Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan: It’s Not All About IT, Engineering

By David Cohen 

Facebook Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan stressed that information-technology experience is only one weapon in the war against cyber-crime during his keynote address at the Cyber Security Summit in Birmingham, Ala., Tuesday.

Birmingham Business Journal reported that Sullivan said job applicants looking for positions with the social network’s security team should bring more to the table than computer science and engineering experience, adding that political science and social issues carry a lot of weight in the process.

He added that much cyber-crime originates overseas, and knowledge in other disciplines can help Facebook’s security team understand the motivation behind the illegal activities and prevent or respond to those actions.

Sullivan also recognized the efforts by the University of Alabama at Birmingham, mentioning that the university is a leader in collaborative efforts between authorities, the private sector, and educational institutions, and noting Facebook’s $250,000 donation to UAB last October, which came from money recovered from spammers around the world.

Sullivan said during his keynote address, as reported by Birmingham Business Journal:

Bad guys are moving really fast, and we have to move with them. I look for people who understand the world. We can’t have people only from one environment, and only coming from one perspective.

Readers: Do you agree with Sullivan that a diverse knowledge base is vital in order to fight cyber-crime?