Top 10 Cyber Execs to Watch: Gus Hunt, Accenture Federal Services

Gus Hunt

Gus Hunt is in his third year as managing director and cyber strategy lead at Accenture Federal Services. A former chief technology officer for the CIA from January 2009 to October 2013, Hunt graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1979 and has worked in both the public and private sector spaces.

He began his career as an aerospace engineer for Rockwell International and General Research Corp., where he designed advanced manned space flight systems and satellite orbital transfer vehicles. Today, he serves as an adviser for several cybersecurity and big data startups. He is a member of the board of directors for leading technology solutions integrator ePlus.

Why Watch: Hunt drives the strategic cyber vision for Accenture’s federal business leveraging new approaches, models and technologies, including integrating new capabilities from acquisitions like that of Defense Point Security into Accenture’s already robust portfolio. Hunt was also instrumental in Accenture’s recently launched Cyber Fusion Center, which was designed to demonstrate the latest capabilities and showcase prototypes and solutions.

Hunt is the driving force behind the recent “Cyber Moonshot” white paper that maps out 11 strategies for leveraging new methodologies and technologies for advancing an organization’s cyber resilience.

“One of the key points driving our Cyber Moonshot thinking is how best to harness power of proactive cyber defense,” Hunt said. “We believe very strongly that you should constantly pressure-test everything — probe your networks, scan your software, and look for vulnerabilities, indicators of compromise, malware.”

Hunt said he also believes assuming breaches will happen is a critical mindset for approaching information and cybersecurity.

“We need to think about designing systems to make sure the data itself is very, very hardened and minimizes the opportunity for the adversary to take advantage, whether it’s an insider threat or an outsider coming in the door,” he said.

Hunt also advocates more education on the use of social media and the internet in general.

“As social media has created ‘a tsunami of data,’ businesses and government alike are looking to leverage the ‘open door information’ available to them,” Hunt said. Hunt himself said he is careful about sharing information on social media, deliberately avoiding setting up some personal social media accounts.

“Teaching people to be discriminating consumers and posters of information and content while helping them understand how their information gets used is a really, really important thing that we’ve got to do for our society as a whole,” he said. “As policies and legislation around technology change, AFS continues to build solutions that enable clients to change, adapt and grow.”

“I’ve never been willing to accept the status quo,” Hunt said. “I’m a firm believer that we have within our power, as individuals, as companies, as governments and as a nation, to make things and to always change things for the better.”

See the full list of Top 10 Cyber Execs to Watch.

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