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Eric Strom - From Lawyer to FBI Cyber Division Unit Chief

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Eric Strom is the Unit Chief of the Mission Critical Engagement Unit, Cyber Division. In this role, Mr. Strom oversees the FBI Cyber Division’s private sector outreach efforts to the 16 critical infrastructure sectors, forging partnerships with companies in those sectors to develop and share threat intelligence related to activities by sophisticated criminal organizations as well as nation-state actors.


  • Eric has been with the FBI for 21 years, since June 1999
  • Originally a lawyer practicing criminal defense and civil defense, then went to non-profit
  • Early on in the FBI, they had to do a lot of workarounds. Cyber wasn't so straightforward
  • 56 Field offices were all doing something different, then became consolidated centrally as a service organization


  • "Now, it's funny. None of us really had a traditional cyber background. Tom started out his career as a geologist, and Keith actually started out selling, like, furniture. He was a salesman."

  • "But, I mean, from the legal standpoint, you've got third-party liability and other things. So we really had to walk a kind of a tight rope when it came to what types of malware we were infecting ourselves with. And then how far we'd let it go."

  • "And so as we're taking it over, it was really interesting to sit behind one of the malware analysts and watch a Wireshark and watch the instructions coming out. I crossed the wire. It was really cool. And when it really kind of sunk in, because to me, it was like a tangible thing. I can actually see it happening as it was going on."

  • "It's (cybersecurity) probably the most rewarding thing you'll ever do in your life."


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Getting Into Infosec

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