Look through most lists of influential cybersecurity experts and chances are the names will belong to those working in the technical trenches: the analysts, engineers, and consultants working to beat cyberattacks around the country.
Yet we should also consider thought leaders, media and press, and information security governance experts, as well as, the hands-on practitioners. Here are six people with influence in the Cybersecurity field that you need to know.
Cybersecurity advisor, writer
One of only 28 people around the globe to hold the full suite of security certifications, Joseph Steinberg is one of the most qualified people to speak, write, and evangelize about cybersecurity – and he certainly does. He is known for writing for the likes of Forbes and Inc. He has written the cybersecurity study guide that many CISOs use on their way to gaining certifications.
Steinberg has technical know-how too, with a master’s degree in technology management from Georgetown University and more than 100 patent filings citing his cybersecurity inventions. He’s currently CEO of SecureMySocial, a real-time tool to warn social media users if their posts are inappropriate, showing that more than 20 years in the industry have done nothing to reduce his instincts on the topic.
CEO, Kaspersky Lab
One of the most famous names in cybersecurity for almost 30 years, Eugene Kaspersky shows no sign of slowing down, traveling incessantly to promote cutting-edge cybersecurity solutions. His interest in information security began by chance when his own computer was infected by the Cascade virus in 1989. Rather than panic, he studied the virus and designed his own software to eradicate it.
His analytical approach is no surprise given he is an alumnus of Moscow’s Institute of Cryptography, Telecommunications and Computer Science. There he studied mathematics, cryptography, and computer technology. Fast forward to 1997, when he established what is now Kaspersky Lab, becoming CEO 10 years later.
His says his work is nowhere near finished; in 2016 he told Newsweek that we live in the “dark age of cybersecurity.”
President and CEO, Internet Security Alliance (ISA)
Larry Clinton is a guiding light in the highly complex world of cybersecurity policy, helping legislators and politicians establish best cybercrime practices. The ISA’s 12-step program of recommendations is now used as the playbook for the U.S.’s overarching cybersecurity framework.
Clinton says the mission of the ISA is “marrying of advanced technology with economic and public policy to create a sustainable system of cybersecurity.” It may be surprising to learn he majored in communications, specializing in interpersonal relationships, but he sees no discrepancy. In cybersecurity, he says, “you need to be able to take others’ perspective; you need to be flexible enough to adapt.”
CEO, Berkeley Varitronics Systems, author
After graduating with a computer science and information technology degree, Scott Schober went on to study telecommunications before becoming CEO at Berkeley Varitronics Systems. A seasoned software engineer whose company has developed cell-phone detection tools used by organizations in fields as diverse as the military and education, Schober is perhaps better known for his misfortune.
His company was hacked not once, but twice. Thereby providing him with expert knowledge from both sides of the fence. He has written books about these experiences, with the latest titled: “Hacked Again – It Can Happen to Anyone, Even a Cybersecurity Expert.”
Co-founder, Cognitio Corp.
Like so many in the cybersecurity industry, Bob Gourley is a military veteran. After a career as a naval intelligence officer, he took on the role of Director of Intelligence at the Department of Defense’s cyber-defense operation JTF-CND.
Following spells with Northrop Grumman and TRW, Gourley returned to government work as CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency. Washingtonian Magazine and Infoworld both recognized his acumen, in the same year naming him a Tech Titan and one of the 25 most influential CTOs in the world, respectively. Now, as a co-founder of Cognito Corp. his influence continues, particularly in the specialty areas of strategic consulting, technology design and cyber-risk reduction.
Before her current role as a reporter at the Washington Post, Elise Viebeck was a cybersecurity writer at The Hill. There she wrote about subjects such as the notorious Sony hack, as well as, domestic cybersecurity issues. She displays a nose for cyberattack stories and puts it to good use in appearances on MSNBC and Fox News.
As these experts show, a cybersecurity career path can take almost any route – but sharing expertise is just as important as attaining it if you want to become a field leader. To help decide which career path you should take, check out our roadmap to a career in cybersecurity.