cybersecurity position for quite some time. As part of our maturation as a managed and technology services provider, we realized the strategic benefit of a formalized and dedicated cybersecurity program, for both Carousel and for our clients, as their strategic technology partner. The growing maturity level of our organization and our clients has elevated awareness of cybersecurity for all.

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Hiring a CISO is a critical decision and not all organizations are at that maturity level. Traditionally, Carousel had roles performing the tactical security duties of the organization, but now we have formalized the Security and Compliance Office, made it strategic and have given security a seat at the table with our leadership and our clients.

PBN: How will Carousel’s new Security Office centralize existing expertise within the company to form a cohesive strategy for cyberattack prevention?

ALBUQUERQUE: The modern CISO must take a more proactive approach regarding the current cybersecurity landscape. It starts with building a security team capable of keeping up with sophisticated cyberthreats. With these organizational enhancements, Carousel will have a strategic and centralized approach to critical operational services like enterprise risk management; security engineering and emergency operations; threat intelligence and analysis; data and asset security management; governance, risk and compliance; and more.

Currently there is a tremendous talent shortage in tech and, in particular, in cybersecurity. By creating a Carousel Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, customers can leverage our world-class technology talent as a managed service without the cost and hassle of building and managing this specialized function in-house.

PBN: When we talk about cyberthreats, external threats are often self-explanatory, but what are some of the internal threats to cybersecurity that companies like Carousel are learning to anticipate and prevent?

ALBUQUERQUE: Nomad workforces, with myriads of dispersed contractors – combined with a growing reliance on cloud services as well as “bring your own device” policies – have created a new generation of insider threat-related security risks. Corporate employees can no longer take safe harbor behind a firewall. Our perimeters have spawned and our information is scattering exponentially, as we increasingly have more data stored in the cloud. Unfortunately, there’s money to be made on selling user names and passwords, intellectual property, etc., so there’s plenty of reason to be concerned about data theft by former or existing employees.

PBN: What experience do you bring to this new position from your background in both the public and private sectors?

ALBUQUERQUE: I have more than 20 years’ experience in IT [information technology]. I am both a certified chief information security officer and a certified government chief information officer, and have held IT executive leadership positions in the public sector leading the development and management of IT, cybersecurity, data management, applications and telecommunications-infrastructure strategy, projects and budgets supporting 21 municipal agencies covering two municipalities with combined budgets of $215 million.

I also was a global technical-services engineer for Symantec, and I proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps in direct air-support center operations, whose efforts support combat airspace and air missions with the emplacement and operation of air-support equipment and tactical data systems. Finally, I have received several prestigious tech and leadership awards, including PBN’s 40 Under Forty award and Tech Collective’s Tech10 award, and I am a seven-time National Public Technology Institute Technology Solutions Award winner.

PBN: What information-security services does Carousel currently provide for clients, and how do you see those offerings expanding in the future?

ALBUQUERQUE: Carousel is an international IT services company with broad expertise in technologies across the entire technology stack. We are in a unique position when it comes to the recommendation, deployment and management of security products and services from our portfolio of technology partners versus other “pure-play” vendors who are only able to offer a limited set of solutions. By combining world-class talent with these best-of-breed technologies and industry best practices, Carousel can assess and manage organizational risk. We design and maintain ongoing cybersecurity programs, architect and integrate technology solutions, and manage the environment to ensure threats are minimized.

We continue to expand the information-security solutions we can offer to customers to help them create a true cyber-resiliency model that helps them avoid reactive and potentially catastrophic situations.

Galen Auer is a PBN contributing writer. Email or follow on Twitter at @PBNAuer.

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