Name: Wendy Nather
Title: Director of Advisory CISOs
Company: Duo Security
Why Nominated: While Nather is an influencer in a number of areas, her coining of the term “security poverty line” in 2011 and passionate focus on the threshold at which a company cannot effectively protect itself from cybersecurity threats, has specifically moved the needle within the broader security community. Nather contends that when an organization is “IT-poor,” it is subjected to a number of complex dynamics that keep it from implementing effective security. This gap that many smaller organizations may face when securing their data is called the “security poverty line.” Wendy teaches that security is no longer a problem strictly for the largest businesses or international conglomerates. Every business and organization, no matter how small, must become a technology company to remain competitive in the marketplace. Yet, how are small businesses supposed to enable technology in a safe way when many of them have little to no budget to spend on cybersecurity protection?
Throughout her career, Nather has collaborated with many of the industry’s most trusted voices to help IT professionals adjust to an ever-changing technology landscape. Alongside Gartner’s Dr. Anton Chuvakin and other experts, Wendy coauthored The Cloud Security Rules, a definitive guide for business leaders, CISOs, IT managers and decision makers as they look to transition their organizations from legacy to a hybrid-cloud infrastructure in a safe and secure way. She is also an advisory board member for the RSA Conference and serves on the board of directors for Securing Change, an organization that provides free security services to nonprofit groups.
Nather’s ability to connect colleagues and impact discussion has earned her 18k Twitter followers, making her one of the most influential and closely-watched security professionals on social media. There’s not a prominent security thought leader in the world who hasn’t met Wendy or know of her work. She also produces a video series, “Tea and Security” where she explains the most important issues facing corporate security teams and distills them so even the non-practitioner can learn something.
In the last year alone, Wendy has been asked to keynote for IP Expo in both London and Dallas, THOTCON in Chicago, VirusBulletin in Montreal, and participated as a panelist on “This Week in Tech” at SXSW in Austin. She was an invited vendor partner participant for the U.S. Air Force Risk Management Design Sprint.
Profile: Nather is regarded as one of the top security influencers and mentors in the world. Currently, the Director of Advisory CISOs for Duo Security, Wendy heads a team of CISO strategists working with internal and external audiences to build a new vision for security – one focused on simplicity and ease of use, rather than fear, uncertainty and doubt, that is pervasive in the industry.
With over 30 years of technical experience in the IT and security field, Nather has been at the forefront of advancing resources and security knowledge to help organizations defend against breach. Her deep experience has also allowed her to wear many hats, and observe security through a range of different perspectives.
What colleagues say:
“Wendy Nather, need I say more? Wendy is changing the cybersecurity landscape by educating companies, individuals within the security community, and those outside of what a real security program should be. That is, a program of enabling businesses to achieve their strategic goals within acceptable levels of risk. Wendy has a unique talent for explaining cybersecurity in a way that makes sense to everyone. She spends countless hours on social media and other public forums mentoring those who want to get into the security field and even those experienced in security who want to grow within the field. It is evident that Wendy’s purpose of security is bigger than herself and that of her employer – it is to create a better community that promotes collaboration and support. As a veteran of the security community, her involvement and contributions, as well as her experience as a CISO have made Wendy one of those ‘must follow’ individuals by anyone who is eager to learn.”
Emilio Escobar, Head of Information Security, Hulu