How Big Can You Dream? Gary Harbison's Story

2/1/2017 3:57:46 PM

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Gary Harbison

On The Front Line of Cyber Security

Gary Harbison, ’98, is on the front line of cybersecurity, thwarting hackers trying to get their hands on Monsanto’s data. 

Considered among the top information security professionals in the St. Louis region, his post as Chief Information Security Officer for Monsanto is a capstone of a 19-year Information Technology career. His path took him to Scott Air Force Base while still a student and to Anheuser-Busch where he spent 10 years before leaving for Monsanto in 2009.

Since 2014, he has led the Information Security Office responsible for managing Monsanto’s risks and cyberthreats globally and for enabling key business objectives with secure solutions. He and his 60-member team are responsible for data privacy, compliance, risk management and cyberthreat intelligence at the company. His security and risk management program has a proven track record of evolving to meet changing business needs and thwarting advanced cyberthreats. 

Not only is he Monsanto’s top cybersecurity guy, he’s often called upon by governmental agencies and IT groups within the St. Louis community for input. 

Harbison credits SWIC with giving him the time he needed to find his passion. 

“With the cost of college, and the many options available, it was tough to decide on a school without knowing what i wanted to do. Community college provided me a great opportunity to begin taking classes (especially those that would be needed regardless of area of specialization/degree program), and offered some additional time to consider my options without the added time pressure,” he said. “while working at scott and attending swic, i was able to realize my passion for the it field, while gaining an education and breadth of real world/hands-on experience that would serve as the foundation for what has been an exciting career so far!”

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