Michael Echols

Michael Echols


International Association of Certified ISAOs

Washington, DC USA

Understand what bothers you, understand what gets you down, then build a box around it...The funny part about that is, that's exactly what we should be doing in cybersecurity.


By Roadtrip Nation

Michael Echols


My road in life has taken me all over.
Grew up “dirt poor” in Alabama, but luckily, he earned a scholarship to a very prestigious private high school that set him up for a successful college experience.
Originally, he worked in engineering; he owned his own company up until 9/11, when the stock market crash drove his company into the ground.
He had to start his career path over again, and the only job he could get was working as a TSA screener at the airport.
Clients he’d previously worked with would come through the airport; they were shocked to see him working as a screener, and treated him like he’d had a fall from grace.
He says that feeding off of something painful or discomforting with give you the fire you need to keep going; his experiences as a screener motivated him to work his way out of that position.
Within six months, he’d been promoted to a position at TSA headquarters; while there, he developed an interoperability for technology systems at the 2004 Super Bowl.
But after developing that majorly successful system, he actually felt like he had to fight to prove himself even harder, so he went back to school to get a master’s in business administration.
He’s since held prominent positions in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and worked closely with former president Barack Obama to encourage cyberthreat information sharing.
Keep following my journey



I am a cyber security specialist leading a global effort to harmonize cyber threat information sharing.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

As a cybersecurity executive and critical infrastructure protection strategist, I work with senior corporate leaders and government officials to make the nation more resilient. I am focused on progressing and harmonizing cyber threat information sharing globally. I represent emerging ISAOs to assist them in building and managing their organizations effectively.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

The internet of things is becoming more and more connected. It's becoming bigger than just coders. Cybersecurity is going to need real people who understand how all the various technologies we use are applicable to our lives to help those coders better adapt technologies. We need such a variety of people, use the skills and knowledge that you have and figure out how it can be utilized in this field in unique ways.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"I don't know if I can do this. "

Challenges I Overcame


Interviewed By

Life Hackers

Life Hackers

Cybersecurity careers and pathways