5 Questions with Tim Golden: 2024 CompTIA Community North America Cybersecurity Leadership Award Winner

With more than 30 years in the IT industry, Tim Golden has learned what works and doesn’t work. And he’s happy to share both with the CompTIA Community.

Five Questions with Tim GoldenTim Golden has spent more than 30 years working in the IT industry. He’s seen a lot, done a lot during that time—and, yes, hit a few speed bumps along the way. But failing is learning and Golden has turned those experiences into lessons and insights to share with anyone and everyone in the CompTIA Community.

“It’s my goal in life to help teach the next generation of MSPs, to help them learn from the pitfalls that I’ve made along the way and help grow better together,” Golden said. “If I could save a few people some hours, some time and some money by learning from the mistakes that I’ve made and the efficiencies that I’ve learned, my heart is there to do that.”

For those efforts, Golden, the founder and CEO of Compliance Scorecard, was awarded the CompTIA Community 2024 Cybersecurity Leadership Award for having a positive impact on the cybersecurity space as demonstrated by his initiative and innovation in current and past cybersecurity roles. We asked him a few questions about his career and his role within the CompTIA Community. Here’s what he had to say.

What does it mean to you to be a leader in the CompTIA Community and IT industry?As a member of the CompTIA Community, I find the opportunity to share and help educate the members of the CompTIA Community at large—and not just the members, but the want-to-be or soon-to-be or considering-to-be members. There are a lot of excellent resources that CompTIA puts out for free. Each of these resources are really great for educational purposes on helping to understand where the market is going.

For example, the CompTIA Community ISAO and other forums and blogs are valuable resources for those looking to get into cybersecurity and trying to jump start their cybersecurity career, as well as for those that are already deeply immersed into cybersecurity. One of the recent trends in the State of Cybersecurity 2024 report was what are the top 10 elements of cybersecurity, like governance, compliance, risk. But there are other trends like artificial intelligence (AI). So the in-depth knowledge and research is really great, especially for a MSP, so that we can better understand where the market’s going and can change our offerings to adjust those market trends.

So when I consider all of the members within the cybersecurity arena and the plethora of information that’s out there, CompTIA really shines by bringing together members. Just this past March, there was a meet-and-greet at the CompTIA Communities & Councils Forum (CCF) where we all had a lot of exchanges, not just knowledge sharing by the leaders at CompTIA, but hallway conversations and networking opportunities. The ability to sit down face-to-face with like-minded individuals and have those more in-depth, longer conversations is really important to the community at large.

How has the CompTIA Community helped your business and/or career? or What is the best part of being a member in the CompTIA Community?
The education and certifications to back up that education certainly helped me in the early stages of my career to gain deeper knowledge. All of those individual certifications, like CompTIA Security+ and CompTIA Network+, helped solidify potential job opportunities. Fast forward 20 years later and it’s all still relevant today with regard to jump starting a cybersecurity career or having timely and more accurate information on trends and things that happen within the community.

CompTIA has really helped me personally, not only by just being able to back up with a certification to prove that you have some level of expertise, but the flip side as a vendor now is starting to see where the communities are struggling to understand things like compliance or cybersecurity, or AI for that matter. As a vendor, being able to see the trends in the industry through the in-depth research has really helped me to shape and focus our peer group conversations and our platform at large.

What is the biggest cybersecurity opportunity in the market now for MSPs and other tech businesses?
I would say for MSPs, being able to offer compliance as a service and talking about the trends in technology, like governance and compliance. Being able to offer compliance as a service not only provides the guardrails for you and your business and your clients to follow, but it’s a great way to reduce risk and double your revenue. Include things like assessments, policies and procedures.

What is the best advice you ever got and how did it help you?
Always keep learning, never stop learning. I sum it up in a phrase that my wife likes to use, which is, ‘See one, do one, teach one.’ So in other words, see how something’s done or learn how something’s done, do it—put it into practice and actually do tangible things—and then teach it to others. It’s not just what’s in it for me and how to do it, but how do I share that knowledge at large? That’s the great thing about the CompTIA Community, the MSP community, the IT community and IT professionals at large. We don’t want to just keep this information to ourselves. We want to better protect small businesses. We want to grow and better our businesses, and ultimately make more money. And share that knowledge so that others don’t make the same mistakes we did, and so that others can learn from the inefficiencies we all have had along the way. I think learning and growing, what’s the phrase, “better together,” right? Growing together is certainly a huge value of the community.

What advice do you have for MSPs and other tech businesses trying to protect themselves and customers in 2024?
I always tend to use the phrase, “Start someplace, do something, don’t wait.” How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time. Don’t get overwhelmed by regulatory frameworks or laws or whatever. Start small. Pick a framework, pick the first item on that framework and just go and do a little bit at a time. Dedicate a half an hour to an hour a week on doing something, whether it’s education, an internal assessment, reading and learning about trends. Just start someplace, do something.

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