Darren Lacey is the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) and Director of IT Compliance at Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine. When Johns Hopkins University opened its Information Security Institute, Lacey was its first Executive Director. The institute is a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance.

In a 2012 Healthcare Informatics article about the rise of the CISO, Lacey compared the role to that of a circus master. CISOs must work on a multitude of technology projects, all the while building and maintaining trust in interpersonal relationships. “People have to know that you aren’t going to light your hair on fire over small things,” he said.

According to Lacey, academic medical centres such as Johns Hopkins face some special challenges when it comes to data breaches. Whereas lost or stolen mobile computing devices are a top cause of information insecurity within an organisation, there is also a higher than usual risk of hacking and other malicious intrusion to be prevented.

Lacey has been employed by Johns Hopkins University since February 2000. He was appointed to the position of CISO in October 2003. Johns Hopkins CIO Stephanie L. Reel noted at the time that “Darren is uniquely qualified to provide leadership in this area. His appreciation for the law, for technology and for institutional values is rare and valued.”

Over the course of two decades, Lacey has been employed in a number of roles within the technology sector. He has also served as an attorney, a consultant, an executive and a developer. He is currently chair of the Cyber Security subcommittee for the Department of Homeland Security’s National Healthcare Sector Coordinating Council.

Lacey is also an adjunct instructor at the Whiting School of Engineering. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy and mathematical logic from Baylor University in 1986, and was awarded a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1990.

References: Healthcare Informatics, Johns Hopkins, Strategic Healthcare IT Advanced Research Projects on Security (SHARPS)Image Credit: HIMSS

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