Cybersecurity plays a role in almost every aspect of our daily lives, our businesses, and our critical infrastructures. It’s more important than ever to promote cybersecurity resilience and education, and inviting cybersecurity speakers to your workplace or campus is a great way to help your audience stay cyber smart and safe online.
Technological innovation empowers people and organizations by advancing communication, information access, productivity, money management, and even disability inclusion. However, reaping the benefits of modern technology also means preparing for modern threats. According to the FBI’s 2021 Internet Crime Report, the U.S. experienced an unprecedented increase in malicious cyber activity ranging from phishing and data breaches to identity theft and fraud. A record 847,376 complaints of cybercrime were reported to the FBI by the public with potential losses exceeding $6.9 billion.
If you’re hosting an event for Cybersecurity Awareness Month, look no further than some of today’s leading keynote speakers in digital security and emerging technologies.
Gen Z Cybersecurity Leader, Social Entrepreneur & CEO of Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education
Kyla Guru is the Founder and CEO of Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to educating and equipping vulnerable populations with the cybersecurity education and awareness needed to face our future of advanced cyber threats. Noticing the gender imbalance in cybersecurity, she also became the co-founder of the GirlCon Conference, an international tech conference that unites industry professionals and students annually to discuss diversity in STEM.
Guru has championed her message of cybersecurity resilience on stages around the world, including TEDxChicago, NIST’s NICE Conference, RSAC-USA, and RSAC Singapore. For her groundbreaking work in security and technology, Guru has been honored as a JFK Medal of Honor Winner, Crain Chicago’s Top 50 in Tech, an ISACA Inspirational Leader, a Global Teen Leader, and a Harvard Book Prize Award winner.
Former NSA Senior Executive, Managing Director & Head of Cybersecurity for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management
Rachel Wilson spent the first 15 years of her career at the National Security Agency (NSA). From running the NSA’s counterterrorism and cyber exploitation operations to working with UK intelligence services against terrorist and cyber threats during the 2012 Olympics, Wilson has led some of the NSA’s highest risk and most important intelligence-gathering activities.
Wilson is currently a managing director and head of cybersecurity for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management, where she and her team drive innovation for new cybersecurity and authentication technology. Wilson was recognized by Morgan Stanley Wealth Management as part of the 2019 MAKERS Class, a program that honors women who serve as groundbreakers, innovators, and advocates. She was also named one of the Top Women in WealthTech 2020 by ThinkAdvisor.
In her private capacity, Wilson advises individuals, corporations, and institutions on cybersecurity best practices and strategies. She is also a leading thinker on protecting children and teenagers from cyber threats and loves educating young people and their parents on how to be safe citizens on the internet.
World-renowned Hacker, Inventor & Technology Futurist
Pablos Holman is a hacker, inventor, viral TED Talk speaker, and technology futurist with a unique ability to distill complex technology into practical tools. Always building the future, his projects span from building the world’s smallest PC to inventing a machine that can shoot mosquitoes out of the sky with lasers as part of an effort to eradicate malaria with Bill Gates. Holman is a member of the most prolific team of inventors in the United States and has over 70 patents.
A world-renowned expert in 3D printing, artificial intelligence, big data, robotics, automated manufacturing, and cryptocurrency, Holman has contributed to the future of urban transportation, entertainment, education, energy, manufacturing, health care, food delivery, sensor networks, payment systems, and cloud computing. With a unique ability to articulate practical solutions and visions for the future of technology, he is often invited to speak at conferences about innovation, invention, hacking, technology, and cybersecurity.
Rocket Scientist, Tech Executive, Education Advocate & Former CEO of Girl Scouts USA
Sylvia Acevedo is a nationally recognized and highly awarded trailblazer in a variety of industries and fields, starting with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratories as a rocket scientist; a tech executive in software, hardware, storage, and networking; a federal governmental leader; and CEO of one of the most trusted brands in the world.
Acevedo is a passionate STEM advocate and an avowed believer in the power of education to transform and improve lives and communities. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Acevedo to be a White House Education Commissioner, and most recently, she served as CEO of the Girl Scouts of the USA where she led the largest program rollout in the 100-plus year history of the organization.
Today, Acevedo serves on several boards and has received many distinctions for her leadership, including the 2019 Captain of Industry Leadership Award, the Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award, and being named the Cybersecurity Person of the Year by Cybersecurity Ventures. Forbes named her one of America’s Top 50 Women in Tech, and In Style’s listed Acevedo as “Number 7 on the Badass 50: Women Who are Changing the World.”
Larry Whiteside Jr.
Veteran, Cybersecurity Executive & Diversity Champion
Larry Whiteside Jr. is a seasoned cybersecurity executive and champion of diversity. Starting his career with the United States Air Force, Whiteside is now a regular speaker and influencer in the fields of cybersecurity and risk management. He has briefed some of the highest levels of the Department of Defense, given lectures at global conferences, and has been featured in many articles relating to information security and risk management.
Whiteside has over 20 years of experience in building and running cybersecurity programs in multiple industries, including the federal government, financial services, healthcare, and critical infrastructure. He is also the co-founder and president of Cyversity, a not-for-profit that aims to increase the number of minority and female cybersecurity professionals through scholarships, internships, and training opportunities.
Internationally Recognized Cybersecurity Analyst, Author & Researcher
Keren Elazari is an internationally recognized cybersecurity analyst, author, and researcher with more than 20 years of experience in the cybersecurity field. Elazari covers emerging security technologies and trends as an independent strategic advisor, working with leading technology providers, government agencies, innovative start-ups, and Fortune 500 companies.
In 2014, Elazari became the first Israeli woman to speak at the prestigious TED Conference, which has been widely translated and continues to be one of TED’s most watched talks on the topic of security and hacking. She holds a CISSP certification and a masters in security studies and is a senior researcher at the Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center at Tel Aviv University. She is also the founder of Israel’s largest security research community event, BSidesTLV, as well as the Leading Cyber Ladies, a global professional network for women in cybersecurity.
Global Security Expert, Author & Principal Research Advisor at F-Secure
Mikko Hypponen is a global security expert, speaker, and author. He works as the chief research officer at WithSecure and as the principal research advisor at F-Secure. He is a widely regarded security expert whose writing has been featured in The New York Times, Wired, and Scientific American. He has also been the subject of countless interviews in global TV and print media, including a nine-page profile story in Vanity Fair, and was selected as the Cybersecurity Person Of The Year in 2020 by CISO Mag.
Hypponen’s 2011 TED Talk is one of the most watched online security talks on the internet, with over 1.5 million views and translations in over 40 languages. He has delivered hundreds of talks worldwide, including keynotes in important security conferences such as DEF CON and Black Hat Asia. In 2010, he was awarded the Virus Bulletin Award as the best educator in the industry.
Technology is evolving every day to become a more permanent component in our lives. From daily digital use at home and in the workplace to global security threats, data breaches and cybercrime have the potential to affect everyone. Be proactive about your cyber safety this year and check out these other great cybersecurity speakers for your upcoming events.