Paul's Blog


Welcome Rizwan Ali, Colonel (ret.), US Air Force! NEW CSFI Board Member!

Rizwan Ali_CSFI

Rizwan Ali Colonel (ret.), US Air Force CSFI Advisory Director Managing Director, cyMars, LLC. Former Team Leader Task Force Cyber (CISO) at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)- NATO.

Rizwan “Riz” Ali, is Founder and Managing Director of cyMars, LLC, a C-suite and corporate cybersecurity consulting company. He is a retired Colonel from the Air Force with three decades of experience in cyber security, information technology and space systems.

Riz has held the military equivalent of C-suite and corporate-level jobs to include CEO, COO, CIO and CISO positions and has a history of working on corporate governance, advisory and non-profit boards. He also has extensive international work experience in Europe (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Estonia), Asia (Turkey, Kuwait,Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Japan) and Africa (Gabon, Tanzania, Ethiopia).

His work has had national and international impact. He was on the inter-governmental teams that wrote the President’s National Security Space Policy and the Secretary of Defense’s Space Policy. Additionally, he was on the international teams which wrote NATO’s Enhanced Cyber Defense Policy and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) cyber policy.

During his military career, Riz commanded four large organizations, including a combat communications squadron, an airbase communications squadron, a 1,500-person combat support group and an Air Force-level center. His other assignments have taken him from field units to combat headquarters to The Pentagon. In his last position in the military, he was responsible for establishing and implementing cyber policies and strategies on behalf of SACEUR and NATO’s military commands. He also advised NATO headquarters and NATO Allies on cyber issues. Prior to that position, he was commander of the Air Force Network Integration Center, the US Air Force’s largest cyber security and engineering organization with over 1,000 personnel and responsibilities across the Air Force.

Riz’s articles have been published in Joint Force Quarterly, Strategic Studies Quarterly, Three Swords Magazine, Air Force Commentaries, Air Force Research Institute and his most recent article about implementing cyber as a domain of operations within NATO is scheduled to be published in a peer-reviewed cyber security journal. He has also authored numerous, widely circulated, internal white-papers, reports and articles.

His academic credentials include a Bachelor of Engineering (specializing in Electrical Engineering) from Stevens Institute of Technology, a Master of Public Administration from Troy University, and Masters degrees from Air Command and Staff College and the highly selective, National War College.

Riz holds a CISSP and is Founder of The Cyber Loop, an influential discussion group of senior cyber security experts established in 2008. He has also had major speaking engagements at conferences and schools in the US, Europe and Australia.


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Career Thoughts

I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to manage and run one of the biggest and most active forums on the Internet dealing with cyber warfare and cyber security – CSFI (The Cyber Security Forum Initiative). With over 16 years of cyber security experience, I continue to actively raise Cyber Warfare/Cyber Security awareness worldwide. I have worked as a Chief Security Engineer for AT&T, where I designed and approved secure networks for MSS. I have also consulted for several governments, military and private institutions on best network security practices throughout my career.

CSFI and its divisions CSFI-CWD (Cyber Warfare Division), CSFI-LPD (Law and Policy Division) and CSFI-WD (Wireless Division) continue to grow and expand with more than 60,000 information security members.

One of my personal goals is to serve our security community to the best of my abilities, in the protection and defense of our American national security interests, the American people, and that of our international partners. I am always ready to serve and to give of my time and skills to help our society with the growing problems we experience in cyberspace. I thank God and my family for the opportunities I have had in life and the most precious of all opportunities, which is the chance to serve others. I love what I do, and I appreciate all the support I have received from friends, family and our CSFI members.


Paul de Souza, CSFI Founder Director