Collective Intelligence Podcast, Chris Cochran on his Journey in Security, Intelligence
By Mike Mimoso
Chris Cochran spent the money his mother gave him in high school earmarked for clothes instead on a networking certification prep manual.
Someone has always been an outside-the-box thinker and leader.
Cochran embodies the atypical path many security and intelligence professionals take in their careers. He joined the military intent on being a scout sniper, but after acing the Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Test, he had his pick of disciplines to choose from. Cochran eventually landed as an NSA contractor where he could blend his love for computers and a newfound passion for intel.
Now as the threat intelligence lead for a media services company, he is making strides inside and outside his organization to be an advocate for security. In this episode of the Collective Intelligence podcast, Cochcran shares the details of his career path, and how he incorporates unstructured play into the environment to train teammates, build visibility of security and intelligence inside the organization, and close security gaps.
The inspiration for Cochran’s approach is a 2018 documentary called “In Search of Greatness” that examines the underpinnings of great athletes such as Serena Williams, Jerry Rice, and Wayne Gretzky. One common thread is the role that unstructured play figured in their training and development through adolescence into adulthood.
“I thought, ‘Could I use this concept about play that could bring job satisfaction to the enterprise and have it make sense?’” he said. Cochran said one area where he could introduce play was to red-teaming and blue-teaming where internal teams square off as adversaries attempting to respectively find, exploit, and remediate vulnerabilities.
“If you have this cat-and-mouse game, you’re constantly highlighting gaps in your security posture and processes and you’re remediating them,” Cochran said. “Over time, you become this harder target. By creating a space where you can play this cat-and-mouse game, actually lends toward a better security posture in the long term.”
Cochran explains how game play via tabletop exercises and other scenarios sharpens focus and translates to a safer environment for the business.
The Collective Intelligence Podcast, presented by Flashpoint and hosted by Editorial Director Mike Mimoso, features regular interviews with a diverse set of industry experts and Flashpoint analysts on the latest information security news and industry trends.