While you probably don’t associate General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems (GDAIS) with discount clothing stores, when parent company of TJ Maxx and Marshall’s suffered a major cybersecurity breach in 2007, resulting in the theft of millions of customers’ credit information, GDAIS’ cyber professionals sprang into action.
“Within hours, our forensic experts were able to identify how the breach occurred and we were able to fix the problem,” Nadia Short, VP and general manager of GDAIS’ cyber division, told BusinessWeek.
However, America’s cybersecurity needs are nothing new, she said. She told GovInfoSecurity last year, “They’ve been ongoing because General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems has had a long-standing portfolio of cyber programs that we’ve been working on.”
Unfortunately, one of the greatest challenges to effective cybersecurity in America is a dearth of qualified cybersecurity professionals.
“We are looking for people who want to work in the security-related job profession … People want to be part of trying to make things better,” Nadia Short said.
She said the cybersecurity profession demands professionals “who can anticipate how an adversary will act in the cyber domain and analyze a variety of information and intelligence relevant to the threats facing critical networks.”
Recently, Nadia Short’s years of working to secure America’s IT infrastructure won her a place on the National Cyber Security Alliance’s board of directors. NCSA Executive Director Michael Kaiser said of her appointment, “Nadia Short has been working to protect critical infrastructure and ensure the integrity of electronic communications for her entire career,” adding NCSA is “delighted” to add her to the organization’s board of directors.
Nadia Short said her first goal at NCSA will be to increase awareness of cybersecurity threats. She said in a statement: “Cybersecurity now affects everyone. We are moving toward a post-desktop computer era, where our interaction with cyberspace is becoming seamless in our daily lives. We believe in the mission of the NCSA and I look forward to working with its board to increase cybersecurity awareness and Internet safety.”
While a shortage of American cybersecurity professionals is alarming, knowing the information security community is guided by experienced leaders like Nadia Short makes cyberspace seem a little bit safer.