(as of 2020-02-10)
Dr. Richard Forno is a Principal Lecturer in the UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, where he directs the UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Program and serves as the Assistant Director of UMBC’s Center for Cybersecurity. Prior to academia, his twenty-year career in operational cybersecurity spanned the government, military, and private sector in both technical and management roles, including helping build a formal cybersecurity program for the US House of Representatives, serving as the first Chief Security Officer for Network Solutions (then, the global center of the internet DNS system), consulting to Fortune 100 companies, and more. Dr. Forno’s research interests, rooted in both cybersecurity principles and the humanities, explore the relationships between technology, security, and society in areas including information age conflict, risk communication, resiliency, and the social shaping of technology within networked organizations. Dr. Forno holds degrees in international relations from American University and Salve Regina University, and is a graduate of Valley Forge Military College and the United States Naval War College. His doctoral research at Curtin University of Technology explored the complex nature of security informatics and risk communication for internet-based organizations.
With over 25 years experience in the operational, executive, and strategic cybersecurity industry, as a self-taught technologist, Dr. Richard Forno has proven himself an unconventional, albeit realistic, critical thinker about the relationships between technology and society and distinguished himself as a technology visionary, passionate leader, and a detail-minded operational director.
Presently, Dr. Forno is a Principal Lecturer in the UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, where he directs the UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Program, serves as the industry-facing Assistant Director of UMBC’s Center for Cybersecurity, is an affiliate of the Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society (CIS). From 2005-2012 was a Visiting Scientist at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University where he served as a course instructor for the CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC). He is a non-traditional academic in the sense that his prior industry experiences inform his approach to challenging the status quo with an eye on developing collaborative, practical, and innovative outcomes via unexplored options.
Before academia, Richard’s career includes helping build a formal cybersecurity program for the United States House of Representatives and serving as the first Chief Security Officer at Network Solutions (then, the global center of the internet DNS system), and consulting to the Department of Defense and Fortune 500 companies. His professional expertise centers around cybersecurity operations – especially incident handling, risk communications, vulnerability assessment, and security awareness – and providing actionable third-option perspectives and executive guidance to clients on technology assessment and cyber resiliency.
Richard has worked effectively with all levels of technical and executive management within government, military and commercial clients/agencies on technical and non-technical projects pertaining to information operations, cybersecurity, risk analysis, technology test & evaluation, and critical infrastructure protection. From 2000-2004, he was co-founder and/or CTO at various post-Dot Com consulting startups.
Richard has a strong interest in the convergence of technology and national security — and therefore remains deeply connected to the national security community. In 1999, he co-founded one of the most prominent private open source intelligence networks used by the US national security community (featured in the Marine Corps Gazette and The Atlantic for its utility during 9/11) and in 2006, co-founded the Senior Information Operations Advisory Council to network national security thought leaders in supporting the exploration of sound information operations, influence, strategic communications doctrine, analysis and application. He is a Life Member of the National Military Intelligence Association and previously served as President of the NMIA Potomac Chapter.
Richard was a founding member of the Academic Advisory Board for Northern Virginia Community College’s Information Security Program and participated in the 2000 White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Information Security Education Research Project. He also serves on the advisory boards of Secure Network Systems (2008-2015) and password innovator BlindHash (2015-).
Richard continues to speak frequently at government, industry, academic symposia, and to the global media. Along with several articles, commentaries, and papers written over the years, he is the co-author of Incident Response (O’Reilly, 2001) and Cybersecurity for Local Governments (Wiley, 2022). Additionally, he contributed chapters to the books Cyberwar 2.0: Myths, Mysteries and Realities (1998), Inventing Arguments (2005), and The Edinburgh Companion to Political Realism (2018). His public outreach is marked by a commitment to understandability across audiences and experience levels – delivering common sensical and outside-the-box perspectives on assorted technology & security topics.
Richard holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in international relations from American University and Salve Regina University, and is a graduate of Valley Forge Military College and the United States Naval War College. His doctoral research at Curtin University of Technology explored the complex nature of security informatics and risk communication for internet-based organizations.
In his spare time, Richard enjoys working out, tennis, SCUBA diving, and consuming fine coffee, kabobs, and sushi (though not at the same time.)