Cybersecurity In-Depth

The Edge

Frank Taylor: Better Processes Lead to Tighter Security

If the now-retired Air Force Brigadier General and first-ever GE CSO ever got the memo about career specialization and 'nichey' expertise, he apparently forgot to read it.


• Things Taylor has carried over from military life: Everything is still square … be in uniform, be 15 minutes early, and be prepared for your meetings! That's Military 101. GE used to talk about it, but my say/do ratio is 100%. I do everything I say I'm going to do.

• What his co-workers don't know about him: I'm shy. I'm an introvert and really have to work hard to be the extrovert leader to be effective. A quality of introversion is to listen and to hear and contemplate what you're hearing and turn it into knowledge. From the Nicomachean ethics of Aristotle, we know contemplation is the route to knowledge, and knowledge is the route to happiness.

• Electronic must-haves: I get Google, CNN, and MSNBC alerts all the time on my iPhone. The new normal for security executives requires you to know what happened and assess the impact on the organization.

• Favorite hangout: Home. But also a sporting venue since I have season tickets for basketball and football.

• Comfort food: Fried chicken. My wife won't fix it – I only get it on my birthday.

• On his music playlist right now: I do Motown. There's a channel on Sirius XM called Soul Town. That's what I listen to.

• Ride: Right now, I'm driving a 3 Series BMW that I originally bought for my wife. But it's too low to the ground for me, so I just ordered a new Toyota Avalon.

• After hours: Gardening. Gardens respond to tender loving care. They also tell you when you screwed up.

• Favorite team: Notre Dame, my college team. But when Bobby Mitchell became the first African-American player for the Washington Redskins in 1962, I had the opportunity to interview him for my junior high school newspaper. That cemented me to the Redskins for life.

• Signature style: Black suits and white shirts. I don't think I'd be seen as a fashion icon – it's like a uniform … not trying to stand out. And I love that business casual is the way businesses operate now. I wish the government were moving in that direction.

• Actor who would play Taylor in film: Denzel Washington. I like the seriousness in which he approaches every endeavor he's involved in.

• Next career after security: Grandparenting. Your children never leave you so it's about continuing to be a good parent and good grandparent and helping the next generation to get ahead.

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