CISO, Accenture Federal Services
Nicole Dean’s biggest achievement this year has been expanding Accenture Federal Services’ security programs under a companywide initiative called Secure+ in collaboration with leaders across the company.
“It’s exciting to work with leaders and people in all corners of the business,” she said. “Seeing the whole company engaged at every level has allowed us to rapidly deploy new tools and processes that empower our people and create more value for our clients as well as greatly enhance our overall security posture.”
Looking ahead, Dean’s team is heavily focused on standardized tool sets. The team is establishing guidelines for the delivery teams, labs and corporate functions to enable them to start new projects with a standardized set of tools and configurations. This streamlines security efforts, leading to shorter timelines and cost savings. This approach not only benefits the company’s teams but also simplifies security and compliance across the organization.
“My favorite quote is ‘Don’t swallow the elephant. Eat it one bite at a time,’ from Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” Dean said. “ Many times, projects or issues feel overwhelming but if we break it down into pieces, we can successfully reach a solution. When I want to make people smile, I generally tell them that the issue is a ‘feature, not a flaw.’ That always makes people smile no matter how tense the situation is.”