Top 10 CISOs to Watch in 2021

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Michael Baker, GDIT

Michael Baker 

Staff Vice President & Chief Information Security Officer, GDIT

GDIT had just finished a years-long effort to integrate top cyber teams and revamp its cyber culture when work-from-home began en masse last spring. That foundational work would prove vital.

Through the new models, GDIT last year quickly rolled out and consolidated large-scale enterprise systems while focusing on cost containment.

“As soon as we finished this out, we had to immediately focus on universal remote work and the unique risks that accompany that, including the rapid rollout of new data protection schemes, remote access methods and large-scale video collaboration,” said Michael Baker, GDIT staff vice president and chief information security officer. 

In 2020, GDIT received a perfect defense industrial base cybersecurity assessment center rating — a designation Baker said reflects “the executive and operational commitment” to customer mission. And the company has worked to continuously improve supply chain risk management practices before and after the SolarWinds-based breach. 

“Before technology can be applied, it is imperative to position cybersecurity away from being the ‘party of no’ and more of a force for IT transformation and business value,” Baker said. “The focus to ‘get to yes’ safely and collaboratively is a differentiator for our company and customers that allows us to embrace innovation across a broad range of missions.”

Why Watch

Baker will continue to focus on evolving GDIT’s cyber teams while holding technical prowess and soft skills in equal importance — an approach that maximizes productivity and employee experience in a tough hiring market.

“We will be looking to deepen our focus on [artificial intelligence]and automation to increase our teams’ effectiveness, doubling down on zero trust principles across our networks, taking the next step in data awareness and tagging, and evolving our supply chain risk management program,” Baker said. 

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