Mark Burnette is the Shareholder-in-Charge of LBMC’s Information Security practice. He possesses 25 years of experience in information security and risk management. Burnette’s background includes extensive experience in security program strategy and development, regulatory compliance, security policies and procedures, risk assessment and management, penetration testing, and security function design, development, and staffing. Burnette is particularly passionate about cybersecurity leadership and growing the profession.
During his decorated career, Burnette has served as the President and Global Practice Leader for a national information security consulting company and built and led information security functions for two major publicly-traded corporations. He worked for several years in key leadership roles with two of the Big 6 (now Big 4) accounting firms where he specialized in developing, implementing, assessing, and securing information technology solutions for companies in the healthcare, retail, manufacturing, banking, and insurance industries. In 2005, while serving as the Global Information Security Officer for international insurance broker The Willis Group, Burnette was named the Information Security Executive of the Year at the ISE Southeast Awards. In 2008, while serving as the Executive Director of IT Operations and Security for hotelier Gaylord Entertainment Company, he was named one of Information Security Magazine’s “Security 7” top seven security leaders, and was chosen by ComputerWorld Magazine as one of the Premier 100 IT Leaders for 2009. In January 2011, the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), the international trade association for information security professionals, named Burnette a Fellow. This prestigious honor, which has only been granted to a handful of individuals worldwide, is bestowed by the ISSA Fellow Program for distinguished accomplishments in the field of information security, leadership, and future service to the association and profession. Burnette’s unique background allows him to bring a “walk a mile in the shoes” perspective to all of LBMC’s security engagements. His experience building and running information security functions allows him to develop solutions that are relevant, practical, and actionable.
Recognized as an IT security expert by technology think-tank Gartner, Burnette has repeatedly been featured as a subject matter expert on ABC and CBS television affiliates been published in print media such as CSO, Secure Enterprise, Information Security, and ComputerWorld magazines, and quoted by ABCnews.com, among many media appearances. Burnette’s engaging style has made him a popular and highly-requested speaker for international conferences and specialty groups around the world. Burnette’s book, “Risky Business: Cybersecurity Leadership The Right Way” provides practical insights on cybersecurity leadership and was published in August 2019.
Burnette currently serves on the American Institute of CPAs’ national Cybersecurity Working Group. That group of cybersecurity experts has worked on behalf of the AICPA to update existing cybersecurity control descriptions for the CPA profession and to develop a new cybersecurity risk management attestation standard that was published during 2017. The AICPA also tapped Burnette to develop a cybersecurity toolkit for its member firms that provides guidance on how CPA firms can develop and staff a cybersecurity consulting function that will allow them to offer cybersecurity services to their clients. Burnette also led the development of the AICPA’s official training curriculum on cybersecurity risk assessment and consulting services. These new training courses, delivered for the first time in 2017, are training the next generation of cybersecurity auditors and assessors in the proper scoping, evaluation, execution, review, and reporting of an entity’s cybersecurity posture. In January 2019, Burnette was recognized as one of the cybersecurity industry’s 75 “Pioneers”, having been one of the first enterprise CISOs, and, in so doing, laying the groundwork for today’s CISO role. In March 2019, Burnette delivered a wildly-popular TED talk at TEDxNashville titled “The Humanity Behind Cybersecurity Attacks”.
Burnette earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Carson-Newman College, where he graduated summa cum laude while serving as a placekicker for C-N’s nationally ranked NCAA Division II college football team. He earned his Master of Accountancy degree from the University of Tennessee, where he served as a graduate teaching assistant.
For his cumulative efforts as a security leader serving his community and his State, on September 11, 2008 Burnette was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen in recognition of outstanding service in the best interests and highest traditions of the State of Tennessee.
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