Interview with Edward Gibson, Chief Security Advisor at Microsoft UK
by Mirko Zorz - Monday, 17 September 2007.
Mr. Gibson is the Chief Security Advisor for Microsoft in the UK. This role comes on the heels of his retirement from a 20-year career as a Supervisory Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. During this period, Gibson was a recognized expert in investigating complex, international money laundering schemes, asset identification and confiscation, and intellectual property theft. From early 2000 - mid 2005, Mr. Gibson was assigned to the FBI’s Legal Attache office, US Embassy London, as an Assistant Legal Attaché. There, he was responsible for all FBI cyber, hi-tech, cyber-terrorism, and infrastructure investigations in the UK. His leadership resulted in the creation of a model cyber program adopted by all Legal Attache offices around the world.


What has been your biggest challenge in the role of Chief Security Advisor for Microsoft? Has your background expertise helped shape your role in the company?

Most people only know of ‘criminality’ on the Internet through anecdotal reports. Until someone is personally affected by identify theft, social engineering, auction fraud, or other type fraudulent e-commerce activity, it is something for someone else to deal with. This should not be a surprise, as this is generally how people behave in the bricks and mortar world. However, the rules by which we live in the bricks and mortar world are sometimes largely ineffective in the cyber world. The Internet is global, and criminals are not bound by jurisdiction, political relations, or other restrictions due to anonymity and ability to hide in plain sight.

Yes, my background has been a key driver in shaping my role in the company. I know criminals, how they behave and the tools they use, particularly in internationally complex cyber criminality. As the single point of contact for all UK law enforcement and security services at the US Embassy London in relation to cyber investigations and laws related thereto, I had many opportunities to work with a variety of agencies in a number of countries. And each success was due to an understanding of the different cultures, laws, and priorities. This understanding was bolstered by having been a lawyer in the US prior to my appointment as a Special Agent, FBI, and qualification as a Solicitor in England / Wales, and the truly exceptional law enforcement and government representatives, without whom success would have been hard fought. With this background, I am better able and proud to represent Microsoft UK in my role as Chief Security Advisor.

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