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20 Influencers Our Readers Follow

20 Influencers Our Readers Follow

We previously compiled a list of the Top 50 Women in Internet Security and were thrilled to see your comments. This year we look at the top 20 opinion leaders you are following and here’s the list.

Brian Krebs (@briankrebs)

Brian Krebs has been writing about internet security for the past decade. Before that he was a staff reporter for The Washington Post for 14 years. His Twitter feed and daily blog (Krebs On Security) are essential reading for anyone interested in computer security and cybercrime. He’s also the author of Spam Nation, a book about worldwide organized crime on the internet. “My main professional goal is to make the important computer security issues understandable, interesting and timely for readers,” says Krebs on his LinkedIn page.

Jacob Williams (@MalwareJake)

Jacob Williams is the founder and president of Rendition InfoSec, an information security firm. He’s also an infoSec mentor, a conference speaker, and an instructor and course author at the SANS Institute (the Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies). He describes himself as an incident responder, digital defender and business bilingual. “I treat infoSec like the Hippocratic Oath,” he says. “First do no harm.”

InfoSec Taylor Swift (@SwiftOnSecurity)

Swift On Security offers tongue-in-cheek commentary and advice about online consumer security (“I make stupid jokes and talk about systems security,” reads the collective’s Twitter profile). According to ZDNet, Swift On Security blends “girlish romanticism with biting security sarcasm.” We, like the more than 200,000 Twitter followers, wait for the next tweet.

Lesley Carhart (@hacks4pancakes)

Lesley Carhart calls herself a “full spectrum cyber-warrior princess.” She has 18 years of experience in the IT and security industry, and also studies three disciplines of martial arts and is a competitive pistol marksman. As her website shows, she’s also a big fan of gaming and anime. We can neither confirm nor deny that she will “hack for pancakes” but we do know she’s off to her latest adventure.

David Kennedy (@HackingDave)

As the founder and senior principal security consultant of TrustedSec, David Kennedy is a security expert with a passion for the information security industry. When he founded TrustedSec in 2012, his goal was to build an organization of researchers, hackers and advisors to help companies of all sizes deal with ongoing security issues.

Kevin Beaumont (@GossiTheDog)

Reporting from the trenches, Kevin Beaumont tweets about cybersecurity and tech culture and all “the weird stuff” in between. When 280 characters isn’t enough, the security architect can be found at his website writing about infoSec and malware.

Kimber Dowsett (@mzbat)

Kimber Dowsett works as a security architect at 18F to help government agencies use technology more effectively. Her resume also includes projects with NASA, Nielsen Audio and Apple. She writes about cybersecurity in depth. She co-hosts a podcast @RallySecurity, with @benheise @dakacki @da_667 and @oscaron.

She describes herself as a “spooky space bat with a PhD in Horribleness.” You’ve got to love that.


Jeremiah Grossman (@jeremiahg)

Along with being the founder of WhiteHat Security, Jeremiah Grossman has worn many hats over the years. He’s devoted 20 years of his life to computer security, which includes hacking and blogging. He’s also a published author, an off-road racecar driver and a Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt. He currently lives in Hawaii but he travels the world to meet new people and “hack them.” His words, not ours.

Wendy Nather (@wendynather)

With over 30 years of IT operations and security experience (including 12 years in the financial services industry and five years in state government), Wendy Nather is currently the principal security strategist with Duo Security. Her specialties include security program management, threat intelligence, risk analysis, identity and access management, security operations and incident response, application security and security services. She describes herself as a “recovering industry analyst and CISO.”

Dan Tentler (@Viss)

Dan Tentler freely admits that he’s attacked companies, stolen data, evaded blue teams and antivirus, and virally spied on executives and employees for months at a time. Despite his profile on Twitter, Tentler isn’t really a dark wizard or an aspiring James Bond villain. Rather, he and his team at The Phobos Group use their espionage experience to provide security services inspired by an attacker’s perspective.

Matthew D. Green (@matthew_d_green)

A cryptographer and assistant professor in the department of computer science at Johns Hopkins University, Green has extensive experience designing and analyzing cryptographic systems used in wireless networks, payment systems and digital content protection platforms. Prof. Green is serious about cryptographic protocols, but his Twitter feed strikes a satisfying balance between informed and irreverent commentary. He’s a full metal academic (pun intended).

Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker)

As a writer and editor, Zack Whittaker has nearly 10 years of professional experience with CBS Interactive, specifically ZDNet, CNET and CBS News. In addition, his byline has been in Time, WIRED, Fortune and other online outlets. He covers news stories on security, legal, politics, privacy, civil liberties, cybersecurity, national security, government and technology.

x0rz (@x0rz)

Based in France, x0rz is a security researcher and cyber observer. Although “his” identity is a closely guarded secret, he blogs regularly (here) and updates his Twitter feed without pause. And when he has a few moments to spare, he hangs out on the Tor network in the dark web (here).

John Lambert (@JohnLaTwC)

John Lambert has been with Microsoft for over 16 years and is the founder and manager of the company’s Threat Intelligence Center. He’s been tasked with monitoring the security of Microsoft’s network. His solution to end cyber attacks is simple. “We live in a world where everyone must share security information across geographies and industries,” said Lambert at the Kaspersky Lab Security Analyst Summit in Spain last year. “Online threats are something we all face.” Cooperation, even among professional competitors, is the only way to keep us safe, he said.

Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar)

Vala Afshar is the chief digital evangelist at Salesforce, but he’s more widely recognized for his tech, business and leadership articles for Huffpost, Inc magazine and other publications. He also hosts a weekly video show called DisrupTV featuring a lineup of business executives, startup founders, venture capitalists and media personalities. In 2012 he co-wrote a book called The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence. It’s not clear to us if he ever sleeps or goes on vacation.

Evan Kirstel (@evankirstel)

Social media guru, Evan Kirstel helps B2B clients grow their social media audience and leverage their sales networking. Kirstel has over 25 years of sales, alliances and biz dev experience in the telecom and IT arena. “Social business has been a personal passion for years,” he says on his website. “I’ve helped dozens of clients grow from zero to tens of thousand of engaged followers.” Kirstel isn’t serious all the time, however. Even he admits his tweets and broadcasts are “here to inform and amuse.”

Amit Serper (@0xAmit)

Currently the head of security research at Cybereason, Amit Serper’s focus is on malware analysis and reverse engineering, security research and vulnerability research and responsible disclosure. “I love working with talented people that enjoy what they do, learning from every experience and sharing my knowledge and experience in return,” says Serper on his LinkedIn profile. “I love challenges. They are a pleasure and never a chore!”

Robert M. Lee (@RobertMLee)

Robert M. Lee got his start in cyber security when he was in the U.S. Air Force where he served as a cyber warfare operations officer. Afterward, he founded Dragos, Inc., an industrial (ICS/IIoT) cyber security company. In 2016, he was inducted into Forbes’ 30 under 30 for enterprise technology. Along with artist Jeff Haas, Lee publishes a weekly technology and security web comic titled Little Bobby. The pair also collaborated on a recent book for kids called Threat Intelligence and Me.

Katie Moussouris (@k8em0)

As the founder of Luta Security, Katie Moussouris helps businesses and governments work side-by-side with hackers to defend themselves from disparate digital threats. She is a noted authority on vulnerability disclosure and bug bounties and continues to evangelize the benefits of hacking to make the internet a safer place for everyone.

Graham Cluley (@gcluley)

Graham Cluley, an award-winning computer security expert security expert, has been covering cybercrime since the early 1990s. He co-hosts the @SmashinSecurity podcast, speaks regularly about computer security and worked with law enforcement agencies on investigations into hacking groups. In 2011, Cluley was inducted into the InfoSecurity Europe Hall of Fame in 2011, and recognized as an honorary mention in the “10 Greatest Britons in IT History” for his contribution as a leading authority in internet security. He’s also a Doctor Who fan.

Did we miss someone you’d like to give a shout out to? Please leave us a comment.