Meet W.’s Clients: Rob Arnold

Rob Arnold

Watch an introduction to Rob published on the website of the National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST), an arm of the U.S. Department of Commerce, here.

Find Rob Online

Website | Twitter

Meet Rob

City/State or Province: North Carolina, USA

Birthday (MM/DD): The day after Christmas

Describe your writing and how you came to work with Weronika: I was referred to Weronika by another of her clients.

Favorite TV show: Stranger Things

Favorite book of the year: Origin by Dan Brown (yeah, I’m 2 years behind)

If I could have dinner with anyone (dead or alive, fictional or historical), it would be: Jesus, preferably with Buddha. Mohamed and a Hindu prophet so we can sort out some stuff that seems to be vexing us all.

If I were to hang a quote or an art piece above my fireplace, it would be: “DarnArnolds,” since it already hangs there, and it’s a mashup of the last names Darnell and Arnold, which are my fiancée’s last name and my last name, respectively.  It is how we refer to our blended family: “The DarnArnolds.” The kids, her two boys and my two girls, love it.

Three things to ask me about: Cybersecurity, Wealth Management, Spiritual Exploration

Most interesting idea I’ve encountered in the past three years: The confluence of cybersecurity and geopolitics.

Learn More About Rob’s Work

How did I get into the discipline within which I am working? Or: What is the particular body of personal experience from which I am drawing or about which I am writing?

I am an old-school technologist. I taught myself to program at age 14 so I could write and play video games.

I then spent nearly two decades as an executive IT consultant where cybersecurity was just part of the gig. A decade ago my ex-wife passed away and I became the sole part to a pair of young daughters. 

While making them my primary focus, I returned to graduate school to get a Master’s Certificate in cybersecurity (because I thought, Yeah, that’s going to be big soon). I’ve since become very well-known as an expert in my field of cyber risk management both at home and abroad.

If I had to teach a core principle to a group of elementary school students, what would I teach? How would I teach it?

Topic: Encryption. Method: Visual cryptography that doesn’t require computer, but can be done by mixing light and shadow.

Say I am asked to give a lecture about my area of expertise. Podium or no? Hand mic or clip-on mic? PowerPoint presentation or no?

My absolute favorite is a free-form Q&A. No podium, clip-on mic, no presentation. I cannot do a PhD level dive in to every cybersecurity subject, but I can field any question that the average business executive might ask about cybersecurity.

If I can point to a writer whose research or writing or otherwise has inspired me to pursue my own work, it is…

Malcom Gladwell. That guy has a great knack for making obscure concepts approachable and entertaining. And he does is succinctly.

Describe the most important lesson you’ve learned from another human person in undergoing your work.

Joe. The professor that reviewed my first manuscript. Unlike everyone else that said it was great, Joe told me it totally sucked and told me why.  I tore it up and started over. Lessons learned: Look for the reviewer that won’t sugar coat and be willing to destroy your own work at the 11th hour.

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