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Shaping the Cybersecurity Program: Top Priorities and the Power of Mentorship with Michael Smith

About the Episode

In this episode, we explore Michael Smith's journey from an Air Force IT Manager to VP of Infrastructure and Operations at Trinity Industries, Inc., highlighting his pivotal roles and the cybersecurity landscape within the architecture, engineering, and construction sectors.

Michael shares insights on outsourcing cybersecurity teams, the strategic decision-making behind these choices, the evolving role of the CISO, and the importance of strategic positioning within an organization.

Michael emphasizes the strategic value of leadership positions and how the role that mentorship played in his transition from CISO to CIO while at Jacobs. The discussion also covers Michael's philosophy on leadership, focusing on extreme ownership and servant leadership, and how this influences his approach to new operational challenges.

Key takeaways include:

  • The importance of adaptability and strategic thinking in advancing from technical roles to executive leadership in cybersecurity.
  • Why mentorship and leadership development are critical for building resilient cybersecurity teams and fostering innovation.
  • Strategic outsourcing vs. in-house team development: considerations for effective cybersecurity management.
  • The evolving role of the CISO in organizational structures and the importance of C-level accountability and board engagement in cybersecurity.
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Michael Smith, Vice President Information Technology,



Erin McLean, Chief Marketing Officer,


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