Nicole Dean was just 35 when her executive abilities and accomplishments in technology landed her the nation’s highest civilian designation for leadership within the federal government — the Senior Executive Service.
Now the chief information security officer for Accenture Federal Services, she leads work protecting the internal information of one of the world’s largest consulting organizations, and works with account leads to securely implement their programs and safeguard client data.
The Security First employee engagement program — one of many innovative training and education programs she has launched — uses internal conferencing, social media and chat rooms to provide ethics training and counsel with an eye toward accountability. Applying a zero vulnerability standard to the program, Dean and her team cut the number of 30-day-plus open vulnerability cases by 90%. Security First also encourages participants to submit and ask questions. Over three years, the number of questions posed to the security office rose 300%.
Dean is also working to develop a system whereby a minimum-security bid factors into each proposal to ensure cyber protection is adequately considered in Accenture Federal Services’ delivery efforts. She and her team are developing standard language the teams can use to help educate current and prospective clients on the value of cyber investments.
Dean is highly regarded in the public and private sector as a proven, innovative and inclusive CISO, who is committed to new ideas, open dialogue and co-creating sustainable strategies with stakeholders across the business. She loves to think outside the box and challenge convention. Her strength is combining strong protective concepts with practical operational programs and bringing together an ecosystem inside and out to deliver security and value.