For the past three years, Quint Smith, Information Security Training and Communications Manager, has been building and managing the InfoSec marketing, communications, and culture program. He aims to encourage an informed, aware, and empowered user community, resilient to the continually evolving cyber threat landscape. He says, “information security is an arms race, and technical defenses can only do so much. Technology leaves a gap that only the shared efforts of our people can bridge.”
Before joining the InfoSec team, he worked in the Office of the CIO as a communications specialist. He was recruited into Information Security to build the communications and culture program by then-CISO Kevin Hardcastle.
Quint is a journalist by training, a graduate of The Missouri School of Journalism (Mizzou’s “J-School”). He cut his journalistic teeth in Columbia Missourian newsrooms before accepting a position at Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company as the Head of Marketing and Communications and the Executive Editor of the magazine Heirloom Gardener. At WashU, he creates nearly all the content in the monthly newsletter, Secured, manages the training and awareness program, and prepares and publishes communications about various information-security-related matters. Drawing on his experience in journalism to build the program from the ground up, he says, “good cybersecurity is best accomplished through accessible, relatable, and informative storytelling about what’s at stake, why everyone’s efforts matter, and best practices in cybersecurity for every user.”
He enjoys the urgent nature of information security problems, this moving target in a perpetual arms race. He says, “the way forward isn’t yet well-defined, and I get to be part of developing the best strategy.” He predicts that cybersecurity threats will continue to evolve quickly toward greater sophistication and frequency over the next five years. He warns, “we need to stay ahead of this. Leaders in varied industries will realize that an adaptive security-aware culture is the best defense in this unpredictable environment.” As the son of lifelong educators, he’s proud to contribute to this effort at WashU, helping advance the work in research, patient care, and education. “That’s why I’m here at WashU; to be a part of the groundbreaking work happening every day.”
In his free time, Quint enjoys a variety of hobbies, including working on his house, especially projects related to technology and home automation, and watching sci-fi movies. He takes regular breaks from the tech world, though, getting in tune with nature while bird watching and walking with his wife and dogs on the nature trails in his own backyard. Quint can’t live without his family, saying, “the older I get, the clearer it becomes that these relationships are the most precious part of life. Everything else is in service of that.”