Cybersecurity expert Tamika Bass smiles at the camera with her right hand on her hip while wearing a tan sweater in front of a brown wall.

Tamika Bass, CISA, CRISC, CBCP, HCISPP, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt

Tamika Bass, CISA, CRISC, CBCP, HCISPP, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt


Tamika Bass, CISA, CRISC, CBCP, HCISPP, Lean Six Sigma Green Belt


“The most rewarding aspect of my job is witnessing the ‘aha!’ moments my colleagues experience when they learn about cybersecurity and its importance.”

Cybersecurity can seem complex, but with Tamika Bass teaching us how to prevent phishing attacks and cybercrime, we can breathe a little easier and remain cyber-safe.

Coming up on two decades in the cybersecurity industry, she utilizes her extensive experience in business continuity, disaster recovery, information technology (IT) security, and knowledge transfer to oversee the security of our network and electronic data. Tamika has also led an INSIGHTS webcast on how you can protect your organization from cyberattacks. We’re thankful for her guidance and leadership this Cybersecurity Awareness Month and every month!

We asked Tamika a few questions. Get to know her here:

Why Gannett Fleming?

An industry friend of mine recommended Gannett Fleming, and when I interviewed with Kevin Switala, our chief technology officer, I was intrigued by his vision for the firm and instantly wanted to be a part of it.

I’ve been on the team for more than a year now, and the company culture is amazing. I appreciate all of the initiatives outside our day-to-day work that senior leadership supports to encourage, empower, and equip employees to succeed.

Tell us about your role and responsibilities here.

As the cybersecurity director, I’m responsible for oversight of the security of our network and electronic data. I work closely with my team in IT Services to support our colleagues in providing outstanding service to our clients. I also provide cybersecurity support to the corporate business groups throughout the firm.

You’re a sought-after speaker at cybersecurity conferences. What topic do you most enjoy diving into when you present?

I typically focus on effective communication. As cybersecurity professionals, it’s important that we clearly communicate risks and the impact those risks can have on our organizations. We often have to help our colleagues find alternative ways to achieve their objectives securely, so it’s important that we have the skills to do so.

You have experience across the private financial and public health and human services domains. How do those industries compare to the AEC industry?

The financial and healthcare industries are very heavily regulated. There are many laws that they have to comply with to conduct business, which gives them a lot more leverage to implement controls that secure the environment. I think the AEC industry is moving in that direction, especially when it involves critical infrastructure.

Are you a member of any committees or groups at Gannett Fleming?

I’m currently serving as a mentor in the Connected Relationships™ Mentoring Program. I instantly connected with my mentee. We talk often, and I encourage her to crush all of her goals, just like I know she can.

What's the most interesting project you're working on right now?

We’re working on implementing Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) controls to achieve CMMC 2.0 compliance by the end of 2023. This is a critical project for Gannett Fleming, as this compliance will influence our ability to obtain government contracts.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Witnessing the “aha!” moments my colleagues experience when they learn about cybersecurity and its importance.

What do you see for the next generation of employees at Gannett Fleming?

Opportunities to innovate, which will directly influence the future of the firm.

How does your work contribute to our vision of creating a better future, together?

A strong cybersecurity posture results in resiliency, along with increased client loyalty and trust in our ability to provide the services we offer.

What's one professional achievement of which you're especially proud?

When I was a state government chief information security officer, I worked with a team to transfer the largest revenue-generating system in the state to the cloud and ensure that data was secure. This was a huge accomplishment for us as it was one of the first systems in the state to be moved to the cloud.

What leadership characteristics do you rely on the most for success in your job and life?

I focus on effective communication and listening to understand. I also believe in operating with integrity in everything I do.

What's the best piece of professional advice you've ever received?

ACT – Action Changes Things. To make positive changes in your career, you have to be willing to take action even when it’s uncomfortable.

How have your experiences led you to your current position?

My ability to adapt has led me to my current position. I started my career in Georgia as a technical trainer, as I love all aspects of training and development. Shortly after I took the job, I was told that my role had changed due to a reorganization in the company, and I was in charge of information security. At the time, I had no idea what information security was or what I would be doing, so I went back to school to learn all about it. Instead of giving in to my fear of the unknown, I adapted and learned all I could about the subject, which is how I’ve gotten to where I am today.

What are your favorite hobbies?

Spending time with loved ones, shopping, and teaching.

Let’s talk family!

I have two daughters; Taj (29) is a graduate of Clayton State University, and Kaylee (13) is in 7th grade. They are my greatest inspirations, along with my mom and brother, who is 15 years my junior.

What's the best piece of personal advice you've ever received?

Be your authentic self. There is only one you, so be the best you there is.

You’re originally from New Jersey but currently living in Atlanta. Are there any interesting differences you’ve observed from one location to the other?

The main difference I’ve noticed is how quickly people move. In New Jersey, there is a sense of urgency in everything you do, but in Atlanta, everyone seems more relaxed and not in such a rush. You rarely hear people honk their car horns in the South. And now that I live here, when I’m in New Jersey visiting, I’m amazed at how impatient everyone is. The funny thing is that when I first moved down here, I was the same way, always in a rush and honking my horn. After 15 years, I’m finally slowing down a bit.

What's one thing most people don't know about you?

I’m an adjunct professor at Southern Crescent Technical College, with a passion for teaching and learning.

If you could live in any city, where would it be and why?

I would choose Paris, the “City of Love,” because I absolutely love love.


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