A Day in the Life of Optiv Cyber Security Superheroes: Peter H. Gregory

A Day in the Life of Optiv Cyber Security Superheroes: Peter H. Gregory

Blazing Trails in the Cyber Security Industry and on the Roads of the Pacific Northwest


Peter H. Gregory, Executive Director, Office of the CISO


Peter H. Gregory is very passionate about helping others—whether it’s helping clients develop their corporate security strategy or training the cyber security professionals of tomorrow at the University of Washington. Somehow, he manages to do both, and then some. The author of 40 technology publications—including CISSP for Dummies (all five editions)—Peter has his hands in multiple projects and pursuits. His many roles include mentor, author, university instructor, conference speaker and chief information security strategist. As an executive director in Optiv’s Office of the CISO, his main focus lies with helping companies improve their cyber security programs.


It’s About Team


Peter’s vast team deliver the bench strength organizations need at critical points in their security program journey. The team, comprised of a collection of former CISOs from across the country and all vertical markets, allows companies to use CISOs on an interim or longer-term basis. Their services run the gamut, from initial security strategy assessments to interim CISO, CISO mentoring, and virtual CISO arrangements. When a client has a specific industry issue, within minutes Optiv CISOs can provide actionable, high-level ideas that clients can enact right away. Peter explains, “Although there’s just one of us working directly with the client, there’s a whole team behind that person facing the client. We don’t get bogged down in red tape; we act like an agile startup with regards to how we work with our clients and how we assist them.”


It’s About Impact


Optiv ensures that organizations and their security leadership are not only business-aligned but that they’re successful. It’s why our CISOs work shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients, making sure that security is an enablement of their business processes. Peter notes, “I learned that to be successful in technology is to be able to work with business people and to talk about technology in business peoples’ language. We can see the impact. I know that I’ve made a very substantial difference in the business of many of my clients—on account of making security important, and understandable all the way to the board of directors.” 


It’s About Growth


Peter is the epitome of a life-long learner of all things cyber security: risk management, governance, third-party risk, data security and enterprise incident management. In the 1990’s, when cyber security was a little-discussed subject, Peter was authoring a number of books for Solaris administrators and engineers when organizations were just starting to go online. Outside of cyber security, this “easy rider” devotes his energies to his other passion: motorcycle riding and instruction. Not only does he enjoy jumping on his Yamaha Roadliner and hitting Highway 20, but he also loves to impart his knowledge of security in this arena. Peter became a motorcyclist instructor and has helped new motorcyclists ride safer around the highways and byways of the Pacific Northwest. 


Peter notes, “Who knows, maybe one or two people have survived situations because of what I’ve been able to teach them.” Very early on in life (to quote a famous Bob Seger lyric), Peter “took a bead on the northern plains and just rolled that power on.” And he continues to apply that attitude to many facets of life.