Multi-factor & Risk-based Authentication , Security Operations , Video

Profiles in Leadership: JT Jacoby

IRC CISO on Modernizing Security Controls to Detect Rather Than Respond to Problems
JT Jacoby, CISO, International Rescue Committee

The International Rescue Committee has identified new processes and ways to safeguard information in the midst of rapid digital transformation, according to CISO JT Jacoby.

See Also: Passwordless: Is It Finally Ready for Prime Time?

The nongovernmental humanitarian organization went from having multi-factor authentication deployed on just 1,500 devices as recently as November to more than 10,000 today to help improve data privacy and security. Jacoby has tailored his messaging to different stakeholders in the organization so technical audiences get more depth while not forcing the CEO to hear about conditional access policies.

"We were just taking it on the chin too far in the response side of the house as opposed to the protect-and-detect side," Jacoby said. "Our leadership organization immediately prioritized investment, and we acquired a bunch of different systems and talent to go ahead and mitigate that."

In this interview with Information Security Media Group as part of the CyberEdBoard's ongoing Profiles in Leadership series, Jacoby also discusses:

  • How he stays current on the security needs of his organization;
  • How to most effectively support entry- and mid-level security workers;
  • How to keep a work-life balance given the demands of the CISO role.

Jacoby is responsible for overseeing data protection for millions of beneficiaries who are part of the world’s most at-risk populations. Prior to joining the IRC in 2016, he served as consulting manager for PwC’s cybersecurity, privacy and financial crimes unit, where he focused on the financial services and critical infrastructure sectors. He previously pioneered the first NYC agency social media surveillance tool as a member of the city's housing authority, resulting in reduced tenant fraud and homicides.

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About the Author

Michael Novinson

Michael Novinson

Managing Editor, Business, ISMG

Novinson is responsible for covering the vendor and technology landscape. Prior to joining ISMG, he spent four and a half years covering all the major cybersecurity vendors at CRN, with a focus on their programs and offerings for IT service providers. He was recognized for his breaking news coverage of the August 2019 coordinated ransomware attack against local governments in Texas as well as for his continued reporting around the SolarWinds hack in late 2020 and early 2021.

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