Roland Cloutier. Chris Peters. Mike Orosz. Kevin Brown. Mark Bowling.
They’re all CISOs or CSOs, and they’ve all followed a similar career path: military service, followed by government service, followed by a shift to the private sector.
Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to speak with Mark Bowling, who was named Chief Information Security and Risk Officer at ExtraHop in April. I asked him why so many security leaders seem to follow a similar career path and why this particular trajectory seems to pave the way for a successful career in security leadership.
Mark, who served in the U.S. Navy before kicking off a 20-year career with the FBI, answered with characteristic incisiveness. He noted that people who’ve worked in the military, intelligence and law enforcement communities develop a deep understanding of security, operate with a clear sense of mission, and embrace the concept of “internal reliability,” meaning, they know they must be trusted and have a duty to protect and serve. (His full answer to this question is worth watching in the video clip below.)
When I spoke with Mark, he told me right up front that he really doesn’t enjoy talking about himself. “It’s not about Mark. It’s about the mission,” he said. Despite his initial reticence, we ended up having a wide-ranging conversation about his career, his tenure with the FBI and the most memorable case he worked on, and CISO/CSO reporting relationships (Mark reports to ExtraHop Chief Legal Officer Lauren Zajac).
We hope you enjoy a few video outtakes from our call.