James Harris

  • Mentor

James Harris got his first job in information security at the age of 15, as the administrator of a BTI-4000 mainframe for his high school in Durham, NC, and at age 16 added a second part-time job assembling and testing computers at a small PC integrator called Dramen Computers.

After earning his degree in Physics from North Carolina State University in 1994, Jim went to work at IBM as a hardware engineer for the PC Company, specializing in the design of computer graphics and video systems. Jim was one of the founders of the Digital Display Working Group, and helped author the DVI specification. In 2000, Jimās work on DVI led to a job as a Senior Field Applications Engineer with Silicon Image in, a semiconductor company specializing in high speed serial digital interface chips, where he worked helping to design Silicon Image parts into digital video and high-speed storage systems.

After the tragic events of 9/11, Jim decided to go to work as an FBI Special Agent. His first field office assignment was in the Sacramento, CA field office, where he worked mostly cybercrime matters, specializing in Internet Crimes Against Children. Jim worked heavily in Computer Forensics as a member of the FBI CART team, earning his Encase Certified Examiner status in 2007. In 2009, Jim became the supervisor of the Cyber Squad in Sacramento, as well as the Commander of the Federal Cyber Crime Task Force there. Jim earned his ISC^2 CISSP certification that same year. In 2010, Jim was selected to a supervisory position at FBI Headquarters Cyber Division, and served in a number of positions, including as the Senior Liaison Officer to the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT). In 2012, Jim earned his GSEC certification, and later that same year became the Assistant Section Chief of the FBI's Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section.

Jim left the FBI in 2013 to go to work for Obsidian Analysis, A Washington, DC-based professional services firm providing analytical and policy consulting for homeland security, national security, and intelligence decision makers. As the Senior Specialist for Cybersecurity, Jim advises clients on policy and preparedness in Cybersecurity. Jim's enjoys hearing himself speak, and can't wait to teach others!