Introducing Joe Potchanant, the new Director of the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Program

min read

Joe Potchanant, the new Director for the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Program, talks about his ideas for making the program more effective for members and institutions.

To hear the full conversation, listen to the podcast "New Directions for the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity and Privacy Program."

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Joseph Potchanant
Director of Cybersecurity and Privacy Program

John O'Brien
President & CEO

John O'Brien: I am joined today by our relatively new director of our cybersecurity and privacy program, Joe Potchanant. Welcome, Joe.

Joseph Potchanant: Nice to be here, John, thank you.

John O'Brien: Clearly keeping up with cybersecurity changes is, is a challenge. And you know, you're running to keep up and, and it's, and it's arguably impossible to keep up because the bad actors have a very narrow scope of the badness they need to do. And meanwhile, you're trying to protect. We all know that the challenges are significant. So how do you keep up as a leader of a program? What, we can't keep doing the same things and expecting different results. So where do you wanna take the cybersecurity and privacy program in the years ahead?

Joseph Potchanant: Well, I think the, the first part was just a few years ago, the name of our conference was the Cyber Securities Professionals Conference but now it is the Cybersecurity Privacy and Professionals Conference. We've actually added privacy to the title, and I don't think that's just for window dressing. We're understanding that privacy is a distinct and separate field and that it is no less important than security, but it's, it's different. So as far as the direction of the program goes I really want to have both privacy and security on equal footing. They need to be seen as co-related fields but there are professionals in each area and it's, they're not the same, but they work in tandem to protect everyone.

John O'Brien: So how in the world do you serve this sprawling, in a good way, community with one program?

Joseph Potchanant: Really it is finding the connections between the two so we can help the underserved institutions by leveraging what the larger institutions have learned through their own development and they can use to shepherd them into the next level of their development. And also, all boats rise, so if many of those students that are going to maybe start out at a community college might end up at a four year institution at some point in their career. So anything that the, the larger schools can do to help the students at all those other institutions is going to help the community at large. So really it is making sure that they're not in their own echo chambers making sure that R1s are just talking to R1s and community college folks are just talking to community college folks. They all need to be talking together and build that sense of community and help each other find those solutions.