GitHub’s Mike Hanley: Today’s CISOs have to be out talking to customers

As the CISO role expands beyond conventional expectations, what it takes to be successful in the role is also changing, with customer focus and having a deep understanding of business context at the center, says GitHub CSO Mike Hanley.

mike hanley github cso

Security is part of the sales pitch for GitHub.

The company promises to “protect and defend” its platform, so the developers who use it can trust its safety. Its website declares it to be “safe and secure by design,” assuring users that “Security is at the core of everything we do.”

The person who must deliver on those guarantees is GitHub’s chief security officer, Mike Hanley.

As he explains his role, “It’s security in the most royal definition possible: internal IT and corporate security, product security and platform health, GRC [governance, risk and compliance, the GitHub Security Lab, and partnering with teams to build the security products we have.”

GitHub’s security needs reflect its business model, which is different from most organizations. GitHub is a code-hosting platform for developers to manage, maintain, and collaborate on open-source programming projects, and it offers a collection of features that enable those developers, their work, and their online collaborative communities.

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