Rob Ferrill on His Tech Career, Integrated Solutions, and Raising Security Awareness

AVP and CISO Rob Ferrill details his 30-year IT and Information Security background developing and operating security tools, processes, and policies, and previews his upcoming keynote presentation on our ‘Innovation and Cyber Resilience’ live webinar on Wednesday, November 29.

Brandon Taylor, Digital Editorial Program Manager

November 29, 2023

2 Min Read
Professional headshot of Rob Ferrill - CISO at UAB.
via Rob Ferrill

At a Glance

  • Rob details his rise in the tech industry beginning as a server engineer.
  • Currently, at UAB, he is responsible for all information and technical security related projects and endeavors.
  • Ensuring campus wide security awareness and cultivating a secure culture can be challenging.

The last 23 years of Rob Ferrill’s career have centered around the information security realm of IT. The InfoSec teams that he’s been tasked with leading have been responsible for developing, maintaining, overseeing, and operating security tools, processes, and policies.

Currently, at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Rob is responsible for all information and technical security related projects and endeavors. This includes incident response and incident management using IDS/IPS, SIM/SEM, enterprise firewalls, digital forensics, AV, desktop firewall, content filtering/monitoring, and network forensics.

The campus environment can be complex with so many administrators and students requiring remote access to various types of data, platforms, and systems – utilizing both 5G and Wi-Fi connections. Ensuring campus wide security awareness and cultivating a secure culture can be challenging.

“We utilize all the different social media channels that are out there, because that's more of the younger generation’s way of getting information. Each year in October, we take advantage of the National Cyber Security Awareness Month to blitz the faculty, staff, and students with all the current information that we need to educate them on. This year, we introduced a program called ‘Slices with Security’ where we handed out pizza to the first 200 attendees. They were able to spin a wheel that would land on a particular type of data and they would need to tell us what classification that data fell under. At UAB, we have public, sensitive, and restricted data. All correct answers would receive a prize and more pizza.”

Related:How to Begin a Career as a Cybersecurity Consultant

Next on the list: Rob will be the featured keynote speaker for our live ‘Innovation and Cyber Resilience’ webinar. The event will take place on Wednesday, November 29, presented by InformationWeek and sponsored by NetSPI. He provided us with some clarity in a video interview:

In the modern enterprise environment, the adoption of emerging technology and integrated solutions such as SASE and Zero-Trust can ease the challenges of securing remote and mobile workforces more effectively compared to traditional security measures.

When considering Rob’s keynote detailing innovation and cyber resilience, we wanted to know more about the challenge of prioritizing those concepts while maintaining IT resiliency and cybersecurity.

“So, this is just a little teaser, but I think we expose ourselves to great risk if we don't hold fast to certain requirements or controls that are necessary to execute these new, innovative projects. There's an old saying that ‘some hills that you must die on,’ and that means there are certain controls that must be present, or else you may pay the consequences. Make sure to join Wednesday’s webinar and I'll tell you about some of those consequences when we talk again.”

Related:How a Focus on Security Blind Spots Can Force Shadow IT out of the Darkness

Register for the ‘Innovation and Cyber Resilience’ live webinar today.

About the Author(s)

Brandon Taylor

Digital Editorial Program Manager

Brandon Taylor enables successful delivery of sponsored content programs across Enterprise IT media brands: Data Center Knowledge, InformationWeek, ITPro Today and Network Computing.

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights