Sarah A. Brown, Senior Scientist, NATO Communications and Information Agency
Sarah A. Brown, Senior Scientist, NATO Communications and Information Agency

The time when NATO's primary concern was stopping Soviet tanks from rumbling through the Fulda Gap in Germany may soon be looked at as the “good old days” as the organization prepares to defend its members against infinitely more numerous and nimble foes in cyberspace.

And Sarah Brown with her position working within the Capability Development branch of the Cybersecurity Service Line, on future capabilities within NATO and for Nations is at the forefront of this effort. In her role Brown, a cybersecurity professional with nearly 14 years of experience working in the areas of threat intelligence, standards and interoperability, includes requirements capture for cybersecurity capabilities in fixed and deployed environments and NATO internal systems with a particular interest in threat intelligence sharing in a multinational environment.

However, her involvement in keeping NATO members safe is only one of the reasons Sarah was chosen as a Women in Security PowerPlayer, the other factor is her tireless efforts to bring more women into cybersecurity.

“Sarah's contributions to the security profession and threat information sharing, combined with her volunteer efforts to promote and support leadership for women and women in technical careers, have improved security in a global way and made a positive impact on the advancement of women in cybersecurity in government and the private sector,” says Michal Olejarnik, communication manager NATO Communications and Information Agency.

Sarah has applied her experience to evolve and mature threat intelligence and incident response programs for organizations, designing and enhancing such capabilities and roadmaps, and effectively communicating the results to the wider cybersecurity community and stakeholders

“Working in the field of cybersecurity offers many difficult challenges: securing systems, securing networks, studying new cyberattacks, and many other areas. Teams often work across technical areas and different organizations to tackle these problems, resulting in exciting collaborations and big impact. It's a fast-moving field with plenty of talented people,” Brown says.

“Most notable is her outreach efforts to share knowledge of cybersecurity issues which arise as a result of today's complex and changing threat landscape.  For many years, Sarah has been a strong proponent of cyber threat information sharing across government, the private sector, military, and academia,” he says in recommending her to be honored.

Brown co-founded a TEDx event, TEDxDelft Women, to explore the “power of women and girls to be creators and change-makers” in their respective fields.  Brown has also participated in “Lean In Circles” and supported the organization, “Girls Who Code,” he says.

Brown's background also includes being a senior information security engineer and lead cybersecurity engineer with Mitre, principle cybersecurity expert with Fox-IT and Independent consultant and researcher with Security Links.