The Software Report is pleased to announce the Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity of 2020. Hundreds of exceptional women were nominated in this year’s process. We evaluated each nominee based on a series of questions on the candidate's leadership and professional capabilities. The Software Report also conducted candidate evaluation based on company competitiveness within the broader cybersecurity industry and how the individual compared to the most exceptional executives. We looked for demonstrated cybersecurity expertise, longevity in the industry, career progression and current position among other factors.
It gives us great pleasure to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of these deserving women in the demanding field of cybersecurity.
1. Nicole Eagan, Darktrace
As the Co-Chief Executive Officer of Darktrace, Nicole Eagan has established the cybersecurity company as a global leader in AI cyber defense. With over 25 years of experience, Eagan has previously held roles at HP, Quest Software, Peregrine Systems, and Oracle. Eagan has introduced disruptive machine learning to enterprises of all sizes, earning herself industry-wide recognition as an AI thought leader. By creating the autonomous response market, Darktrace stops a cyber threat from causing damage every three seconds with its AI algorithms, which have consistently detected never-before-seen attacks that traditional security tools simply cannot. Eagan has led the company since 2014, positioning the firm to garner a loyal customer base while earning a valuation of $2 billion. Her work doesn’t stop at improving cybersecurity but continues as Eagan leads internal and external efforts to solve the gender disparity across the tech industry. This starts with Darktrace, which maintains a roughly equal number of male and female employees in an industry where women only make up about 20% of the workforce.
2. Lisa Schreiber, Forcepoint
As the Chief Customer Success Officer at Forcepoint, Lisa Schreiber is tasked with overseeing the company's global customer capabilities, overall customer experience from acquisition to retention, as well as sustainable growth of the global portfolio. With over 30 years of experience in delivering improved customer satisfaction and sustainable growth for Fortune 500 and high-growth start-up enterprise software companies, Schreiber is celebrated as a prominent leader in world-class customer experience. At Forcepoint, she is instrumental in the company's reputation as a true strategic cybersecurity partner to enterprises worldwide. Prior to Forcepoint, Schreiber served as vice president of North America customer success and support services for Oracle and has held several executive positions at GoldenGate Software, Schwab, US Trust Corporation, and Apple. While at Oracle, Schreiber led the customer success of Oracle's 200 largest enterprise customers. Schreiber also serves on the Board of Visitors for the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information. She also regularly speaks to high school and college students on the comprehensive scope and importance of STEM careers.
3. Jaya Baloo, Avast
As the current Chief Information Security Officer at Avast Software, Jaya Baloo is a respected authority in cybersecurity. With over 20 years of experience, Baloo is an expert on a range of topics, including lawful interception, mass surveillance, and cryptography. Before joining Avast, she held a variety of roles, including practice lead lawful interception at Verizon, chief information security officer at KPN Telecom, and as the technology security specialist overseeing fraud and revenue assurance at France Telecom. Today, Jaya is a valued team member at Avast, a recognized leader in digital security products with over 400 million users online. The company's threat detection network is among the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial intelligence technologies to detect and stop threats in real-time. The security leader balances her position at Avast with being a faculty member of Singularity University and a member of various boards. She is also a notable expert on quantum computing, which has led Jaya to become a quantum ambassador of KPN Telecom and a vice-chair of the Quantum Flagship Strategic Advisory Board of the EU Commission.
4. Hue Harguindeguy, Guardian Analytics
Hue Harguindeguy was appointed as the Co-CEO and Chief Financial Officer at Guardian Analytics in 2016. By mobilizing over 25 years of experience in the financial sector, Hue has held positions at Murdock & Associates, QSpace, Symmetricom, Atlantis Computing, and Optus Partners. Notably, Hue has been instrumental in four IPOs as well as five mergers and acquisitions. Though, her expertise doesn’t end with the financial sector but stretches across international business structures, HR practices, and immigration and labor welfare requirements around the world. Founded in 2005, the Mount View, California-based company has been at the forefront of leveraging machine learning and advanced big data analytics methodologies to mitigate fraud risk and stop the sophisticated criminal attacks targeting retail, commercial, and enterprise banking clients. Guardian uses a single technology platform, which optimizes a range of solutions. This includes digital banking fraud detection for mobile and online, real-time payment fraud detection for wire and ACH anti-money-laundering solutions that include link analysis and FinCEN reporting, addressing AML compliance requirements on a single platform, thus streamlining the case filing process.
5. Sri Subramanian, Netskope
Sri Subramanian has spent just over a year at Netskope as the Senior Director of Product Management, but her achievements are virtually endless. Most notably, she was instrumental in the creation of a secure co-processor that went on every intel motherboard, the highest-rated SSL VPN, the most used identity management product, as well as the first set of products on Oracle Cloud. Now in her role at Netskope she is part of a team creating the next generation of security solutions. Founded in 1990, the Santa Clara-based company is recognized as one of the leading cybersecurity firms, helping the world’s largest companies utilize the cloud without sacrificing security. The Netskope Security Cloud helps organizations get the benefits of increased employee collaboration and productivity while enforcing security policies that keep data safe. Prior to joining Netskope, Sri held roles at Arceo.ai, Zscaler, Oracle, Juniper Networks, ValiCert, and Wave Systems. Between 2013 and 2017, she was the founder and CEO of Evolv.ng, one of the fastest adopted high school counselor platforms enabling advisers to give personalized college admission guidance to students on their phones.
6. Evgeniya Naumova, Kaspersky
As Vice President of the Global Sales Network at Kaspersky, Evgeniya Naumova is responsible for sales operations across business segments, including both consumer and B2B. What makes Naumova an exceptionally multifaceted executive is her range of experience, which spans more than ten years in the IT industry, corporate sales, and writing articles for Russian publications on industrial enterprises. In her previous role as head of corporate sales of Russia at Kaspersky, Naumova showed strong leadership and achieved outstanding business results, increasing enterprise product sales in Russia twenty times over. Kaspersky is one of the world's largest privately-held vendors of endpoint cybersecurity solutions. The Moscow-based company, founded in 1997, is now ranked among the world's top four vendors of security solutions. Naumova's tenure at the company exceeds eleven years, and most recently, she headed the company's recent response to COVID-19, in which it is offering healthcare institutions free licenses for essential Kaspersky corporate products for six months. Before joining Kaspersky, Naumova oversaw corporate sales at Dr.Web and was the director of international sales at Protection Technology.
7. Tia Hopkins, eSentire
Tia Hopkins is the Vice President of Global Sales Engineering at cybersecurity firm, eSentire. It's a perfect fit considering she's a self-professed cybersecurity enthusiast especially interested in how security relates to humanity and how basic human nature largely contributes to the success of social engineering. As a child, instead of playing with toys she admits she instead, pulled them apart to see how they worked. Armed with a natural curiosity, Hopkins turned this passion into a career and joined eSentire in 2017. The Waterloo Ontario-based company, which was founded in 2001, is the largest managed detection and response (MDR) services provider, keeping organizations safe from constantly evolving cyber threats that technology alone can't intercept. Here, Hopkins is focused on leading her team to provide pre-sales engineering solutions. Prior to joining eSentire, Hopkins held a number of technology roles at Zones Inc., Bessinger Technology, KapTechnology, and Verizon. She balances her role with being a part-time Cybersecurity professor at Yeshiva University and a career mentor for Cybrary and Built by Girls. She is also passionate about getting more women into cybersecurity while driving awareness of gender disparities in the industry with organizations like Leading Cyber Ladies, and the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu.
8. Sarah Ashburn, Attivo Networks
Since joining Attivo Networks as Vice President of Sales, Sarah Ashburn has built out the North America sales organization and sales for Attivo solutions. This includes addressing vulnerabilities related to the threat of robotic attacks (BOTs) and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) on networks and data centers. With over 25 years of experience in sales and business operations, Ashburn is a dynamic business leader who takes a hands-on approach and carries an impressive track record of executing and driving measurable results. She has grown businesses at all stages, from startups to established brands, and has significant talent in developing security market sales for the Fortune 2000. Prior to joining Attivo Networks, Ashburn served in sales leadership roles at VMware, Symantec, and VERITAS Technologies. Founded in 2011, the Fremont, California-based cybersecurity company is now a leader in deception technology as well as a unique and complementary solution to an organization’s existing security infrastructure. The company has won over 50 awards for its technology innovation and leadership.
9. Yael Ben Arie, SafeBreach
As Vice-President of R&D at SafeBreach and General Manager of SafeBreach Israel, Yael Ben Arie spearheads the company's product development for a category-defining cybersecurity platform that runs thousands of breach and attack methods, running at scale across multiple clouds and OSs to help enterprises improve their security posture and reduce their business risk. Previously she led the cyber security, data, machine-learning and cloud security research teams at Trusteer (IBM). Her focus at IBM/Trusteer was stopping sophisticated cyber threats against global banks, and helping banks combat online fraud. Prior to her business career, Yael, a trained military pilot, served in the Israeli Air Force as Operations Officer in a combat squadron. Known for her expertise in cyber security, complex cloud applications, big data and machine learning, she is a frequent speaker at industry conferences. Yael is also an advisor to the leadership of the “she codes” community where she mentors young women in IT. She holds a B.S. in Computer Science and Math with honors from Hebrew University.
10. Leslie Jones, Coalfire
Seasoned HR professional, Leslie Jones brings over 20 years of experience to her role as Chief Human Resources Officer at Coalfire. Headquartered in Westminster, Colorado, Coalfire is a cybersecurity provider that assists private and public sector companies avoid threats, close gaps, and manage risks. Founded in 2001, Jones joined the company four years ago and has since become a core component of the executive team. She’s been consistently praised for her leadership in developing an inclusive culture at the company, which puts employees at ease. After the company made its first significant acquisition, Jones worked with her team to expand the Coalfire values, known as ‘The Coalfire Way,’ to include the new commitment to “work together as one.” On her team, she emphasizes honesty, connectivity, and progression. Jones’ role spans recruiting programs, training and development, compensation and benefits, talent management, and creating a vibrant company culture. Prior to joining Coalfire, Jones was the vice president of HR at Benefitfocus, HR director at Blackbaud, and spent nine years at Sun Microsystems as its senior HR manager and HR business partner.
11. Selena Proctor, Onapsis
As the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Onapsis, Selena Proctor guides the execution of strategic objectives to increase the company’s global awareness within the market. She has over eleven years of experience in cybersecurity marketing in addition to a strong background in demand generation. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Onapsis delivers actionable insight, secure change, automated governance, and continuous monitoring for mission-critical systems from well-known vendors such as SAP, Oracle, and leading SaaS platforms. In the last seven years, Selena has been appointed several roles at Onapsis, beginning as the director of marketing programs, then vice president of marketing before her becoming vice president of strategic initiatives and chief of staff to the CEO. Her unique vision has been celebrated for directly enabling Onapsis brand awareness in the market. In her previous role at Core Security, Selena was responsible for fueling the global sales pipeline, overseeing the marketing programs and customer events, as well as maintaining the marketing budget. She also held a role in optimizing inside sales for Dell.
12. Sagit Manor, Nyotron
Sagit Manor is the Chief Executive Officer at Nyotron, a cybersecurity company that doesn't study past attacks or the behavior of hackers. This unorthodox approach is what attracted Manor to the company in the first place. Following a decade of working in business, Manor's life changed with a meeting with former Israeli ethical hacker, Nir Gaist, who introduced her to PARANOID. It was a disruptive system that turned every other principle of cybersecurity upside down by positing that "stopping threats has [nothing] to do with knowing them." Manor mirrors the company's enthusiasm and trust in their unconventional yet revolutionary process. While her background is in finance and the payment industry, since joining the cybersecurity company in 2017, Manor has made her mark by partnering with Ingram Micro, which led to the tech giant investing $10 million in Nyotron. Before Nyotron, Manor held roles at Ernst & Young, as the chief financial officer at Lipman and as the vice president and chief financial officer at Verifone. Sagit also led an IPO at NASDAQ, as well as several strategic acquisitions.
13. Noelle Hardy, EY
Industry veteran Noelle Hardy has been the Vice President of Services at Aspect Security for almost two decades. In this role, Hardy has set sales goals, analyzed data, and developed training programs for organizations’ sales representatives. Notably, she was at the helm of Aspect Security's landmark study, the 2014 State of Developers' Application Security Knowledge Report. This analyzed what developers do and don't know about application security threats, vulnerabilities, and defenses. This tied into her work as an advocate for training development teams to improve application security across the organization. At Aspect, she was instrumental in designing and implementing a curriculum and deployment system to meet the needs of a wide range of companies helping them track their staff's progress with its eLearning solution. Aspect was recently acquired by Ernst & Young (EY), which will increase its focus and comprehensive coverage on application and product security. Prior to joining Aspect, Hardy was the senior product manager at Symantec, senior director of security services at Exodus Communications, and senior security consultant at Trusted Information Systems.
14.Deborah McGinn, Arxan Technologies
Deborah McGinn joined Arxan Technologies as the Chief Marketing Officer in 2017. Arxan was recently acquired by Digital.ai, the creator of the industry's first intelligent value stream platform. Determined to overhaul its marketing strategies, McGinn has phased out programs to free up the budget, developed a better way to track the success of marketing efforts, and cleaned up the marketing technology stack. Arxan secures applications on more than 500 million mobile and internet-connected devices, though its highly technical and premium-priced products have made it difficult to connect with hard-to-reach buyers. To fix this, McGinn implemented PFL, a tactile marketing solution that results in higher open rates, higher recall, and most importantly, higher conversions. McGinn's critical thinking comes down to 15-years of experience in enterprise and consumer marketing. She's been responsible for bringing products to market with cutting edge strategies to break into new markets. This includes launching the consumer mobile security business for Norton and web application firewall business for Neustar. Prior to joining Arxan, McGinn held roles at Neustar, eEcosphere, Symantec, Callaway Golf, and Johnson & Johnson.
15. Brenda Ferraro, Prevalent
At Prevalent, Brenda Ferraro began as a Senior Director of Networks before advancing to the role of vice president of third party risk. As a key member of the senior management leadership team, she brings more than a decade of experience with third-party risks, which she has brought attention to by identifying various risks through corporate vendors, services, and data handling companies. In her role at Prevalent, Brenda works with organizations to build single-solution ecosystems that remove the complexities of Third-Party Risk management by way of a common, affordable and straightforward platform, framework, and governance methodology. This is vital to Prevalent and its goal to help global organizations manage and monitor the security threats and risks associated with third and fourth-party vendors. Before joining Prevalent, she held roles at Aetna as its third party risk governance and CISO for Meritain, Arrowhead Health Centers, where she served as the director of business development and process management, and PayPal as the principal process engineer. She's also worked at Charles Schwab, Professional Data Services, and Armstrong Data Services.
16. Ola Sergatchov, Guardicore
Seasoned cybersecurity executive, Ola Sergatchov joined Guardicore as Vice President of Corporate Strategy two years ago. Here, she leads the company's corporate strategy and go-to-market initiatives to drive growth on a global scale. With over 18 years of experience in the industry, Ola has a unique mix of technical skills, strategic experience, and an understanding of the services industry. Notably, she's the company's first female executive leader. Headquartered in Tel Aviv, Guardicore is a data center and cloud security company that protects organizations' core assets using flexible, quickly deployed, and easy to understand micro-segmentation controls. Ola has a proven track record of executing business and product strategy for large enterprises as well as emerging technology start-ups. Prior to Guardicore, Ola was at IBM as the global portfolio strategy director, where she successfully led the brand and go-to-market strategies for the Threat-Aware Identity and Access Management offerings. Before Guardicore, she worked at Oracle, Secerno, Ness Technologies, Matrix, and Itemfield. Ola has also delivered industry analysts briefings and research papers, working with Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and KuppingerCole analyst firms. In her spare time she gives piano concerts and music classes to assisted living communities and schools.
17. Yuval Lazar, Pcysys
As a top security researcher at Pcysys, Yuval Lazar leads the Israeli startup’s research and development in the fight against malicious hackers. Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Petah Tikva, the company developed an agentless and fully automated network penetration testing platform that assesses and reduces corporate cybersecurity risk. For the last two-and-a-half years Pcysys has relied on Lazar to discover dynamic vulnerabilities, learn how they can be exploited in a live enterprise network as well as undertake the incredibly complex task of automating known intrusion techniques used by red teams and attack campaigns without damaging operational workflows. Lazar’s expertise originates from the four years she spent in the Israel Defense Forces. She was recruited to the top intelligence unit, 8200, where she began as an intelligence analyst before spearheading cyber operations vital to Israeli security as a network security researcher. It isn’t just Lazar’s affinity for being a team player that makes her an accomplished thought leader but her ability to go the extra mile. Determined to play a key role in balancing the gender-disparity in tech, Lazar dedicates her free time to teach young girls about cybersecurity and computer science.
18. Nadia Malinoff-Kan, Intezer
With over 20 years of experience, Nadia Malinoff-Kan has run the gamut from entry-level roles to becoming the Chief Operating Officer at leading cybersecurity startup, Intezer. She began her career in the tech sector at Checkpoint, in a position where she retrieved faxes, entered orders, and carried out admin duties but it was her goal to make it into operations and project management. After eight years at the company and achieving her goal of becoming the order processing team leader, Nadia moved on to Sentrigo (acquired by McAfee). From here, she worked at McAfee, Cyvera, Palo Alto Networks, and Verint before joining Intezer in 2018. Headquartered in New York, the Israel cybersecurity company has a unique approach to malware detection. With its Genetic Malware Analysis technology, it’s set to revolutionize cyber threat detection and response. She balances her career with being a mentor at Gvahim. This non-profit organization provides highly-skilled immigrants and returning citizens with the tools to build a successful career in Israel. Nadia enjoys working in a startup environment and encourages others to find a working environment where they can thrive, too.
19. Dr. Dorit Dor, Check Point
Dr. Dorit Dor is the Vice President of Products at Check Point, a leading provider of cybersecurity solutions to corporate enterprises and governments globally. She manages all product definition and development functions for both the enterprise and consumer divisions of the Company. Since joining the Company over 23 years ago in 1995, Dr. Dor has served in several pivotal roles in Check Point’s R&D organization and has been instrumental to the organization’s growth managing many successful product releases. She holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree in computer science from Tel-Aviv University, in addition to graduating cum laude for her bachelor’s degree. She has been published in several influential scientific journals for her research on graph decomposition, median selection and geometric pattern matching in d-dimensional space. In 1993, she won the Israel National Defense Prize.
20. Kavitha Mariappan, Zscaler
Kavitha Mariappan is the Senior Vice President of Customer Experience and Transformation of Zscaler, a security-as-a-service provider focused on securing corporate networks. Kavitha has a long track record in leadership positions with fast growing technology companies. Most recently, she was the Chief Marketing Officer for Split Software and before that was Vice President of Marketing for Databricks. Kavitha spent nearly 12 years with Cisco Systems where in her most recent role she led the team responsible for technical and open source diligence for all acquisitions and investments. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
21. Saryu Nayyar, Gurucul
Internationally recognized cybersecurity expert, Saryu Nayyar is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Gurucul, a leader in unified security and risk analytics. With more than 15-years of experience in the information security, identity, and access management, as well as security risk management sectors, Saryu has held roles at some of the most prestigious companies. She is also a speaker, published author (Borderless Behavior Analytics – Who's Inside? What're They Doing?), and a member of the Forbes Technology Council. Saryu was previously a founding member of Vaau, an enterprise role-management start-up acquired by Sun Microsystems, and has held leadership roles in product strategy for both Sun and Oracle and Sun Microsystems. Growing up, Saryu's mother was her role model. By fighting against gender barriers as a judge in the Supreme Court of India, Saryu was inspired to follow suit and launch her journey into a successful career in cybersecurity. This is why she's also a passionate advocate for women in technology. Saryu has been recognized for her unique vision as well as her innate ability to identify market opportunities and build advanced technologies to address them.
22. Chris Brazdziunas, ThreatX
At ThreatX, industry veteran Chris Brazdziunas is the Chief Product Officer and responsible for product management as well as engineering. Here, Chris uses her expertise to lead the advancement of ThreatX’s behavior-based and attacker-centric WAF by working closely with customers and the leadership team to ensure the technology continues to stay one step ahead of rapidly evolving security threats. With almost 30 years of experience, Chris has a proven track record of leading global product and R&D organizations to supply large-scale enterprise software and security solutions. Her in-depth cybersecurity industry knowledge and experience devising go-to-market strategies for global enterprises make her an invaluable asset to the cybersecurity firm. Prior to joining ThreatX, she was the vice president of products for LogRhythm for seven years, vice president of software development at IPC Systems, and chief technology officer at Verso Technologies. She also held several roles at PEAK Software Solutions, Evolving Systems, and Bellcore. As an active member of the Women in Security group at the Denver branch of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), she works to advance the leadership and professional development of women cybersecurity professionals.
23. Karen Nguyen, Cobalt.io
Karen Nguyen is the Vice President of Sales at pioneering pentesting - a portmanteau of 'penetration testing' - company, Cobalt.io. Headquartered in San Francisco, the 7-year-old company is determined to change the way companies purchase and pay for pentesting services, which examine applications for vulnerabilities before it goes live. By eliminating expensive and time-consuming exercises, Cobalt offers a marketplace of vetted and verified pen-testers as well as a software platform where organizations can manage and schedule tests. Nguyen is tasked with the role of overseeing the promotion of Cobalt's innovation. Prior to joining Cobalt, Nguyen worked as the director of enterprise sales at Upwork, the team leader for major accounts at Elance-oDesk, and as a sales manager at Verizon. With over ten years of experience, which spans a broad spectrum from retail positions all the way to her executive role, Nguyen is sharp, detail-oriented, and primed for a long and illustrious career in tech.
24. Sigalit Shavit, CyberArk
Sigalit Shavit is the Global Chief Information Technology Officer at CyberArk, a cybersecurity company founded in 1999 serving more than 4,400 global businesses. Sigalit is responsible for providing and managing the information technology and security infrastructure that enables CyberArk’s business objectives. She brings more than 26 years of executive and IT inter-disciplinary experience to CyberArk – demonstrating an innate ability to tightly align the technology roadmaps of IT organizations with business objectives. Previously, Sigalit served as Global CIO and Head of DevOps at ECI Telecom Ltd. And before ECI, she served as Vice President and CIO of FedEx, Israel. Sigalit earned a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Information Systems from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
25. Lisa O’Connor, Accenture
Lisa O’Connor is the Managing Director of Global Security Research and Development at Accenture Labs. Lisa curates and manages a portfolio of cyber research, including threat intelligence, advanced cyber hunting, orchestration for resilient cyber architectures, edge analytics, analytics and machine learning, active defense and security of the Industrial Internet of Things. She has more than 29 years of information security experience, and over 18 years of expertise in financial services. Previously, Lisa was part of Accenture’s Consulting business for Financial Services in North America, where she led the organization’s security efforts in Banking and Payments. In her career, she has played several critical roles, including Fannie Mae as the lead of Information Security Governance, leading the national security consulting practices at Predictive Systems (INS), Guardent (Verisign), PriceWaterhouseCoopers and the National Security Agency.