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October 22, 2015

Open Letter to Joe Biden - Consider security as your next career move

Dear Vice President Biden,

Joe, may I call you Joe? For months, political pundits, voters and the Democratic Party have been asking “will he or won’t he” with regard to your potential presidential intentions. On Wednesday, when you stood in the White House Rose Garden and announced that you will not run for president in 2016, you marked the end of what CNN described as your “long political career, which includes nearly 40 years in the Senate and two terms as vice president.”

Now that you’ve closed the door on a presidential bid, the question on many peoples’ minds is “what will you do next?” During your announcement, you talked about the importance of education as well as the need for more affordable child care. This left some pundits speculating whether you will take the same route as former Presidents Clinton and G.H.W Bush and advocate for social causes.

Your announcement made it clear you will not be silent on important issues facing our country; so I propose you seek employment in a role that is rapidly evolving and has an ever-growing importance to our country’s businesses, consumers and national security. I’m talking, of course, of becoming a chief information security officer (or CISO). 

Now’s a great time to become a CISO. Companies of all sizes and in every industry rely on software more than ever to run their businesses. Our critical infrastructure, like financial services, utilities and emergency services, relies on software to operate more efficiently. Even GE describes itself as a software company! The proliferation of software brings with it increased risk as cyberattackers from nation-states and hacktivist and criminal gangs exploit vulnerabilities in this software. This makes cybersecurity critical to national security – a fact you clearly recognize. Cybersecurity is also a critical economic issue; breaches and insecurity can cost businesses and consumers millions of dollars.

Cybersecurity has become such an important issue that it was openly discussed during both political parties’ primary debates! CISOs have an important job, and it’s a job that requires the ability to adeptly manage stress and crisis, much like politics.

Now, you may argue that your lack of technical skills precludes you from taking on such a highly technical role, and in the past, you’d be right. However, the role of the CISO is evolving – rapidly. It is now more important for CISOs to have communication skills and business sense than it is for them to have deep technical expertise.

So, as you find yourself out of a job in January 2017, and begin to contemplate your next move, consider becoming a CISO. In this role, the strategies you develop will help reduce breaches and, as a result, protect consumers in all economic classes, create a stronger economy by spurring innovation so that businesses can be more profitable, and protect our national security. What could be more patriotic than that?


Jessica Lavery

Concerned citizen and cybersecurity enthusiast 


Image Source:USA Today

Jessica is part of the content team at Veracode. In this role she strives to create and promote content that will engage, educate and inspire security professionals around the topic of application security. Jessica’s involvement with the security industry goes back more than a decade at companies like Astaro, and Sophos where she held roles in corporate communication and marketing.

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