Michael Maloof: Global Scale Security with a Personal Touch
A Security 500 Thought Leader Profile
Like many folks in the security industry, Michael Maloof comes from a law enforcement background. After 9/11, he worked in an anti-terrorism role for a law enforcement group for the federal government, then moved over to the corporate security world when he started working at a large international bank. He found this to be a smooth transition with his physical security and investigations background.
Born and raised in Silicon Valley, Maloof has always had a fascination with technology, so landing a job at Oracle Corporation and quickly working his way up to Vice President of Global Security there has been a great fit. “Information technology is where it’s at, and I want to be where it’s at. IT is truly a global sector, and our customers and employees are everywhere,” he says.
Stepping into the job at Oracle three years ago entailed big changes. “At Oracle, I’ve rebranded the global physical security model,” Maloof says. “We’ve really changed to more of a risk-based approach security department with a tremendous emphasis on customer service. We’ve focused on global contracts for cost savings and management and opportunities of scale, and we’ve built three Global Security Operations Centers.” The security staff has increased too, as has the security budget.
Maloof also makes sure he keeps in close contact with Oracle executives, many of whom he met at the company’s annual conference right after he started. He flies out to different regions regularly to talk about how the company is doing and to make sure everyone is on the same page in terms of understanding the company’s mission and goals and how security can support the remainder of the business. “Our team hardly ever says no, but we will give you the risks and potential concerns that we have, and we will support you,” says Maloof. “That was a turning point for the executives and the C-suite.”
The security team’s value is easily seen in the amount of positive feedback they receive from the C-suite, as well as the trust and confidence they’ve established there. They also receive anonymous employee feedback, incorporate a robust set of metrics that can be tailored to stakeholders, and receive one-on-one feedback from other departments within the company.
“Oracle is a big company, and you don’t realize that until you step in the door,” Maloof says. The company is so large, it has one employee on every 19 commercial flights in the United States, a number that increases when you include international flights. With more than 140,000 employees, somewhere around 800 facilities globally, and a large number of contractors above that, there are Oracle offices or employees in pretty much every city around the world. “We have to be everywhere at all times,” says Maloof. “We even have employees on cruise ships.”
Maloof’s biggest challenge comes from the sheer size of the company and the fact that it’s on a global level. “Being in the IT sector, we’re not bound by your traditional supply chains and brick and mortar locations,” he says. “Given the fact that Oracle can be truly anywhere, whether that’s within a client organization or within an Oracle organization, we’re constantly assessing any potential risk to our organization.”
The security team is always keeping geopolitical issues at front of mind, as well as factors like the recent hurricanes in the southern United States, that residents and businesses were beginning to address at the time of this interview. “We’re still concerned with Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and we just got off a crisis call this morning regarding Hurricane Irma. We’re looking at what’s happening in the Korean Peninsula, the flooding in India, and the list goes on and on,” says Maloof.
Not only are there the employees and facilities to worry about, but Oracle has its hands in a variety of other pots, too. As a large sponsor of the America’s Cup, the organization provides major support and resources for the event. Additionally, Oracle just bought a hotel near its headquarters in Redwood City, California, is building a high school on the headquarters campus, and purchased an apartment complex across the street from the Austin, Texas, campus. “It’s what makes Oracle great. We’re not just a tech company, but we’re focusing on high school security, apartment security, and major event security.”
The best part of the job? Besides getting to work in the technology sector, it’s definitely the variety each day brings. “No two days are the same. The diversity of the work experience is the best. We’re a gigantic company who still operates on a first name basis,” says Maloof. “We truly take care of our employees, we’re very flexible, and from a security standpoint, we’re very diverse.”
In his spare time, Maloof enjoys spending time with his wife and two- and five-year-old children, all of whom are Disney fans.
Annual Revenue: $37 billion
Security Budget: $53 million
• Political Risk
• Workplace Violence