This month’s Member Spotlight is Mike Fair, associate vice president of cybersecurity at Victoria’s Secret. Like many others in the cybersecurity field, tech was not his original career path. He briefly considered political science before settling on public relations for his undergraduate degree. Mike first began his career at Target in their IT department. After a few years in a number of different positions, he found IT support was not quite what he was looking for. He felt his skills were too general and wanted something a little more marketable and in-demand. He eventually transitioned into the security compliance department which evolved into a risk assessment role and eventually into management. He decided to go back to school and earn an MBA in technology management as well as his information security management certification. He found what he was looking for in information security: an evolving field, highly in-demand, that allowed him to feel as if he was making a difference.
Today, Mike is associate vice president of cybersecurity at Victoria’s Secret, where he oversees all operational teams. He is also an active participant in the RH-ISAC community, reading and responding to requests for information on RH-ISAC’s Member Exchange. He says the RFIs have been extremely helpful in benchmarking his organization against others in the industry. Learning what other similar teams are doing, for instance during the peak holiday season, or what controls they have on their websites, helps guide his own decision-making.
Another benefit of the RH-ISAC for Mike is making connections with peers in the industry. As a leader, he puts an emphasis on mentorship and helping others through the numerous learning experiences that come with the profession. Mike says, “There are a lot of talented people in the space, but the industry is often overlooked and misunderstood, particularly the retail and hospitality niche of cybersecurity. RH-ISAC provides a place for the group to collaborate and mature their operations.”
Ultimately, Mike says, the thing he enjoys the most about cybersecurity is the sense that he is fighting real-life bad guys and helping others do it too.
Lately, Mike is fighting bad guys from the comfort of his home in Maine, which he moved to during the pandemic. Outside of work he enjoys fishing —which in Maine is often ice fishing —and watching the Vikings, a passion from his days in Minnesota.
To learn more about how RH-ISAC membership can benefit you, visit the RH-ISAC website.