Field CISO at Presidio

The exponential growth of cyber attacks is always on the mind of Dave Trader, Field CISO at Presidio. Following the release of pioneering ransomware protection - which can feel like turning back time - he is now confident in what the future holds for defending against attacks. 

“With our new Ransomware Mitigation Kit we can now essentially turn the clock back and take away the weapon our cyber adversaries have been holding data for ransom and halting production,” said Trader, who applies the methodology he learnt in the US Marines to his role with Presidio which he calls “tactical to practical”.

“The ability for an organisation to identify and respond to cybersecurity incidents could mean the difference between a minor disruption and a potential catastrophic event especially as cyber crime is growing exponentially,” said Trader. 

Trader has been Presidio's Cybersecurity Practice Lead since the beginning of 2019, and global Field CISO since January 2021. He is one of the industry's leading security experts with 20 years' experience, including eight years with the United States Marine Corps specialising in critical military security and communication.

As someone who has the “ability to build an entire Cyber Security program from the ground up” he comments how his background as a Marine and at the FBI Academy helps him see the bigger threat landscape for companies.

“I refer to this methodology as tactical to practical and it all started in the Marines when I was taught how to conduct electronic warfare and how to defend a physical war zone. Coming from the US Military I've used those strategies to objectively apply them to cyber security networks or organisational structures in an emergency.

“My career in the Marines lasted eight years and during that time I learned a lot about leadership and what it takes to accomplish a mission and that ‘never say die attitude’. It carved out the person I am today - I really enjoyed my time with the Marines. From a leadership perspective it taught me how to lead a team and how to watch out for the lowest ranking member of a team and ensure we're all focused on one goal.

“As you can imagine, having your communications compromised is a life or death scenario. I handled encryption from satellites, ship-to-shore communications, and radio communications. I connected messages and communications from the Pentagon to the field, to the line operators, daily and part of my job was to make sure that every link in that chain was secure.”

Trader outlined his role at Presidio. “I am responsible for supporting about 15 different Security Practice Leads that we have throughout the country and around the globe. I provide cybersecurity advisory and consulting services to the board level conversations. Our goal is to be a trusted advisor that helps match the needs of our clients with the right strategic solution for them across the board.”

Commenting on what traits are needed to be an inspiring leader, Trader said: “Knowing the obstacles that exist on the front line, which comes from my time in the Marines and applies to my role in security today. I will always seek out the least ranking individual in the room and talk to them about the obstacles they face that day.

“I would just take away that middle-management element and I would go directly to the source and I would ask them what problems existed. From a Marine perspective that could be ‘I don't have enough bullets or band-aids’ and apply this to the corporate world.”

Prior to joining Presidio, Trader was Chief Information Security Officer at GalaxE Solutions. He's also a graduate of the FBI CISO Academy, one of fewer than 200 since the program was inaugurated in 2015.


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