Spotlight

AZTEC KEEPS SAN DIEGO’S CYBER INFRASTRUCTURE SAFE

Have you ever paid your water bill online?

Used your mobile device to find out information about a local park?

Reported a pot hole to the city through their website?

If you’ve done any of these things and you live in the city of San Diego, you would have Gary Hayslip to thank for keeping the city’s website safe from hackers and other malicious threats.

Hayslip, who earned his executive MBA from San Diego State in 2013 (EMBA XXII) became the deputy director of information technology (IT) and the chief information security officer for the city in May, 2013, shortly before his graduation from SDSU.

Gary Hayslip
Gary Hayslip 

In his role with the city, Hayslip advises the mayor’s office, city council and other city departments on how to protect their cyber assets and he oversees the city’s network security strategy. “My job is to create a ‘risk aware’ culture that places value on securing city information resources and protecting personal information entrusted to the city of San Diego,” he said.

"My job is to create a ‘risk aware’ culture that places value on securing city information resources and protecting personal information entrusted to the city of San Diego."

After a 21-year career in the U.S. Navy, Hayslip took a job as a network engineer with the Department of Defense which was where he was working when he chose to enroll in SDSU’s EMBA program. He pursued his executive MBA to round out his business acumen and to pave the path up the corporate ladder. He chose to attend SDSU because he “always wanted to be an Aztec.”

“In addition, SDSU’s EMBA program included an international study program, which other executive MBAs in the region don’t offer,” Hayslip added. “And it didn’t hurt that the program was ranked and was reasonably priced.”

"SDSU’s EMBA program included an international study program, which other executive MBAs in the region don’t offer."

Two years after earning his degree and six months after being named the winner of the San Diego Business Journal’s Critical Infrastructure Cybersecurity Award, Hayslip credits his SDSU executive MBA for helping him to achieve his current success. “I spend much of my time explaining cyber security in enterprise risk management and business operations terms,” he said. “I found that being able to speak effectively in business terminology to city and council executive management has been worth the price of my executive MBA.”

For those students currently in SDSU’s EMBA program, Hayslip offers this advice: “Use all of the tools given to you in the program and don’t be afraid to experiment with them. Also, be sure to get involved and network with the Aztec community, alumni community and the start-up communities as you move forward. I found that I truly enjoyed working with the start-up businesses and the EMBA program gave me the confidence to communicate effectively with them."

"Use all of the tools given to you in the program and don’t be afraid to experiment with them."