Student Spotlight

Barry Brunsman

Principal, Advisory, KPMG
Class of 2022

“Cyber is now critical to all aspects of the IT operating model.  The work we do to improve IT operations, to structure IT organizations, and to improve IT outcomes is profoundly shaped by our clients’ need to manage cyber risks.  The MS CRS program has allowed me to make connections that were less clear to me before I enrolled in the program.”

Cybersecurity’s prominence within the information technology universe has vastly increased in the two decades since Barry Brunsman became a consultant to senior management after various roles building solutions. At that time, he recalled, “We were debating if ‘IT matters’ and whether or not Amazon would ever be profitable.”

Those doubts are history. Brunsman recently shifted from a seven-year post as leader of KPMG’s US Consulting IT Strategy practice to head of the firm’s global Chief Information Officer Center of Excellence (COE). His team supports KPMG’s global CIO Advisory teams and works closely with the Cyber, Cloud, and Technology COEs, a function that requires both broad perspective and considerable technical knowledge.

Because of cybersecurity’s emergence as a critical need since Brunsman moved out of a strictly technical role and because technology has progressed so rapidly, he sought out the NYU Law/Tandon Master’s in Cybersecurity Risk and Strategy program to update the expertise needed to lead his team. “The MS CRS program struck me as a unique program in that it develops technical capabilities and builds a solid understanding of the broader strategic concepts that are critical to successfully advising senior leadership and boards of directors.

“Successful IT is based on collaboration with the business partners IT supports, and cyber has become one of the most important points of collaboration. As such, the demands on cyber professionals have evolved from niche technology expertise to very broad IT expertise (infrastructure, operations, software development, etc.) and a similarly broad understanding of an organization’s functional needs for cyber capabilities such as privacy, risk management, and customer/employee engagement.

“My client work, and my role in our CIO Advisory practice depends on appreciating the ever-changing needs of business and how IT operating enables it.  Cyber is now critical to all aspects of the IT operating model.  The work we do to improve IT operations, to structure IT organizations, and to improve IT outcomes is profoundly shaped by our clients’ need to manage cyber risks.  The MS CRS program has allowed me to make connections that were less clear to me before I enrolled in the program.”

One of those connections is the link between cybersecurity and the trust proposition that organizations offer their customers and employees, Brunsman added. “I’ve come to view cyber as one of the operational components that contributes to trust.  Trust is at the core of KPMG’s business and pervades our culture and identity.  Secure tools and cyber literacy are some of the many steps we can (and do) take to preserve the trust of our clients.  I’ve come to appreciate the investments we make in these areas and how cyber influences our operations. Growing my own cyber literacy through the MS CRS program is fundamental to my success in my role at KPMG.”