DEBBI BLYTH is the decorated yet humble chief information security officer for the state of Colorado. Following her passion for information technology security, she graduated summa cum laude from Regis’ computer science program, now part of the College of Computer & Information Sciences, as an adult learner and has found her calling in IT leadership.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PASSION FOR IT SECURITY.
Instead of initially going to college, I ended up in an IT security position and realized I wanted to make a career out of it. Cybersecurity is always changing and becoming more visible within organizations. The adversary is continuously evolving and getting savvier, and I love the strategy beyond the day-to-day operation and long-term plans to defend the enterprise.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO ACHIEVE IN YOUR ROLE WITH THE STATE?
I want to continue to improve security — for instance, we are currently implementing the 20 Critical Security Controls plan for attack mitigation for the executive branch agencies for the state of Colorado. We’re also working to address consistent identity management across all of the agencies, and promote a healthy team environment that enables my employees to be positive contributors to the organization.
HOW CAN REGIS CONTRIBUTE TO THIS INDUSTRY?
Keep inspiring and promoting the next generation of IT professionals and leaders. Students in computer science programs at Regis are going to graduate with a very relevant degree. As Regis alumni, we should be partnering with the University to discuss the needs and challenges of the industry and how today’s graduates can improve the cybersecurity landscape.