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Michael Palmer

Chief Information Security Officer, Hearst

Michael Palmer is the chief information security officer for Hearst, a leading diversified media, information and services company with over $10 billion in annual revenue. Hearst’s portfolio of more than 360 companies spans cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; global financial services leader Fitch Group; and Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses. Palmer leads enterprise-wide vision, strategy and architecture of information security and technology risk management. Palmer brings his expertise to evangelize IT security across Hearst’s portfolio, integrating IT security as a critical component of business operations.

Formerly, Palmer served as a key member of the NFL’s executive team, responsible for governing the league’s cybersecurity strategy, policies and programs while protecting its brand, intellectual property and assets. As the first chief information security officer in the NFL, Palmer’s inaugural role was the result of his ingenious work ethic, dedicated problem solving and ability to pitch the business case for having an information security office. Palmer recognized a need in the organization and created the CISO office from the ground level in 2012.

Palmer’s background includes 20+ years of broad cybersecurity and enterprise risk management experience, including deep specialization in corporate technology infrastructure, identifying threats and pinpointing vulnerabilities. Palmer works to expose inherent business risks and is adept at spearheading strategies on how to best address them. As a proven trailblazer, change agent and subject matter expert in information security, Palmer works closely with his colleagues, providing guidance on security and risk issues.

An industry thought leader, Palmer serves on the Grambling State University Technology Advisory Board and Rochester Institute of Technology Computer Security Advisory Board. In his work at the colleges, he helps to shape the educational programs that train the next generation of cyber defenders. Some of Palmer’s awards include the CISO Executive Summit Breakaway Leadership Award (2018), Global Leadership Forum (GLF) Superstar (2018) and Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) Member of the Year (2017).

Palmer also co-chairs the governing body of the New York CISO Executive Summit (Evanta), an organization that fosters collaboration and knowledge sharing across the New York CISO community. He is a member of the programming committee for RSA 2019 CISO Boot Camp and CISO Insight track, creating educational content for the world’s largest cybersecurity conference.

Passionate about diversity and inclusion in the technology space, Palmer serves on the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) Strategic Advisory Board to help bridge the great cyber divide, working to attract more women and minorities into the information security industry. Previously, Palmer also served as a committee chair of the NFL’s Diversity Council, a governing body that works to provide increased opportunities and exposure to women and diverse professionals within the NFL.

Palmer earned a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secret Clearance and holds several industry certifications, including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), Certified Chief Information Security Officer (CCISO), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), Certified Information Privacy Manager (CIPM) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library V3 (ITIL V3).

He obtained a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a major in computer information systems from Baruch College. He is also part of the Department of Homeland Security Commercial Facilities Workgroup Governing Board of Directors and Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF).

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