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John Hultquist's Journey from U.S Army Civil Affairs Teams in Afghanistan to Frontlines of Cybersecurity at Mandiant

The digital battleground is constantly shifting, and cybersecurity professionals are the unsung heroes keeping the virtual walls intact. Today, we are covering an interview between John Hultquist, Chief Analyst at Mandiant (now part of Google Cloud), who is a seasoned cybersecurity expert whose career has unfolded against the backdrop of significant global events and technological advancements, and SCV's Founder Hank Thomas.

Unlikely Beginnings

Our story begins with John's early days in the Army, a reservist thrust into the world of counterterrorism while still only 19 years old. Little did he know that this experience would set the stage for a career that would see him at the forefront of the cybersecurity landscape for one of the largest companies in the world.

Fast forward to the aftermath of September 11th, where John found himself in Afghanistan, turning 21 amid the challenges of military service. Post-graduation, a move to DC marked the start of his foray into the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), dealing with threats and vulnerabilities that laid the foundation for what would come next.

From ISACs to Cyber Espionage

John's journey takes an unexpected turn as he transitions from the ISACs to a Cyber contract with the State Department. Initially hesitant due to a lack of cyber knowledge, he discovers the captivating world of cyber cold wars, threat actors, and network vulnerabilities. This serendipitous encounter propels him into the realm of cyber espionage tracking, leading him to companies like iSIGHT Partners, Mandiant, and eventually Google Cloud.

A Chief Analyst at Mandiant's Perspective

As Chief Analyst at Mandiant, John now sits at the front of all knowledge, orchestrating a global team of analysts focused on dissecting cyber threats. His role extends beyond the stereotypical image of a cybersecurity professional, involving distilling information for strategic decision-making and coordinating during crises.

From a strategic perspective, John and his team provide insights into how global events impact different sectors. They address questions such as who is most likely to be targeted and help guide organizations in allocating their limited resources effectively. It's a delicate dance of understanding and ensuring that organizations stay focused on the threats most pertinent to their industry and risk profile.

Charting the Course Forward

In this video interview, we delve deeper into John's experiences, exploring the evolving landscape of cybersecurity, the role of intelligence in driving operations, and the diverse responsibilities that go beyond the stereotypical keyboard warrior image. Join us as we uncover the stories, insights, and lessons that unfold in the life of a cybersecurity professional navigating the complexities of our digital age.

Watch the full interview here: Interview: Deep Dive with John Hultquist, Chief Analyst at Mandiant (now part of Google Cloud)


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