We’ve compiled a list of 50 women currently working in the field of online security. All of whom are opinion and thought leaders with a passion for making the internet a safer place. We follow them and actively pay attention to what they say and do. Here’s who they are, what their advice is for students interested in making a career in high tech and security, and how companies can engage and retain women in security.
On her LinkedIn page Eve says she “builds kick-ass technical teams” in her role as Senior Technical Recruiting Strategist at Centro. Other stuff she loves includes open-source technologies, computational linguistics/NLP, dialogues about information security and transparency, science fiction and third edition rule sets.
Dimple has been at IBM since 2007 and is currently an executive with IBM’s security services division. In this position she is responsible for security consulting and systems integration business in North America.
Dimple’s advice for students interested in cybersecurity. “Regardless of your major,” she says, “I recommend all students take an introduction course to IT security/cybersecurity. With a broader view you can then define a path that meets your area of interest for further study.”
During the day, Aloria is a security engineer with Tumblr. And during her free time she’s a teacher with the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering.
Her advice for someone looking into security as a career is to distinguish themselves by doing more on their own. These include participating in CTFs, sharing small tools or scripts that you’ve written or contributed to, or writing blogs about things that interest you are really great ways to show that you’re passionate about the field.
An internationally recognized cyber attorney, Christina’s interests include cyber risk, e-discovery and information governance. Currently she is a cybersecurity consultant and advocate with Cyber Sabbatical.
When asked about the challenges faced by women in STEM careers, she says, “Aside from ensuring they receive proper educational credentials, we need commitments from companies to build the pipeline and the processes that address retention. We need more sponsors, not just mentors — women need long-term career progression support from those who have the power to put them in available leadership roles, including at the Board level.”
For over 11 years, Stephanie has been working at Forrester Research, currently as the company’s Vice President and Research Director, Security and Risk. She is a seasoned high-tech analyst who specializes in IT risk, security, infrastructure and operations. When she’s not analyzing, documenting, researching and consulting tech solutions, she likes to write about food, wine, animals and the environment on her Twitter page.
Her advice for someone looking into security as a career, “I find that clients value expertise more than they do formal education and certificates… If you’re a technologist with an aptitude for learning new skills and you have great client-facing skills such as listening, developing solutions, analysis, writing, presenting, don’t wait. Find an opportunity and start to build real-world experience.”
The Vice President of cyber threat intelligence and incident response at American Express, Ann has nearly 20 years of experience in operations and in the delivery of information security services in a federated governance model.
When asked why she got into security she said, “I started my career in systems and application development, so having a background in building systems gave me a good understanding of systemic vulnerabilities that can be easily exploited if we don’t follow secure software coding standards. Look at the cybersecurity issues around IoT products that are designed and produced with little to no cybersecurity standards in mind. Bolting on security is not a solution, it must be built in.”
Violet writes Bad Password, a weekly cybersecurity column for Engadget. She covers technology, privacy and security culture for a variety of media outlets such as CNET, ZDNet, CBS, and her own website TinyNibbles.com. She’s an outspoken activist for women in tech and is working to raise awareness for critical issues that affect at-risk populations. Her book The Smart Girl’s Guide to Privacy: Practical Tips for Staying Safe Online looks at how to stay safe in a digital world.
Kate has over 15 years of experience in product management and marketing, primarily in information security. Currently she is the content manager at Alien Vault where she is also the EiC of the company’s blog. According to her Twitter account, she’s always on the look out for infosec content.
Fourteen years ago, Joyce founded the Executive Woman’s Forum, the largest member organization serving emerging leaders as well as the most prominent and influential female executives in the information security, risk management, assurance and privacy industries. Today she is CEO of Alta Associates, a boutique executive search firm specializing in cybersecurity, information security and IT risk management. She’s also a member of the advisory board of Shared Assessments, a member-driven source in third-party risk assurance.
Digital forensics, marksman, martial artist and a gamer describe Lesley. She’s the Security Incident Response Team Lead with Motorola Solutions in Illinois. And that means she deals with every type of hacking, digital theft, compromise, misconfiguration, vulnerability or infection encountered by customers. She’s a digital forensic agent and her job is undoubtedly more interesting than some police procedural on TV.
Joy is Corporate Vice President of Engineering, Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) at Microsoft, responsible for delivering services and mobile applications under Microsoft EMS for Intune and Remote Desktop services. She’s also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Anita Borg Institute for Women in Technology.
Brandie leads corporate communications for Intel Security. “I lead a growing team of amazing communications professionals whose remit spans public and analyst relations, employee communications, crisis management, executive communications and social media channels,” she says. For more commentary about security and the tech industry, Brandie also writes regularly for The Huffington Post and Forbes.
Diana-Lynn describes herself as a security leader, change agent, architect and technologist. She has 30 years of experience solving the ongoing challenges within the security arena.
She is a former board member at (ISC)2, an international nonprofit organization focusing on keeping the cyber world safe and secure. “(ISC)2 is a great resource for anyone who wants to pursue a career in online security,” says Diana-Lynn.
Eleanor is the editor and publisher of Infosecurity Magazine, a publication with over 10 years of history providing knowledge and insight into the information security industry. Her magazine also provides free and ongoing educational content as a resource for industry professionals. Commitments to the magazine keep Eleanor busy, but her interests in basset hounds and good wine make her happy when not dealing with security content.
Anita is an experimental psychologist by training and a business executive and strategic leader in practice. As the CEO at Code Dx, Inc., a company that helps discover and manage vulnerabilities in software applications, Anita oversees the product vision and the roadmap followed by her technical team. When she’s not staying ahead of cybercriminals, Dr. D’Amico likes to garden, watch baseball and read science fiction novels.
As the Chief Security Officer with Oracle Corporation, Mary-Ann specializes in product management, secure software development, software security (database, public key infrastructure, identity and access management). She also served on the CSIS Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th Presidency.
Erin has been the VP and Chief Privacy Officer, Policy at Facebook since 2011. Before joining the social media giant, she was a partner and co-chair of Covington & Burling’s Global Privacy and Data Security practice group. During her time with the law firm, Erin was recognized by industry peers as a leading privacy and data security lawyer.
Founder and CEO of Peerlyst, Limor has built a professional network for IT pros who want to build their reputation, learn, share and collaborate with other experts. Limor is doing her best to build a future where information is more transparent and security projects become simpler and faster.
Marisa is the Security Culture Expert and Senior Manager Secure Engineering at Salesforce. She is the founder of InfoSec Mentors, a non-profit organization that introduces “newbies” to mentors in the information security industry. She also helped launch BayThreat, an information security conference held annually in the Bay Area.
As a key member of the Visa Global Public Policy Department, Debra compiles and develops critical insights on a range of public policy topics impacting the electronic payments industry. Says Debra: “I lead Visa’s Cybercrime Task Force, at the behest of our Vice Chairman, and support Visa’s work with the World Economic Forum.” Her global focus includes the management of data including privacy/data protection, data localization and cybercrime.
Lisa founded the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu in 2012. It’s a nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance women in cybersecurity and empower the next generation. She is an Air Force veteran who has years of experience in IT and information security.
Deborah is a director of research at the National Security Agency. In this role she oversees world-class departments in fields as diverse as mathematics, computer science, cyber security, engineering, physics, neuroscience, cognitive psychology and linguistics.
Prachi is the Director of Engineering at LinkedIn and is in charge of the R&D teams for messaging and groups for the popular employment and networking site. As an active supporter of diversity in STEM, Prachi co-founded LinkedIn’s Women in Technology Initiative. She’s also involved with Women’s Audio Mission, a group that uses music and media to “amplify” the voices of girls and women to become the innovators of tomorrow.
Currently, Jenn is the Director, Security at Facebook. She previously worked for eBay as Chief of Staff Global Corporate Technology and Senior Manager/Chief of Staff Information Risk Management. She is a Project Management Institute Certified Business Operations Manager who specializes in the ability to plan, define, manage and deliver high visibility programs in complex and rapidly-changing environments.
Jessy is Vice President of Privacy and Security at Mercury Public Affairs, a public relations and communications firm, and focuses on security awareness and end-user education for nontechnical audiences.
Cecily is the chief diversity officer at Symantec Corp., a global leader in cyber security. She champions diversity, inclusion and women’s leadership programs in the technology community.
In government, academia, journalism and the private sector, Juliette has been involved with U.S. homeland security efforts, most notably as President Obama’s Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security. She has also served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorism, a legal advisor to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno and a trial attorney and counselor in the Civil Rights Division at the Justice Department. She’s produced a series of podcasts for WGBH Broadcast Media, she’s been an on-air security analyst with CNN and as a columnist with the Boston Globe, she was previously nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2014 she founded Juliette Kayyem Solutions, LLC, providing strategic security advice to various technology organizations. She’s the author of Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland and Your Home.
As an Executive Security Advisor with IBM, Limor works with cybersecurity researchers, helping organizations outsmart the adversary. She actively speaks to professional audiences across the globe. On LinkedIn she writes, “It is my passion to deliver research in clear stories, covering all aspects of digital crime to benefit customers, peers, industry and humans who still trust the internet.”
Mischel is the owner and president of MKA Cyber, a security consulting firm specializing in technical defensive security, security operations and information assurance. In addition, she is an adjunct professor at George Washington University where she oversees the institute’s Cyber Defense Lab.
Shannon leads a team of DevSecOps engineers that support Red Team Mondays, Blue Team Intelligence and Cloud Security Engineering at Intuit. With over 20 years of experience in her field, Shannon says there has never been a better time to dedicate energy toward security transformation to improve the safety of software. “The world is evolving,” she says on LinkedIn, “which makes it necessary to find better ways to scale security so that everyone can assist in protecting the things we build and the relationships we create.”
Internationally known branding expert and CEO of Thulium.co, Tamara is considered to be one of the top 50 social media influencers in her chosen field. She uses big data, analytics and customer insights to amplify brands across media channels. She speaks about IoT and IoT security at industry conferences. Tamara tells us that 90 percent of CEOs believe the digital economy will impact their industry, yet less that 15 percent of these executives have a digital strategy.
For over 20 years, Elinor was a reporter for news agencies such as The Industry Standard, Reuters and CNet/CBS Interactive. Currently she is the VP of Content and Media Strategy with the Bateman Group. On her Twitter feed, she calls herself a “security/hacker enthusiast, humanist and animal lover.”
As a product strategist for Google’s security team, Allison says she “protects consumers and platforms from online threats.” She has 20 years of experience in online security, strategy and analysis.
Jennifer bills herself as a “security diva” and is currently the VP of Engineering and Consulting CISO with Carolina Advanced Digital, Inc. She also consults for a variety of government agencies, educational institutions and Fortune 100 and 500 corporations. Throughout the years she’s been honored as one of the top 10 power players and influencers in IT security.
On her Twitter page, Marie calls herself a cyborg and a scientist. That’s because she’s a research scientist and engineer with a strong academic background in cryptography (MSc) and information security (PhD). She works at SINTEF Information and Communication Technology in Trondheim, Norway, and is an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.
As an identity and access management expert, Christina loves building secure platforms and process for mature organizations. In addition, she helped cofound We Are Women of Color in Tech, a grassroots initiative to help diversify the tech community. In tandem with that, she acts as an advisor and mentor to people, communities and organizations that have an interest in technology.
As the founder and CEO of Luta Security, Katie specializes in helping businesses and governments work with hackers to better defend themselves from digital threats. She describes herself as a hacker and the experience, including stints with HackerOne and Microsoft has informed her entire career. Even before launching Luta Security, Katie was an acknowledged authority on vulnerability disclosure and bug bounties.
Wendy has over 30 years of technical experience in IT ops and security, including 12 years in the financial services industry and five years in state government. She’s currently the Principal Security Strategist at Duo Security. Previously as Research Director at the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center in Austin, she helped retailers and commercial entities improve their security programs. Check out her blog Idoneous Security for her take into security and online issues.
An IT consultant with over 20 years of experience in network security, Bev is known on the internet as Teksquisite. Since 2010, her focus has been on keeping social media safe.
Bev tells us, “My primary goal is to help support our digital world and assist in making it a better place for our children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, mates, moms, dads, uncles, aunts, friends, acquaintances, associates, and unknown neighbors.”
A malware researcher at Endgame, Inc., Amanda has worked on government and commercial incident response engagements and forensic investigations. But that’s not all she’s interested in. Check out Secured.org for more info about malware, fashion and comics.
Joanna is the founder and CEO of Invisible Things Lab, a company that exists on the cutting-edge of computer systems security research. “Our team analyses complex new technologies and identifies design- and implementation-level security flaws,” says the company’s website. “We recommend how to fix these problems before the bad guys can exploit them.” Joanna herself says, “I strongly believe that freedom of individuals is the most important value. This implies the ability for individuals to make choices as to whom they want to entrust with various aspects of their lives.”
These days there is a great deal of uncertainty and hesitation regarding online security. But Vice President and Chief Information Security Officer at Juniper Networks Sherry Ryan says there is a systematic security solution for everyone. Unfortunately, it’s not a simple 1-2 approach. “It requires a disciplined, rigorous and relentless approach,” she says on LinkedIn. “Before the process begins, you need to conduct a detailed analysis of the risks and vulnerabilities ahead of you.” Consider worst-case scenarios, she says, and you’ll be able to protect yourself on the internet.
Not only does Runa work with reporters and editors at The New York Times as the Director of Information Security, but she’s also a technical advisor to the Freedom of the Press Foundation and a member of the review board for Black Hat Europe. If you’re looking for her, Runa lives at the intersection of technology, law and policy.
Masha is the Senior Director of Trust Engagement at Salesforce. She has over 10 years of experience in the information security space with a focus on social engineering, security awareness training, cybersecurity, analysis of malicious trends and techniques and project management. She is also a member of the board of directors with the National Cyber Security Alliance, the nation’s leading nonprofit, public-privacy partnership promoting cybersecurity and privacy education and awareness.
Currently, Myrna is the Corporate Senior Vice President and Global Chief Information Security Officer at Comcast, a company that generates 69 billion dollars in annual revenue and is supported by 153,000 employees. Beyond Comcast, she is also a member of the board of directors for both Spirit Airlines and Consumers Energy. In her spare time she is a golfer, a sports fan, a foodie, a wine enthusiast and an avid music fan.
At Google, Parisa says she “helps security engineers get important stuff done.” Specifically, she manages the engineering teams and efforts that make Chrome secure and stable. As for her job description, it’s briefly: awesome. She lists these: Princess of Security, Guardian of Stability, Director of Engineering, House of Chrome.
Julie has over 17 years of executive experience steering the transformation and management of information technology and security organizations. She was formerly the Vice President and Chief Security Officer at Symantec. Currently she is the Senior Vice President and Head of Information Security Operations at SunTrust, a company that helps people and communities achieve financial confidence.
As the VP and Curator of RSA’s annual global RSA Conference, Sandra creates an experience that “brings people together to discuss important technology, topics and policy.” She’s a self-avowed security and big data fan.
Georgia is the founder and CTO of SheVirah, Inc., an organization that evaluates the risks and effectiveness of mobile devices. Currently she’s an advisor with Digital Citizens Alliance that believes “a safer internet is a better internet.” Digital Citizens Alliance is a non-profit coalition of consumers, business owners and internet experts focused on educating everyone on internet security. Georgia is also the author of Penetration Testing: A Hands-On Introduction to Hacking.
Tarah is a hacker and website security czar according to her LinkedIn profile. Currently she is the Principal Security Advocate and Senior Director of Engineering, Website Security with Symantec. She was a co-founder of the computer software company Fizzmint and LadyCoders, LLC., an organization that promotes gender equality in the tech community. Tarah is also the author of Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories.
We’d like to hear from you. Have you worked with anyone we cover in this article? Is there someone else you’d like to mention? Please leave us a comment.