The protection of an organization, its assets, and people is an ever-evolving challenge. Whether your company is small, or is larger and operates globally, some basic security rules apply. Do you have a plan? In episode 7 of the PreparedEx podcast, Rob interviews Mike Howard and they discuss the plight of security for any organization that is serious about ensuring its people and other physical assets are safe and secure.

Mike is the Chief Security Officer at Microsoft. Mike talks about some of the challenges that most organizations face in today’s global security climate. Topics include, why security is important, how to protect your business (no matter the size) as well as protecting senior executives and the volatile state of doing business in various parts of the world.


Mike Howard


Mike Howard, Chief Security Officer (CSO) for Microsoft Corporation, holds global responsibility for vital security functions including; operations, investigations, risk mitigation, crisis management, executive protection, security technology, strategy, intelligence, and employee awareness.

Mike led development of Microsoft’s three interconnected Global Security Operations Centers (GSOCs), which oversee Global Security monitoring and response. The GSOCs, based at Microsoft campuses in the United States, India, and United Kingdom, have become well known in the security field as a leading model for conducting operations globally.

As a security leader, Mike contributes to the field through key roles in numerous industry organizations: International Security Management Association (ISMA), President; Security Industry Association (SIA), Board of Directors; U.S. State Department Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC), Fostering Innovation Committee; CSO Roundtable Advisory Board, Vice President; Conference Board of Corporate Security Executives; and Security Executive Council.

Mike speaks regularly as a subject matter expert on security and leadership while using his extensive security background to help drive industry innovation. . He has been profiled in the security press, including Security Technology Executive and Security magazines. And was recently named one of the most influential people in security by Security 500 in 2010 and 2013, and the #2 Most Influential person in Fire & Security in 2013 by IFSEC. Under his leadership, Microsoft Global Security was named the #1 Security Group in Technology in 2012.

Before joining Microsoft, Mike spent 22 years with the Central Intelligence Agency, finishing as Chief of Station, the agency’s highest field position. Mike also worked in the CIA’s Office of Security and served on the security staff of the Director of Central Intelligence. Moving to the Directorate of Operations, he worked in the Counterterrorism Center, ran global programs, and served in assignments around the world. He was executive officer for the Office of Military Affairs and a special investigator for the Office of Inspector General.

Mike also served as a law enforcement officer with the Oakland, California, police in the late 1970s. He holds a BS in criminal justice administration from San Jose State University.