Mark’s breadth of experience reaches across public and private sectors in the Americas, Canada, and Europe in the fields of security, compliance, and management, and includes many industries, such as government, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and management consulting. He’s worked on 5 continents and lived in 4 different countries, which gives him a unique perspective. This background allows Mark to both understand the needs of executive management for strategy and planning, but also makes him capable of understanding and analyzing global organizational cultures to offer comparisons and illustrate the differences. From the start of his career in the ranks of Information Systems Auditing and sys admins, Mark came to understand the community’s need for adequate and specific planning and strategy. He chose information security because he’s always been an advocate of control systems and controls themselves. Add that to his enjoyment of studying Human Nature, the use of psychology as a training tool, and his desire to help others to reach their potential, makes it clear why Mark has been drawn to teaching this particular course.
After taking several SANS courses over the years, Mark realized that teaching these types of courses would be a wonderful way to give back to others growing their careers in Information Security. Mark’s style as an instructor is to use the Socratic method as much as possible to enable students to learn for themselves. Mark thoroughly enjoys meeting and interacting with the students and learning from them, as well.
During the course of his career, Mark has been in the exact same position as his current students; being responsible for the roadmap and strategy documents for the enterprise, writing and reviewing policy standards and procedures. He believes it is more common than not that information security professionals are often thrust into this type of role without a great deal of support and training. Mark shares his real-world examples and case studies to give students a place to learn and practice management techniques and concepts related to strategy, policy and leadership that they often are unable to do "on the job".
Mark’s career highlight has been having students reach out to him and tell him how much they learned in the course or that they had passed their certification on the first attempt. He sees that as the ultimate confirmation that he is providing value for others.
Mark was the founding chairman of the Bermuda Chapter of ISACA, a founder and past president of the Chattanooga ISSA Chapter, past president of the ISSA Phoenix Chapter, and has been the ISSA Volunteer of the Year. Throughout his career, he has worked with educators and researchers, doing stints as a guest lecturer at Arizona State University, teaching at the University of Advancing Technology, guest lecturing at ITT tech, and working with the Privacy by Design Incubator project to research and publish the seminal work on Privacy by Design. Finally, as a Fellow of the Information Systems Security Association, Mark has acted as a mentor to many security professionals, using and refining the techniques taught in the leadership portion of the course. Mark holds multiple certifications in security and privacy including GSTRT, GISL, SABSA, CISSP, CISA, CRISC, and CIPP/IT.
At heart, Mark is an artist, enjoys music, plays the guitar, and collects motorcycles and tattoos.
ADDITIONAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY MARK WILLIAMS: