Mikko Hyppönen, chief research officer, F-Secure
Most young adults don't take too keenly to their parents' career advice. While many urge their kids to pursue traditional careers – such as lawyers, doctors and even politicians – Mikko Hyppönen's mother saw a future in telecommunications that she urged her son to pursue, far before the web came to fruition. Hypponen took the advice and ran with it, carving a path that has led him to where he is today: chief research officer at Helsinki, Finland-based F-Secure and one of the top malware researchers on the planet. After a short stint as a radio DJ and forklift driver for an X-ray factory, he became the sixth employee at F-Secure, where he would grow to transition into the role responsible for the future threat research for the firm. With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Hyppönen has battled massive malware outbreaks, as well as tracked down the authors of the first PC virus. He's accomplished well-regarded research in cyberwarfare and online espionage, and has penned articles on these topics for outlets like Wired and The New York Times. Considered one of the most influential professionals in the technology space, Hyppönen's accolades include being inducted into the Infosecurity Europe Hall of Fame, earning a Virus Bulletin Award for “Best Educator in the Anti-Malware Industry,” and being named one of the “50 Most Important People on the Web” by PC World.
Chris Wysopal, co-founder and CTO, Veracode
Perhaps one of the most respected thought leaders in information security, Chris Wysopal boasts a scroll of achievements in his 20+ years in the industry. Prior to co-founding Veracode in 2006 along with Christian Rioux – where he serves as CTO today – Wysopal kick-started his career by joining L0pht Heavy Industries, the hacker think tank that testified before a Senate committee in 1998 stating that they could shut down the internet in 30 minutes. During his time with L0pht he conducted some of the first vulnerability research on software. Once L0pht was acquired by @stake in 1999, Wysopal would become the company's vice president of research and development and be an integral part in inventing binary static analysis technology, which allowed for applications to be scanned for bugs without needing access to proprietary source code. His work with vulnerabilities while at @stake led to his involvement in developing industry guidelines for responsible vulnerability disclosure. He would later become a founder of the Organization for Internet Safety, whose foundation is built on the “Responsible Vulnerability Disclosure Process,” which he was instrumental in developing. Wysopal is a regular speaker at industry events, such as the RSA Conference and Black Hat, is a member of the Black Hat Conference Review Board, and is the co-author of L0phtCrack, a password auditing and recovery application used by thousands of government, military and corporate organizations around the world.