Secret CSO: Jefferson Horne, Ordr

Most people don't know that… “I’ve been a licensed Private Investigator since I was 17.”

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Cybersecurity is constantly changing – how do you keep learning? Slowly… After the last 21 years in cybersecurity, I’ve luckily learned to tune out the fear and noise that is rampant in this industry and focus on the real problems. For better or worse I spend near every waking moment of my life connected to the internet and learn things usually by trying to solve a problem or completely by accident.

What conferences are on your must-attend list? I’m a bit bias here as I’ve been on the BlackHat Review Board for the last 6 years, so BlackHat and DefCon for sure. I really like CanSecWest, Infiltrate, and BSides. I sometimes go to SummerCon to hang out with friends and talk security. Basically, any conference where there’s a chance that a speaker is going to drop 0day, I’d want to attend J.

What is the best current trend in cybersecurity? The worst? The best is probably all of the thought being put into data collection and data privacy. This is a huge problem that is largely out of control. The worst is security vendors selling snake oil and hiding behind purposefully confusing technical buzzwords.

What's the best career advice you ever received? As a leader trust is more important than technical skill.

What advice would you give to aspiring security leaders? You need to remain technical and reading it is not the same as doing it. There are too many armchair cybersecurity “experts” that go around talking and teaching that have never coded, reversed, or architected anything in their life. It is incredibly easy to pick something apart, but you need to understand how to fix it while properly communicating the problem and solution in order to be an effective security leader.

What has been your greatest career achievement? Probably passing the 2 day 16+ hour multi panel interview process at SpaceX sitting in a chair with no computer and being fed coffee continually. I tend to talk really fast and go on tangents if I have too much coffee, and without a computer backing me up I’m pretty dumb.

Looking back with 20:20 hindsight, what would you have done differently? Nothing, I’m honestly very content with my life and the choices I’ve made.

What is your favourite quote?“ Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere.” -Carl Sagan.

What are you reading now? I’ve been slowly reading Bertrand Russell’s The History of Western Philosophy in 2 page increments before passing out every night for the past 2 months.

In my spare time, I like to… I’ll be 40 this year and I still find time for video games. I just finished the Remastered Spiderman and have started the Demon Souls remake on PS5. I’m looking forward to replaying Devil May Cry 5 again for the 4th time, and you can usually find me playing Call of Duty Warzone on Saturday mornings. I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 and have amassed a decent guitar collection, and I find time to play at least few hours a week.

Most people don't know that I… I’ve been a licensed Private Investigator since I was 17.

Ask me to do anything but… Remain in a position where I am prevented from properly securing something that I have responsibility for.

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