InfoSec People Profiles: Paul Love

CO-OP Financial Services CISPO Aims to Protect Against Today’s and Tomorrow’s Cyberthreats

By Roy Urrico

Finopotamus presents InfoSec People Profiles, a series spotlighting individuals working in information security to protect data and transactions at credit unions and other financial institutions.

Paul Love, CO-OP Financial Services

For Paul Love, senior vice president, chief information security and privacy officer (CISPO) at Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.-based CO-OP Financial Services, information security is not just about how a company reacts to cyberthreats, but proactively protecting the organization from unforeseen dangers.

Since 2017, Love committed himself to creating a superior information security and privacy infrastructure within CO-OP Financial, which operates an interbank network connecting credit union ATMs in the U.S., locations in Canada and certain U.S. Navy bases overseas. Focusing on efficient and effective integration of cutting-edge techniques and technologies, he built information security policies, metrics, and programs in line with the company’s elevated security goals.

Love has earned a reputation as a strategic, results-oriented CISPO who can synchronize enterprise-wide security efforts while developing information security as a business competence. He has also gained recognition as an infosec thought leader by industry peers working at organizations like Microsoft, EY, and Freddie Mac, and for generating multiple books, publications and presentations.

Once a Marine, Always a Marine

A proud U.S. Marine veteran, Paul is known for his work ethic and dedication, as demonstrated by his extensive training and academic qualifications.

“I’ve been all around the U S,” Love said. He was born in Texas, lived in Florida, graduated high school in Iowa, received undergraduate degrees from Palomar College in San Marcos, Calif. and MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kan.; and earned a Master’s from Capitol Technology University in Laurel, Md. Always seeking to expand his knowledge about security, Love also recently undertook a program, “Cyber Security: Managing Risk in the Information Age,” with the Harvard Extension School.

His affinity for computers, and then security, began as a teenager with an Atari 65XE. “I programmed my first computer program and just really loved all they offered,” he recalled. But he soon realized he also needed to protect his creations.

He continued with his love of computers and then eventually joined the United States Marine Corps, because it really fit his aspiration to help others. “I can be part of something bigger. I can protect our nation. And luckily I got to go into the intelligence field…in communications and stuff.”

Love spent two tours serving with the Marines where he observed how to build camaraderie and protect others. It just reinforced what he wanted to do for his career. “I wanted to be involved in computers; but also involved in helping others protect themselves.”

Some of the lessons he learned from his time in the military proved valuable in information security. “You don't want to just fight your last war. Because the adversary is always going to think of new and different approaches.” Another lesson learned is to remain adaptable to change and to not get complacent or satisfied with previous security actions. “Making sure we're not just dealing with the issues that happened in the past, but trying to think about new approaches and new effects.”

Helping CO-OP and Credit Union Security

Once Love joined the civilian labor force, he went to work at several companies, but always with a security angle. Prior to joining CO-OP Financial Services, he served as senior director of governance, risk and compliance (GRC) for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac); a senior manager at EY; senior director of threat assessment and protection services at Ally Financial; information security officer at Cetera Financial Gr