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Rick Howard, Solutions Advisor | Digital Assurance Advisors LLC

Rick Howard

Phone: +1.571.217.2118
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Rick has recently stepped down as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) for Palo Alto Networks where he acted as an advisor to the company’s internal security program, built from scratch and lead the Palo Alto Networks Threat Intelligence Team (Unit 42), directed the company’s efforts on the Cyber Threat Alliance Information Sharing Group, invented and ran the Cybersecurity Canon Project, and provided thought leadership for the company and the cybersecurity community at large.

His prior jobs include the TASC CISO, the iDefense GM (A commercial threat intelligence service at Verisign,) the Counterpane Global SOC Director, and the Commander of the U.S. Army’s Computer Emergency Response Team where he coordinated network defense, network intelligence and network attack operations for the Army's global network.

Rick holds a Master of Computer Science degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and an engineering degree from the US Military Academy. He also taught computer science at the Academy from 1993 to 1999. He has published many academic papers on technology, security, and risk and has contributed as an executive editor to two books: “Cyber Fraud: Tactics, Techniques and Procedures” and “Cyber Security Essentials.”


  • Board of Director roles with other successful entrepreneurs, CXOs, investors, and government leaders.Facilitating innovation, business growth, and deal flow through the exchange of ideas and building of partnerships and lasting friendships while spotlighting the Mid-Atlantic as a leading technology hub.
  • Advisory Board: Eclipz, Inc. develops next-generation secure data transport automation technology for embedding in networks, systems and devices. Eclipz was originally developed for the US Government to secure sensitive voice and data traffic. The core technology has been deployed and proven in the most challenging environments around the world.
  • Multiple CSO and CISO roles.
  • VeriSign: iDefense General Manager and Intelligence Director
  • Counterpane: Director of Intelligence, R&D and SOC Operations
  • US Army: Army Computer Emergency Response Team Chief (ACERT)


  • vCyber Advisor to the Board of Directors
  • vCIO
  • vCTO
  • vCISO
  • DigAwareness™ Security Awareness
  • Enterprise Risk Management

  • United States Military Academy at West Point
  • The United States Naval Postgraduate School


  • Co-Chair: Security and Privacy Committee: ISAO Standards Organization
  • Global Security Executives Council Member: The Conference Board
  • Steering Committee Member: Cyber Threat Alliance
  • Cybersecurity for Executives Advisory Committee: Univ. of Southern FL College of Business
  • Board Member: Security Advisor Alliance
  • Advisory Board Member: Stanford Cyber Policy Program Advisory Council
  • Committee Chair: Cybersecurity Canon Project
  • Author: Cyber Fraud: Tactics, Techniques and Procedures
  • Author: Cyber Security Essentials