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An experienced cybersecurity leader serving as the President & CEO of The Penn Group. I hold the CISSP, CCSP, CAP, and Security+ certifications.
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A leader without context is a critic.

During the 2020, COVID-19 Pandemic, I watched in awe as the Federal and State Governments of the United States struggled to contain what appeared to be an emerging pandemic. The data showed, cases cropping up one by one in state after state as the country was gripped by the prospect of a deadly pandemic. I’ll never forget when Dr. Atkon of Ohio tearfully described how a confirmed case of COVID-19 was discovered who had no close contact with others who had contracted the virus. That revelation meant that the virus had spread beyond control and was now spreading unobstructed. I…


I Quit Writing For 3 Months

Influence, according to Google is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. Influence is the essential key to the enrichment of relationships, leading people, and orchestrating business. If influence is so essential, then it would be reasonable to assume that influence is something that is easily attained. Reality paints a frustrating story of pursuit and frustration, often stained with regret. I’ve found that, the better I can influence people, the better leader I am.

In the early days of The Penn Group, I found myself in a…


What is a lie? A lie is a falsehood, a mistruth, a debt that is incurred to the truth?

With the close of 2020, we ended an era. Like the roaring twenties or the disco revolution of the 1970s, 2010–2020 (the 20s) will be known as the period in which truth left us. In the Information Age, for the first time, we as a society could air our grievances in a public platform for all to see. Not just with each other, but with our leaders. Instead of having a conversation with give and take, we conformed to a give and receive society. Protected by the thin veil of glass of our phones and a mask. But, more so…


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SolarWinds: A Legendary Breach

It isn’t uncommon for a Cybersecurity professional to be kept up at night. With a constant onslaught of security threats and emerging vulnerabilities, the field of information security is not for those who are prone to worry. As the President and CEO of The Penn Group, I’ve seen my fair share of events that have made me reach for the panic button. But the recent attacks on the federal government and private industry elevates beyond anything many of us in this industry have ever seen. …


Learn how to build a cybersecurity program from the cybersecurity strategy down to tactical technical security.

Build a cybersecurity program.

Building a cybersecurity program is an interesting challenge within the scope of today’s Information Technology landscape. As the President & CEO of The Penn Group, building an information security program that is cost effective, robust, and agile is one of the core subjects my company consults on. Cybersecurity, the function of the security team, is an exceedingly complicated operation. Within the context of the business, the function of cybersecurity is an oversight activity, most of the time. Without executive buy-in, the cybersecurity program is…


Cybersecurity Strategy: Compliance < Security

For as long as information security has been a function of the organization, there has been justified tension between focusing on compliance and pursuing security in the matter of cybersecurity strategy. As the President & CEO of The Penn Group, I often hear one of the most frustrating pressures to deal with as a security leader is budget. Your business stakeholders want to spend less on security, and you have to somehow figure out how to roll out next generation anti-virus to 10,000 endpoints to keep your business process secure. Often the conversation of cost is a driving factor in…


The best way to reinvigorate your job is to fire yourself.

The best way to reinvigorate your job is to fire yourself.

We have all been stuck in the rut that feels like an eternity. You get to the office 5 minutes late, wipe the sleep out of your eyes, and plop down at your desk. Staring at your computer for too long, you decide to finally unlock it to get the day started. When you sign in, you’re greeted with the unmistakable familiarity of annoyance. You can’t believe your boss is already on your case about a deadline three weeks away. You write the email that says, “I quit.” You…


She said Yes

It was a brutally steamy evening in the summer of 2019, about mid-June. As with standard procedure, I was wearing a blue ultra-flex Ralph Lauren suit, with light brown chelsea boots . I plopped down on the bench and looked down the long bleacher. We were at a baseball game, and I saw some new faces. I recognized a red head with curly hair, who was talking a bit dramatically to what appeared to be her sister. Interested, I leaned out on the bench and began to conversate with her and her sister. Attempting to impress her, I began to…


The Misinformation Problem

The Misinformation Problem

With my deep background in cybersecurity, the scale and the depth of the effectiveness of misinformation is of the foremost concern. 2020, as an election year, isn’t a war waged on interest or ideals, but manipulation and division. Never before in our nation’s history has it been easier to spin facts into falsehoods and falsehoods into facts. Our leaders, our adversaries, and our wealth have taken note. By leveraging modern technology, like Facebook and Twitter, and more traditional technology like TV and Radio, the battle grounds of the election are no longer in states but in the screens that we…


Are you frustrated at work?

In 2017, I was sitting in a board room listening to my boss’s boss talk about the results of an employee survey. In the packed room on the third floor of our corporate office sat all of the big personalities within the IT group. As the boss, who most people reasonably respected, continued to discuss the disparaging results of the employee survey, frustrations among the employees began to boil over. Soon, a full-on argument ensued between the big boss and his team. In one of the most impressive leadership moments I’ve ever seen, the big boss just stopped. He stopped…

Austin Harman, CISSP

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