Mark Cather

Adjunct Professor

Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer, University System of Maryland

Photo of Mark Cather

Mark Cather is a subject matter expert on the topics of cybersecurity, law, privacy, information management, crisis management, risk management, and technology in general.

As the Chief Information Security and Privacy Officer (CISO/CPO) for the University System of Maryland (USM), Mr. Cather is responsible for the protection and management of technological systems and information across all facets of the university system. Mr. Cather also works on privacy issues, contracts, and digital evidence. As the CISO/CPO for the USM, Mr. Cather works closely with the Maryland Office of the Attorney General and chairs both the USM Privacy Council and the USM IT Security Council.

Mr. Cather holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from UMBC and worked in UMBC’s Division of Information Technology for over twenty-five years. Throughout his career, Mr. Cather has designed and built campus, regional, and national computer network systems and was responsible for the design and operation of the university’s cable television system, telephone system, and radio systems. Mr. Cather also oversaw the design, managed the construction, and handled the day-to-day management of the 370’ tall radio tower that supported four cellular carriers and several other radio licensees at UMBC.

Over the last 25 years, the need for computer and information security has grown as technology and information have become essential to everyday life. Mr. Cather started in security as it became integrated with the university’s network. Information security became a larger and larger part of Mr. Cather’s job, and eventually became the focus of his work when he became CISO. Mr. Cather holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential from (ISC)2. Working with vendors, contracts, privacy and security laws, and government agencies is a regular task for a CISO and led Mr. Cather to pursue his law degree.

Mr. Cather received his juris doctor degree from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, including the certificate in cybersecurity and crisis management law. Additionally, at graduation, Mr. Cather received the Larry B. Shoda Award which is given annually to the student who has achieved scholastic excellence and demonstrated the special commitment required of evening students. Mr. Cather is admitted to the practice of law in the state of Maryland.

In 2020, Mr. Cather became an Adjunct Professor of Law for the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. As a law professor, Mr. Cather developed and currently teaches “Cyber Boot Camp – Tech for Cyber Lawyers”. Cyber Boot Camp – Tech for Cyber Lawyers blends Mr. Cather’s 25+ years of technical experience with his legal knowledge and provides law students with a broad introduction to the technology behind the law.

In addition to his time in the classroom and office, Mr. Cather is an active presenter, author, and advisor. He has presented locally at events such as the CyberMaryland conference and the Higher Education Cyber Security Conference, and nationally for groups such as Microsoft, Internet2, the Information Systems Security Association International, Educause, IEEE, and ACUTA. Mr. Cather has published several articles, editorials, and a book chapter on the Internet of Things, cybersecurity, and privacy in smart cities. Mr. Cather has advised the US Department of Education on cybersecurity frameworks for higher education and advised industry groups on privacy and information security. Lastly, Mr. Cather is active in Annapolis, testifying before the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate multiple times and reviewing bills every legislative session.

Mr. Cather has significant experience in privacy. He is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) and is active in developing privacy policies in the University System of Maryland and the state of Maryland. During the 2020 Maryland legislative session, Mr. Cather was a leader in the drafting and negotiation of HB1122/SB588. This bill protects the information of public higher education community members, gives community members greater access to and control over their information, and helps public higher education institutions stay at the forefront of global privacy trends. The bill was enacted into law in May 2020.

Lastly, Mr. Cather is an expert in emergency and crisis management. He has published on the intersection of technology and emergency management. Mr. Cather is an amateur radio operator and has participated in the Howard County Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service (RACES). In addition to local and regional emergency communications, Mr. Cather has assisted with international emergency communications during natural disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Finally, Mr. Cather has extensive knowledge of the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), severe weather training, and is a Skywarn Storm Spotter with the National Weather Service

Beyond his professional career, Mr. Cather is a father of three. His son is following in his technology footsteps and is the technical lead on a competitive robotics team, his oldest daughter is an avid athlete, and his youngest is an outstanding photographer and artist. Mr. Cather is a strong supporter of LGBTQ+ rights; and when time permits, he enjoys woodworking, home remodeling, and learning Spanish.