Comcast’s Last Line of Defense

How Jorge Nieves manages cybersecurity at the telecommunications giant

As executive director of Comcast’s security fusion center in Moorestown, New Jersey, Jorge Nieves leads multiple teams that help protect the global telecommunications company from both cybersecurity threats—such as hackers, viruses, malware, and more—as well as physical security threats. The 24/7 Security Operations, Cyber Threat Intelligence, Threat Hunting, Machine Learning, and Physical Security Technologies teams all fall under his purview. You could say that Nieves is the last line of defense for cyberattacks. And that’s a daunting task considering that Comcast has 59,000 employees that serve more than 21 million customers. That’s a lot of data.

Although Nieves has been in his current role at Comcast for more than a year and a half, he did not rise to a position of such responsibility without first gaining plenty of experience. In fact, Nieves considers himself a seasoned security professional with vast experience in many areas of technology security and security program development across enterprise and carrier class networks. In the past, he has demonstrated success in leading teams in areas such as security engineering, security operations, project management, incident response, machine learning, intrusion detection and prevention, forensics, IT audit, and regulatory compliance.

In addition to his expertise in the cybersecurity field, he has experience in leading people, including setting strategic and tactical goals along with mentoring, coaching, and career development.

In fact, in 2015, he graduated from the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications’ Executive Leadership Development Program. The program prepares leaders to be successful by deepening their understanding of the changing landscape of the media and entertainment industry, developing enterprise-wide perspectives, enhancing their capacity to convert strategy into action, and cultivating innovation-focused mind-sets.

Now, in managing his own team, he tries to be very open and collaborative. To be a good team leader, he likes listening to his team to get a better understanding of their challenges and priorities.

Nieves actually considers mentoring to be one of his priorities as a leader. He mentors people across function in addition to mentoring other up-and-coming Hispanic leaders and others interested in cybersecurity. In fact, he advocates that others mentor as well to grow their professional and personal networks. He also recommends that people talk to others outside of their industry to help them grow professionally. After all, he was not always in the IT field.

After growing up in Camden, New Jersey, Nieves actually earned an accounting degree but then quickly moved into IT. He said he had struggles growing up, and that made him want to have a better life. Now, he’s spent years in IT, taking on increasingly complex projects, from assessing systems to IT security.

Today, he is considered an expert in the field who is laser-focused on constant innovation. In that capacity, he works with like-minded outside vendors, such as ReliaQuest, who are focused on innovation.

“Working with Jorge over the years has been an absolute pleasure,” says Brian Murphy, CEO of ReliaQuest. “He is focused on delivering measurable results for his organization and is willing to put the work in and invest in his team to deliver results. I appreciate his willingness to give feedback and appreciate his view that cybersecurity is a team sport. Jorge is easy to trust and someone you always want involved in making the tough decisions. He begins and ends with being a good person, which ultimately drives trust and results.”

Known for his work in the field, Nieves has become known as an expert of sorts. He even works with governmental organizations, such as the FBI and other law enforcement agencies. Additionally, he is a part of the working group focused on cybersecurity information sharing for the Communications Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council. A subset of the FCC, the council’s mission is to provide recommendations to the FCC to ensure, among other things, optimal security and reliability of communications systems, including telecommunications, media, and public safety.

And with that expertise behind its cybersecurity, Comcast is sure to continue to innovate and lead in the space.