Darren Bennett is a global information and cyber security leader with more than 20 years experience in information security, focusing on all aspects of cyber, information and physical security. As the Chief Information Security Officer for the City of San Diego, Mr. Bennett is responsible for the security of all information systems used by the City. This includes the Public Utilities Department, Police, Fire, City Administrative Systems and more. Mr. Bennett has a team of 9 direct reports and works with numerous organizations including the Department of Homeland Security, The Federal Bureau of Investigations, MS-ISAC and the Center for Internet Security. Mr. Bennett is currently working to standardize the City cybersecurity program, streamline the processes and policies used by the City while leading the San Diego security community in developing best practices to save money and protect City resources.
As the Regional Coordinator for the FBI Computer Science Program, Mr. Bennett served as a trusted advisor for the FBI and provided leadership and guidance regarding cyber investigations to more than 25 computer scientists across 15 separate FBI Divisions located across the western United States. He focused on understanding investigative and business needs. His understanding of corporate culture, FBI policy and security risks allowed him to guide his team and external organizations through the process of handling intrusions, investigating incidents, and developing/maturing their security programs. Mr. Bennett is a highly skilled communicator with the ability to work at all levels of government and business. He worked to drive operational efficiencies within his region and with partner organizations (including Fortune 500 businesses, enterprise organizations and government entities).
Prior to the FBI, Mr. Bennett developed successful security programs for the San Diego Supercomputer Center and Science Applications International Corporation. He has a proven track record building successful teams within many verticals, including Defense, Supercomputing, Healthcare and Academia. Darren has a reputation as a Cyber and Information Security leader; he has been recognized by the US Government for building a team and program that was nominated for the Federal Bureau of Investigation “Director's Award”. Darren has successfully lead teams in the development of security programs, system security plans (SSPs) and security audits that included third party contractors performing systems testing and evaluations (ST&E). Darren has also successfully lead system accreditation projects resulting in the awarding of fully accredited security programs and system at various levels.
Bennett has participated on boards from industries such as defense, cyber security startups, security solutions providers and biotech companies, providing guidance and advice on cyber, information and physical security and executive protection. He is a member of the board for the San Diego Cyber Center of Excellence (CCOE) and the San Diego CISO Round Table. The CISO Round Table is an ecosystem for CISOs and security leaders to meet with their peers in a closed forum that fosters an environment of lead, teach and learn. He also serves as a member of the San Diego Cyber Task Force and as an advisor to California State University San Marcos for their Masters in Information Security program. Mr. Bennett teaches information security classes at Point Loma University.
He has spoken at multiple security conferences and events including the Systems and Network Security (SANS) Institute events. Bennett holds an active security clearance and is very active in the intelligence community, allowing him to stay ahead of current threats and help partners focus their security efforts.