Tarah Wheeler: Infosec for a Brave New World
- Cybersecurity expert and white hat hacker who advises global organizations and governments on cyber strategy and policy
- Has served in executive, advisory, and thought leadership roles at leading companies, including Splunk, Symantec, and the Council on Foreign Relations
- A leading voice for addressing the gender gap and elevating women in tech
- Takes audiences inside the mind of a hacker and shares insights and tactics for securing organizations’ assets and data
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One of the most dynamic minds on the frontlines in the battle to keep the digital sphere safe for all, Tarah Wheeler is an information security executive, white hat hacker, and social scientist who equips organizations and individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to safeguard their data and reputations. Her experiences as a cybersecurity executive, advisor, and thought leader extend across various industries and institutions — from technology and commerce to government and academia. In her daily work, she develops and implements comprehensive cybersecurity programs at some of the world’s most important and complex organizations, advises on global cyber policy, and serves as a leading voice for the advancement of women in tech.
When speaking to groups, Wheeler takes audiences inside the mind of a hacker to explain how they think, why they do the things they do, and the threats they pose to our information and privacy. As an ethical hacker, she possesses deep expertise on how digital adversaries infiltrate our systems, and shares these insights with organizations and individuals — arming them with tailored and practical strategies and tactics for fixing and securing any vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited. Wheeler has a particular gift in creating analogies to make complex concepts in cybersecurity clear and comprehensible for everyone, while guiding organizations on the path to building resilient systems where all team members feel confident and suitably prepared in the event they come face-to-face with a digital foe.
Named by Onalytica as the top female cybersecurity influencer in the world, Wheeler is the founder and CEO of Red Queen Dynamics, an information security company that produces the only full SaaS cybersecurity and compliance program for small and medium businesses. A social scientist in the area of international conflict, Wheeler serves as the Senior Fellow for Global Cyber Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations and is a Foreign Policy contributor on cyber warfare. She was a US/UK Fulbright Scholar in Cyber Security in 2020/2021. Wheeler is also an Electronic Frontier advisory board member, and an inaugural contributing cybersecurity expert for the Washington Post. In addition to holding roles as the head of offensive security and technical data privacy at Splunk and senior director of engineering and principal security advocate at Symantec, she has been a contributing cybersecurity editor at the Brookings Institution, a Cyber Project Fellow at Harvard University, and an International Security Fellow at New America. She also led projects at Microsoft Games Studio and the Hewlett Foundation.
Wheeler is the author of the Amazon number one career guide bestseller, Women in Tech: Take Your Career to the Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories, which details her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated cybersecurity space. She has shared her expertise on information security at meetings and conferences with groups all over the world, including the European Union, Malaysian Securities Commission, multiple congressional committees, and the Federal Trade Commission – to name a few.
When she’s not sharing her cybersecurity know-how with the world’s leading organizations, Wheeler is a passionate poker professional who has cashed multiple times in the World Series of Poker and funded her startup with her winnings from cleaning out poker rooms in the Northwest and Las Vegas.
Hacking the Hackers: Strategies for Building Cyber Resilient Organizations. With cyber threats becoming increasingly sophisticated and prevalent, it is crucial for organizations to stay several steps ahead in safeguarding their valuable data and assets, or risk having their operations paralyzed, as well as their privacy and reputation compromised by bad-faith actors in the digital realm.
Widely regarded as being among the leaders on the frontlines of information security, white hat hacker and cybersecurity expert, thought leader, and advisor Tarah Wheeler supports organizations of all sizes — from global firms to small businesses and startups — on developing and implementing tailored, proactive, and practical cybersecurity strategies for securing their systems against cyber threats and navigating the complexities of the digital world. In this fascinating talk, she takes audiences inside the mind of a hacker, provides an overview of common and lesser-known cyber threats and how to identify them, and offers insights and tactics for organizations as they work to eliminate vulnerabilities and build more resilient systems. Beyond the technical aspects, Wheeler also addresses the human element of cybersecurity – emphasizing the ways in which leaders can empower their people to play their role in upholding the organization’s cyber defense strategy.
Beyond Borders: Strengthening International Cooperation in the Digital Age. As a cybersecurity expert and social scientist in the area of international conflict, Tarah Wheeler is among the world’s leading movers and shakers when it comes to shaping global cyber policy. In this conversation, she explores the critical challenges and solutions in securing the global landscape amidst the rapid advancements of the digital age. Addressing the pressing issues of cyber threats, state-sponsored attacks, and geopolitical tensions, Wheeler offers valuable insights and strategies for bolstering international security efforts — highlighting the importance of a unified global approach to address the interconnected cybersecurity challenges faced by nations, as well as the impact on businesses and society. As she explains the threats and opportunities in international security, she puts forth ideas for developing policies and defense systems to maximize the global digital security infrastructure — beginning inside the walls of our organizations and extending into our communities and across the world.
Harnessing the Power of Women in Tech. In this empowering keynote, cybersecurity expert and trailblazer Tarah Wheeler examines the progress that has been made for women in tech, as well as the challenges that still need to be addressed in the field, which is still male-dominated. Drawing from her own experiences navigating her way through a profession where she had few examples to follow, Wheeler offers actionable advice for amplifying women’s voices and influence in tech; nurturing them into more leadership roles, creating more diverse and inclusive spaces, and doing away with the inequities that continue to exist within the tech space. Wheeler’s passion is palpable as she inspires groups of all backgrounds to challenge the status quo, embrace their unique strengths, and create better outcomes for their people and their organizations.
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