Alex Stamos

Former Chief of Security at Facebook & Professor at Stanford
Alex Stamos
  • Led Facebook’s threat intelligence team of engineers, researchers, investigators, and analysts
  • Evaluated and mitigated security risks for Facebook’s network of 2.5 billion
  • Experience-driven insights from his time at Facebook and Yahoo shed light on the current threat landscape and what can be done to fight back

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Alex Stamos is a cybersecurity expert, business leader and entrepreneur whose career has focused on improving the security and safety of the Internet. The former Chief Security Officer of Facebook and the former Chief Information Security Officer at Yahoo, he is currently an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University, where his teaching and research focuses on international security and cooperation. During his time at Facebook, Stamos led a threat intelligence team of engineers, researchers, investigators, and analysts charged with understanding and mitigating information security risks to the company and safety risks to the 2.5 billion people on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. The New York Times called Stamos “a celebrated figure in privacy and security circles,” and Tech Crunch said he is “widely regarded as one of the smartest people working in the security space.” Exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, Stamos helps groups better understand the cyber threat and how to stay one step ahead of bad actors.

During Stamos’ time at Facebook, he led the company’s investigation into manipulation of the 2016 US election and helped pioneer several successful protections against these new classes of abuse. According to The New York Times, through that work he became known for his role as a “strong advocate inside [Facebook] for investigating and disclosing Russian activity on Facebook.” Alex represented the company to regulators, lawmakers and civil society on six continents, and has served as a bridge between the interests of the Internet policy community and the complicated reality of platforms operating at billion-user scale. In April 2017, he co-authored “Information Operations and Facebook,” a highly cited examination of the influence campaign against the US election, which still stands as the most thorough description of the issue by a major technology company.

Before joining Facebook, Alex was the Chief Information Security Officer at Yahoo, rebuilding a storied security team while dealing with multiple assaults by nation-state actors. While at Yahoo, he led the company’s response to the Snowden disclosures by implementing massive cryptographic improvements in his first months. He also represented the company in an open hearing of the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

In 2004, Alex co-founded iSEC Partners, an elite security consultancy known for groundbreaking work in secure software development, embedded and mobile security. As a trusted partner to world’s largest technology firms, Alex coordinated the response to the “Aurora” attacks by the People’s Liberation Army at multiple Silicon Valley firms and led groundbreaking work securing the world’s largest desktop and mobile platforms. During this time, he also served as an expert witness in several notable civil and criminal cases, such as the Google Street View incident and pro bono work for the defendants in Sony vs George Hotz and US vs Aaron Swartz. After the 2010 acquisition of iSEC Partners by NCC Group, Alex formed an experimental R&D division at the combined company, producing five patents.

Stamos is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford’s Freeman-Spogli Institute, a William J. Perry Fellow at the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and a visiting scholar at the Hoover Institution. He has been involved with securing the US election system as a contributor to Harvard’s Defending Digital Democracy Project and involved in the academic community as an advisor to Stanford’s Cybersecurity Policy Program and UC Berkeley’s Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity. He is a member of the Aspen Institute’s Cyber Security Task Force, the Bay Area CSO Council and the Council on Foreign Relations. Alex also serves on the advisory board to NATO’s Collective Cybersecurity Center of Excellence in Tallinn, Estonia.

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Speaker Video

Creating a Thorough Cyber Defense System

Alex Stamos: How To Protect Your Organization From Cyber Threats

VIRTUAL OFFERING: Cybersecurity, Geopolitics, and Information Warfare in the Age of COVID-19. As a cybersecurity executive who has faced down the challenges of securing huge systems and investigating the actions of America's adversaries, Alex Stamos speaks from experience – drawing from his time leading security at Facebook and Yahoo to share today’s geopolitical drivers for information warfare. He specifically discusses Chinese propaganda around COVID-19 and the findings he and his team have discovered while studying the PRC, including how they are using both online and offline propaganda to seize control of the narrative, especially in unaligned countries.

Building Trustworthy Companies: Security, safety and privacy as core values and functions. As a cybersecurity executive who has faced down the challenges of securing huge systems and investigating the actions of America's adversaries, Alex Stamos speaks from experience – drawing from his time leading security at Facebook and Yahoo to share difficult lessons on crisis prevention and management. Discussing the current threat landscape as we approach the 2020 elections, he arms organizations with the means to fight back against cybersecurity breaches, insider threats and propaganda online. Stamos provides the actions companies should take to understand their risk profile, to integrate adversarial thinking into their business decisions and what it means to build a "trustworthy company" in 2020 and beyond.

Other topics include:

  • Corporations on the Front Line of Cybersecurity, Geopolitics and Information Warfare
  • Information Warfare: How our phones, newspapers and minds have become the battlefield

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