Employee Spotlight - Frank Aiello

Recognized on two industry leader lists

Frank Aiello, Maximus’ Chief Information Security Officer, was recently named a Top Cyber Exec to watch in 2022 by WashingtonExec and was listed in Security Current’s Top 100 CISOs of 2022.

Aiello moved to the Washington, D.C., area in 1993 after graduating from Penn State to work for General Research Corporation, a Federal systems integrator.

"This was before anyone talked about cybersecurity – only the military and intel services were really thinking about it," Aiello said. "Fortunately, I was working on a Department of Defense project. I was a software developer the first year, but found the security aspects of our work more interesting."

Aiello took his expertise to the project’s team that developed secure software components. He progressed through security consulting roles throughout the beginning of his career.

“At the time, hackers were doing it for fun; they were doing it to learn,” he explained. “Most hackers then weren't really criminals, which is one of the most significant threats we deal with today.”

While working at a Big 4 accounting firm, Aiello's company was moving more toward IT consulting, but he wanted to stay in cybersecurity which he found most interesting.

"The practice leader once told me that I was being 'short-sighted' for not wanting to move into IT consulting," he said. "He believed someone would soon invent a black box that you plug into the network to make everything secure. I said, 'that's impossible,' because the technology and threats are always changing."

In 2009, he joined the American Red Cross as its senior director of security operations. In 2012, he became the organization's Chief Information Security Officer.

Aiello has served as Maximus’ Chief Information Security Officer since 2018. In this role, he oversees all aspects of our cybersecurity program.

"We're always looking at how we evolve as the corporate strategy changes," he said. "The pandemic led to a lot of changes. Two years ago, almost everyone was in an office. In a matter of weeks, our call centers went virtual and everyone was working remotely."

Telework leads to additional risks that Aiello and his team must manage daily. Cybersecurity specialists constantly monitor systems, including safeguarding networks and ensuring secure connections.

"There's a concern that cyber warfare risks will continue to grow and increase," he said. "We have to track everything, including social media platforms. Technology has provided an opportunity for real criminals."

Aiello said he enjoys Maximus' culture and the people on his team. He said Maximus encourages a collaborative environment, which allows him and his team to work more quickly to solve security challenges.

"Maximus has a collaborative culture; together, we've made a lot of progress," he said. "Collaboration isn't unique in my team, but I've experienced it in the other teams within this organization."