When Derrick A. Butts first started his role as Chief Information and Cybersecurity Officer at Truth Initiative, a large non-profit public health organization dedicated to making tobacco use and nicotine addiction a thing of the past, he had an 18-month plan dedicated to increasing cybersecurity confidence, IT members’ skillsets, and overall security posture within the organization while rebranding the IT department as a positive security and technology resource.
Since then, he has mentored and encouraged his team to develop personal growth plans that include obtaining security certifications and skills to increase their cybersecurity education while becoming more involved with protecting the organization’s mission.
Derrick has increased the organization’s hybrid cloud-based services to 75% as well as consolidated its collaboration tools, yielding a 45% reduction in monthly recurring costs and a 20% reduction in technology resources and spending. He has helped align Truth Initiative’s security posture with the vision and goals of the organization to ensure a maximum workflow of safe business operations.
After implementing a mandatory cloud-based security awareness training for all employees, Truth Initiative has seen phishing email click rates go from 26% to 2.8% in 2019. In 2020, during the pandemic, the non-profit experienced several quarters with phishing campaign click rates from 0% to 2.3%. Derrick regularly encourages his team and Truth Initiative employees to “click responsibly.”
Previously, Derrick was President and Founder of Continuums Corp.; Lead on Information Security, Processes & Technologies at Ridgewood Partners; Sr. Secure Solutions Integration Architect at Siemens Enterprise Networks; Sr. Systems Solutions Engineers at Electric Lightwave; and Sr. Systems Technical Consultant IV at MCI.
Derrick is most proud of designing a new infrastructure for the U.S. Postal Service in 1997, where he volunteered as the technical lead to design a secure business continuity infrastructure to support 35,000 postal sites and 11 international territories world-wide. As the U.S.P.S. was looking to enhance its commitment of delivering mail on-time, this required the organization to upgrade its global enterprise infrastructure, on the back end, while also upgrading point-of-service (POS) capabilities.
As Technical Lead, Derrick was responsible for leading the enterprise design team while supporting the planning of coordinated implementation of the new and secure business continuity infrastructure solutions to support 35,000 postal sites.
He says, “These sites would collapse across 15 meshed points-of-presences (PoPs) and then connect with one-of-five USPS Data Centers in the U.S. I was given access to the top engineering and security minds within MCI over a 4-month period to design and address the technical USPS-MNS request-for-proposal (RFP) requirements. The results of the team efforts and proactive logistical planning was MCI winning a $3.2B contract to upgrade the entire USPS enterprise infrastructure over five years. MCI was the only carrier amongst all of the integrators who bid on this proposal. The win of this coordinated logistics planning effort, on a global scale, gave me the foundation in working with enterprise businesses to be more secure and efficient in the use of resources and technologies to effectively meet their mission objectives.”