Juggling high-profile problems, Uber hires security officer
- Uber has hired a replacement for Joe Sullivan, the chief security officer fired in the wake of the company's breach revelations last fall. Matt Olsen, cofounder, president and CRO of IronNet Cybersecurity, will join the company as chief trust and security officer, reports The New York Times.
- Company transparency and unity in the security team will be high priorities for Olsen as Uber repairs its reputation, as well as complying to the laws and regulations and expectations of customers and stakeholders, Olsen told the Times. Security is currently divided between online security and physical security groups.
- Olsen has served as special counselor to the FBI director, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, general counsel of the National Security Agency, law professor for Georgetown, Harvard and the University of Virginia law schools and principal at WestExec Advisors.
Thrilled to have Matt Olsen on board as #Uber Chief Trust and Security Officer. He has more than earned the respect of our team at all levels while working with us over the last few months - https://t.co/Xxssp1Wa3r— Dara Khosrowshahi (@dkhos) August 14, 2018
It has taken more than eight months to name Sullivan's successor, and Olsen's far-reaching experience in security and law are a deliberate nod to the regulatory, social and industry lines being drawn in around the company.
November's data breach scandal hasn't been the only public relations debacle for the company. Uber expanded an FTC settlement in April regarding privacy and data security policies to include independent audits submitted to the regulatory body.
CEO Dara Khosrowshahi and his team will have to juggle security and trust with other high-profile matters, including a recent freeze on new ride-hailing licenses in New York, probes into company pay to workers and the booming scooter market.
Security often enters boardroom discussions and public discourse when something unexpected happens, so the challenge for security executives can fall to maintaining a high priority status and making a compelling business case for complex technical issues.
Khosrowshahi has been eager and willing to disrupt Uber's practices, especially when it comes to transparency, and he and Olsen are well poised to establish a stronger security culture and infrastructure.
Follow Alex Hickey on Twitter