CISO Showcase: Intel's Malcolm Harkins

What it Takes to Work in Security, Privacy
CISO Showcase: Intel's Malcolm Harkins
Malcolm Harkins has a unique role. He oversees both security and privacy for global technology vendor Intel. What tips does he offer individuals who seek to build careers in either discipline - or both?

Harkins actually began his career with a degree in economics, and even in his first decade at Intel, his roles were in business and finance. But the jobs kept touching upon risk in one form or another.

Post-Sept. 11, Harkins was drawn into both physical and logical security, and his roles have continued to evolve since then. "I've essentially been on a quest to figure out anything and everything that's in the information and technology risk spectrum, and how those dials turn - how to best manage them," he says in an interview with Information Security Media Group.

Asked to list the essential skills critical to his CISO and privacy roles, he starts with what he describes as "that macro-thinking."

"One item can have ripple effect on many items, both at that micro-economic level and macro-economic level," Harkins says. "I think the same thing is true of risk. There are temporal distortions over time, and there are sometimes low-probability items that have significant consequence and impact. ..."

The critical element is seeing the connections among these disparate pieces and how they impact the organization as a whole re: security and privacy.

In an interview about careers in security and privacy, Harkins discusses:

  • Essential skills and experience in his own career;
  • Today's unique demands for security and privacy pros;
  • Qualities he seeks in individuals recruited for his team.

Harkins is vice president and chief security and privacy officer at Intel Corp. In this role, he's responsible for managing the risk, controls, privacy, security and other related compliance activities for all of Intel's information assets, products and services. Before becoming Intel's first CSPO, he was the chief information security officer, reporting to the chief information officer. Harkins also held roles in finance, procurement and various business operations.

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