The Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity of 2021

The Software Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity of 2021. In all industries, cybersecurity is of critical importance. As legacy systems undergo digital transformation and companies adapt to cloud-based infrastructure and remote operations, the need for highly skilled security professionals has never been higher. The women that comprise this year’s list have not only stepped up to new challenges in addressing cyber risks and vulnerabilities, they have also implemented proactive strategies that will ensure ongoing resilience to cyberattacks for both their organizations and their clients. Some of this year’s awardees serve cybersecurity companies, while others act in cybersecurity roles for businesses in other industries. But all have demonstrated a dedication to protecting valuable online assets to allow their employers and clients to function with agility and confidence in an increasingly digital world.

In roles across information security, customer experience, product development, marketing, and more, these professionals have utilized their deep knowledge of their industries, keen awareness of the threat landscape, and understanding of client needs to develop innovative and effective security products, services, and programs. Their specialized expertise in areas such as compliance, threat detection and response, identity management, and others has contributed not only to their organizations but also to the broader cybersecurity field. Moreover, many have worked diligently to promote diversity in their workplaces and to foster the professional development of their teams, demonstrating their commitment to continuous improvement and growth. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity of 2021.


1. Wendy Thomas
Company: Secureworks
Title: President

Secureworks’ President Wendy Thomas champions the company’s drive to provide innovative, best-in-class security solutions that sit at the heart of customers’ security operations. She leads the Customer Success organization, which encompasses product and engineering, operations, customer experience, and Secureworks’ threat intelligence-focused Counter Threat Unit™, leading Secureworks’ strategic transformation to a software-driven company with security at its core. Thomas leverages more than 25 years of experience in strategic and financial leadership roles, including as vice president of finance for First Data and as the chief financial officer for Bridgevine, Inc.

Outside of her role at Secureworks, Thomas serves as a Liaison for AFS Intercultural Programs, an international youth exchange organization, and recently served on the Board of a local improv theater in Atlanta. Thomas also leads the Pride Employee Resource Group for Secureworks teammates to network and drive inclusion and education efforts with the company and larger community. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia, with a double major in economics and foreign affairs, and she holds an International Master of Business Administration degree from the Darla Moore School of Business.


2. Summer Craze Fowler
Company: Argo AI
Title: Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer

Summer Craze Fowler is the Chief Information Officer and Chief Information Security Officer for Argo AI, an artificial intelligence company focused on self-driving vehicle technology. In this role, she develops and leads the strategy and execution of both the IT and cybersecurity teams. Fowler also leads Facilities, Logistics, and Physical Security at Argo. She led the technical activities of the successful international acquisition of a 300+ person company in the EU. She is an expert in business continuity and cyber crisis management. Fowler currently serves as a cybersecurity expert on the audit committee of a healthcare organization with over $1B in annual revenue. She also advises the board of an international fintech company as the cybersecurity expert.

Fowler is an accomplished C-Suite executive and cybersecurity expert with 20 years of experience developing technical strategies and leading engineering teams to achieve aggressive technical goals while also in hyper-growth mode. Prior to joining Argo, she was the technical director for cybersecurity risk & resilience at Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute (SEI) and was responsible for a $30M+ program portfolio. She was also a technical member at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory where she designed and prioritized the Department of Defense’s $2B cybersecurity budget. Her career began as a software engineer at Northrop Grumman Corporation where she developed software for special operations forces. Fowler holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a Master of Science degree in information science and telecommunications from the University of Pittsburgh.


3. Jordan Rae Kelly
Company: FTI Consulting
Title: Senior Managing Director and Head of Cybersecurity for the Americas

Jordan Rae Kelly is a Senior Managing Director and the Head of Cybersecurity for the Americas at FTI Consulting. Kelly has more than 15 years of experience coordinating incident response and managing cyber policy planning. She advises clients on a broad range of cybersecurity and data privacy matters involving breaches, insider threats, intellectual property, crisis communications, vendor management, compliance, regulation, risk management, and forensic investigations.

Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Kelly served as the director for cyber incident response on the National Security Council at the White House. During her tenure there, she was responsible for both national incident response coordination, as well as management of the U.S. Government’s process for managing zero-day exploits. She was also a chief author of the National Cyber Strategy, the first of its kind in the United States in 15 years. Before joining the National Security Council in 2017, Kelly served as chief of staff and chief of strategic initiatives in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cyber Division, where she managed daily operations and strategic and policy planning for the FBI’s national cyber program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law.


4. Jadee Hanson
Company: Code42
Title: Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Information Officer

As Chief Information Security Officer and Chief Information Officer at Code42, Jadee Hanson leads global risk and compliance, security operations, incident response, and insider threat monitoring and investigations. To her position, she brings more than 15 years of information security experience and a proven track record of building security programs. Prior to Code42, Hanson held a number of senior leadership roles in the security department of Target Corporation, where she implemented key programs, including compliance, risk management, insider threat assessments, and more. Hanson also spearheaded the effort to embed security resources into the development process as well as the security plans behind the acquisition of software development and online retail companies. She was the security lead for the sale of Target Pharmacies to CVS Health.

Before joining Target, Hanson worked at Deloitte, where she served as a security consultant for companies across diverse industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, energy, retail, and more.
In addition to her day job at Code42, Hanson is the founder and CEO of the non-profit organization Building Without Borders, which serves those in poverty-stricken areas throughout the world through housing services. Since April 2015, Building Without Borders has built 39 homes in areas of the Dominican Republic. Hanson received her Bachelor of Science degree in information systems from the University of North Dakota.


5. Marnie Wilking
Company: Wayfair
Title: Global Head of Security, Privacy, and Technology Risk Management

Marnie Wilking is the Global Head of Security, Privacy, and Technology Risk Management for Wayfair, one of the world’s largest online destinations for the home. Wilking has directed information security and multi-discipline risk management programs for more than 15 years across multiple industries, providing a unique set of skills and experience to improve risk outcomes and enable businesses to incorporate risk management while maintaining speed and agility.

Prior to Wayfair, Wilking was the global CISO for Orion Health; senior director of security compliance for Early Warning; and information security officer for Wells Fargo’s Mortgage division. In addition to her current role with Wayfair, Wilking also serves as a Strategic Advisor and Investor for Silicon Valley CISO Investments. She holds the CISSP, CISA, and CISM designations, as well as a Master of Business Administration degree in technology management from the University of Phoenix and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and statistics from Miami University (Ohio).


6. Laurell Aiton
Company: Smartronix
Title: Chief Administrative Officer

Laurell Aiton is the Chief Administrative Officer at Smartronix, a company she has grown with and helped develop during the past 18 years. With employees in more than 40 states and five countries, Smartronix is a leading provider of next-generation IT, cloud, and ISR solutions to the Department of Defense, federal civilian and commercial customers. In her current role, Aiton leads day-to-day strategic business support activities within the company. She is skilled in leadership and management and drives strategic organizational activities pertaining to enterprise-wide functions to ensure effective outcomes in support of Smartronix’s vision and growth trajectory.

Aiton is known for removing obstacles and leading by example and makes it a top priority to engage in employee, corporate, and client interactions that span all aspects of the company. Smartronix has seen significant M&A activity during the past two years and Aiton has been at the forefront of the planning and execution of activities while ensuring seamless transition and transparency in the process. Prior to joining Smartronix, Aiton enjoyed impactful roles at Booz Allen Hamilton and Bank of Hawaii and has also served on a variety of industry boards. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Maryland, and her Master of Arts degree from Hawaii Pacific University.


7. Elena Poincet (tie)
Company: TEHTRIS
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Before co-founding TEHTRIS in 2010 with Laurent Oudot, Elena Poincet was an operational expert in the management and leadership of specialized teams for the Ministry of the Armed Forces in France. From this experience, Poincet has kept her leadership and action-oriented mindset, as well as the vocation to serve. She conducts the vision, strategy, and operations at TEHTRIS, focusing on the fight against cyberespionage and cybersabotage. Poincet and Oudot built upon their mastery of attack techniques and methods (hackers, strategic intelligence, IT warfare, etc.) to offer solutions. In 2013, TEHTRIS was one of the worlds’ first editors for what is now called Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). Their vision led to TEHTRIS becoming the only European eXtended Detection and Response, XDR, platform editor.

Anticipating the ever-increasing complexity of attacks and the skills shortage in cybersecurity, Poincet has been promoting innovation and hyper automation: TEHTRIS provides real-time automatic remediation to cyberattacks, without human interaction, and protects businesses and administrations throughout the world. After having closed a worldwide record Series-A fundraising round in cybersecurity, Poincet was elected IT person of the year for 2020 by the French magazine “Le Monde Informatique.” Used to acting in the shadows, Poincet is both an inspiring leader and a hands-on manager. Her priorities are TEHTRIS, its team, and its mission to create a safer cyber landscape in the world.


7. Gal Helemski (tie)
Company: PlainID
Title: Co-Founder and Chief of Innovation & Product

Gal Helemski is the Co-Founder and Chief of Innovation and Product at PlainID. Based in Tel Aviv, PlainID is a cybersecurity company providing a business-policy-based authorization platform. Helemski co-founded PlainID in 2015, which offers simple solutions to authorization management, and enables organizations to govern, administer, and control who can access assets across their digital landscape.
As a recognized cybersecurity expert, Helemski leads innovation and product strategy at PlainID. Over the last 14 years, she has defined solutions to customers, created and defined project specs, and technical documentation. She’s also made presentations and offered training about the identity and access management sector.

Previously, Helemski was a freelance information security consultant. Before this, she was a senior client and projects manager at Advent Information Security & Risk Management, a professional services manager at CyberArk Software, and a systems engineer at CA Technologies. She began her career serving in the Israel Defense Forces’ prestigious Mamram computing unit. Helemski earned her Bachelor of Science degree in physics and computer science from Bar-Ilan University.


8. Leigh Dow
Company: Identiv
Title: Vice President of Marketing

Leigh Dow is the Vice President of Marketing at Identiv, a global provider of physical security and secure identification. Dow brings more than 20 years of marketing, branding, and public relations leadership to Identiv, 14 of those in the Fortune 100. Dow started her career in government affairs, working for the Governor of Florida’s press office and then-U.S. Senator Bob Graham. Then at Honeywell, she was the Global Service Delivery Design Director. Prior to that, she was the Aerospace eCommerce Director, where she led the $1B Aerospace online sales channel and online marketing. She began working in the tech industry at Intel, managing immigration and Department of State programs in government affairs, and then marketing and public relations at Intel.

In 2011, Dow founded and built a multimillion-dollar agency, consistently named one of the top 20 marketing firms in Arizona. She is a 2018 Phoenix Business Journal Outstanding Women in Business honoree and a 2020 Phoenix Business Journal Most Admired Leader honoree. She is a member of the Phoenix Business Journal Leadership Trust and the National Small Business Administration Leadership Council, has won 23 American Marketing Association Spectrum Awards and 8 Public Relations Society of America Copper Anvil Awards, and is a frequent speaker on marketing topics and a contributed content author. Dow holds a Master of Business Administration degree in technology management and a Bachelor of Science degree in political science with a focus on geopolitical strategy.


9. Michelle Drolet
Company: Towerwall
Title: Chief Executive Officer

Michelle Drolet is the Chief Executive Officer of Towerwall, a highly specialized cybersecurity, cloud, and virtual CISO services firm with clients such as Foundation Medicine, Boston College, and Middlesex Savings Bank. Drolet is responsible for all aspects of business for Towerwall and has more than 24 years of network and cybersecurity experience. She has leveraged that knowledge to make Towerwall a leading cybersecurity service and solution provider. Well respected in the analyst and trade community, Drolet is often published in national magazines and is a regular contributor to the Forbes Council and IDG CSOonline.

Before founding Conqwest in 1993, Drolet ran the U.S. operation of CDG Technologies, growing the IT consulting business exponentially before selling it to a public company. She reacquired the company to launch Framingham, MA-based Towerwall in 1999, focusing exclusively on providing small to midsized businesses with customized cybersecurity technology programs. She was named one of the Top CEOs to Watch in 2020 and Top 5 Women in Cybersecurity in 2019. Drolet received her Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice and political science from Northeastern University.


10. Gily Netzer
Company: Cymulate
Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Gily Netzer is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cymulate. Cymulate is a SaaS-based breach and attack simulation platform that makes it simple for companies to know and optimize their security posture any time, all the time, and empowers them to safeguard their business-critical assets. Netzer brings marketing leadership to cybersecurity companies. She is a passionate, innovative, and results-driven marketing strategist and veteran leader with 20 years of international B2B cybersecurity experience. She has been critical in building teams across regions, establishing new technological categories, forming a marketing machine, and managing market leadership and relationships to drive 50%+ of the business and consistent growth year over year.

Netzer’s previous experience includes multiple marketing leadership roles in startups such as Illusive Networks (of Team8) and large brands, including Symantec. She is a contributor to publications such as Forbes, Help Net Security, CyberSecurity Ventures, IT Toolbox, and others, and is a Member of the Forbes Communications Council. Netzer received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Tel Aviv University and her Master of Business Administration degree in marketing from Manchester University.


11. Paige Barry
Company: DefenseStorm
Title: Vice President, Customer Solutions

Paige Barry joined DefenseStorm in 2019 and leads the teams that implement, service, and enhance DefenseStorm’s products and services. DefenseStorm combines and automates cybersecurity and cybercompliance built for banking in real-time, so financial institutions can achieve cyber safety and soundness according to regulations and their own policies. As DefenseStorm’s Vice President of Customer Solutions, Barry is an influential and credible executive with more than 20 years of consistent success serving the technology needs of financial institutions.

Prior to joining DefenseStorm, Barry held executive positions at S1 Corporation and Fiserv. She has held leadership roles in operations, client management, technical support, business process transformation, and product management, and is passionate about the mentoring and development of emerging leaders. Her background includes setting service and delivery strategies, implementing customer satisfaction and retention programs, establishing performance metrics to improve productivity, and creating a robust and scalable portfolio governance process for software development projects impacting more than 100 banking products. Barry earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from American University.


12. Fatemah Beydoun
Company: Secure Code Warrior
Title: Senior Vice President of Customer Success

Fatemah Beydoun is a founding team member of Secure Code Warrior, having been an integral part of the company since 2014. The Secure Code Warrior (SCW) platform is built by developers for developers. It is a hands-on gamified evaluation and training platform where developers review actual code, identify and correct the security issues, and immediately understand why their response is either good or poor. Beydoun began her time at Secure Code Warrior as Chief Awesome and regional director of APAC between 2014 and 2018. Now as Senior Vice President of Customer Success and Operations, Beydoun is responsible for turning Secure Code Warrior’s customers into its biggest advocates, improving Customer Success maturity, and leading the Customer Success teams globally.
Prior to Secure Code Warrior, Beydoun held security analyst, operations management, and national director roles at BAE Systems Applied Intelligence and the Australian Information Security Association (AISA), a not-for-profit organization that aims to improve cybersecurity in Australia at a government, industry, and community level. Beydoun holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computing and information systems from Macquarie University.


13. Megan Berry
Company: Axonius
Title: Vice President of Demand Generation

Megan Berry is Vice President of Demand Generation at Axonius. A founding member of the Axonius marketing team with over five years’ experience in cybersecurity, she’s responsible for establishing and scaling the company’s growth strategy. Berry has also held demand-focused roles at Cybereason, Virgin Pulse (part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Brand), Bright Horizons, and Experian. She has been recognized for her contributions to cybersecurity marketing as the recipient of the 2020 Cybersecurity Marketer of the Year: Rising Star Award, the Axonius CEO Award, the Axonius Bulldog Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sales, and Cybereason’s 2018 Field Marketer of the Year Award.

In addition to her current tole, Berry is also a frequent contributing author, speaker, and podcast guest on topics ranging from workplace diversity, equal pay, and scaling cybersecurity marketing teams for customer growth. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Bentley University. While there, she played an integral role in shaping the Bentley Service Learning and Civic Engagement Certificate Program, helping drive student engagement in local community service projects and organizations.


14. Deepika Gajaria
Company: Tala Security
Title: Vice President of Products

Deepika Gajaria is Tala’s Vice President of Products. Tala automates standards-based security to prevent data theft from client-side attacks, and its solution is designed to secure customer data and ensure data privacy, without degrading site performance or top-line revenue. An experienced product leader and technologist, Gajaria is responsible for product strategy and delivery at Tala. Working closely with customers, she drives product direction and shapes the product roadmap to address their core needs.

Prior to Tala, Gajaria was part of Cisco Jasper where she led the launch of IoT smart city applications. Her career in product management began at EMC, in the new product introduction team, working on key initiatives across the Storage and the Data Protection divisions. Gajaria has held diverse roles in her career: her first job out of school was in the research and development of high voltage particle accelerator technology used in cancer therapy machines. Gajaria is a Longhorn, holding undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, in natural sciences and from the McCombs School of Business.


15. Pamela D. Curtis
Company: Axio Global, Inc.
Title: Vice President of Process Engineering

Pamela D. Curtis is the Vice President of Process Engineering at Axio Global, Inc., where she leads the cyber insurance coverage analysis team, participates in client delivery initiatives for workshops, appraisals, and model-based improvement, and contributes to the evolution and codification of Axio's foundational processes and methods. Axio’s cyber risk management solution looks at IT security and financial controls and insurance to create an integrated, holistic technology and financial risk solution that is able to evolve with the client as the risk landscape shifts.

Previously, at the CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, Curtis conducted analytical studies and investigations and developed models, tools, and assessments related to improving and measuring the resilience of critical infrastructure. Prior to her time at CERT, Curtis had over 25 years of experience in the information technology domain as a systems analyst, programmer, process improvement team leader, technical communicator, and manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in management from Simmons College and a Master of Science degree in management information systems from Boston University.


16. Judi Seguy (tie)
Company: CampusGuard
Title: Director of Operations

As Director of Operations, Judi Seguy, PCIP, spearheads the timely and accurate delivery of cybersecurity and compliance services at CampusGuard. She has over 30 years of experience working in fields related directly to cybersecurity and compliance, relationship management, and project management in both the corporate and higher education industries. Seguy defines processes for each service implementation in order to ensure that every customer engagement achieves a consistent level of excellence. She is responsible for the development of internal tools to manage project scope, goals, and deliverables. She recently spearheaded the development and deployment of a brand-new, internally built compliance management portal. Lastly, Seguy has direct responsibility for the overall development of training courses and customer communications.

Prior to joining CampusGuard, Seguy was the vice president of integration and implementation services at SecureNet and vice president of business development for Nelnet Business Solutions. She previously held roles at Baxter Healthcare Corporation, Sears Technology Services, and Motorola Inc. Her long-term interest and commitment to the well-being of children has led to several board positions and her DCFS Certified Foster Care Provider status in Illinois.


16. Erica Smith (tie)
Company: Global Learning Systems LLC
Title: Vice President of Business Operations

As the Vice President of Business Operations at Global Learning Systems (GLS), Erica Smith leads the transformation and expansion of GLS’ cybersecurity training solutions to clients worldwide in over 25 languages. She has over fifteen years of experience in cybersecurity awareness training in addition to a strong background in finance and human resources. Headquartered in Columbia, Maryland, GLS provides employee security awareness and compliance training programs, supported by its OnDemand Learning Management System and phishing simulation tool. The GLS program effectively promotes cybersecurity behavior change and protects organizations by strengthening their Human Firewall.

In the last seventeen years, Smith has been appointed several roles at GLS, beginning as the director of administration, then director of finance, human resources and administration, then director of business operations, before becoming the Executive Vice President of Operations. Always leading by example, she has established strong internal processes, software upgrades and automation tools for staff in fulfillment, delivery, product development, and support services departments to work seamlessly and effectively while supporting hundreds of clients from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies. Her enthusiasm and employee coaching/mentoring, as well as her ability to address challenging problems, motivates the staff and has a direct positive impact on the team and customer base. Her leadership and contributions have resulted in GLS' recognition in the Gartner, Inc. MQ rankings for the past five years.


17. Dervilla Lannon
Company: Verkada
Title: Vice President of People

Dervilla Lannon is the Vice President of People at Verkada. She joined the company in March 2020 and assumed her current role in October 2020 where she has been invaluable in making culture and people the highest priority. At Verkada, Lannon is able to marry her legal and technology background with her passion for people to help build a company that attracts, retains, and develops the world-class talent that Verkada needs to become the world's best physical security company. She hails from a small farm on the Emerald Isle of Ireland and is passionate about Verkada's commitment to making the world a safer place for all.

Prior to Verkada, Lannon spent 10 years at BlackRock. For the first seven years at BlackRock, she held a number of roles within the Legal and Compliance Department in with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions, securities, asset management, and corporate governance. During her last three years at BlackRock, Lannon was the head of business operations and strategy at FutureAdvisor (a digital advisory platform BlackRock acquired in 2015), where she was responsible for day-to-day operations across people, processes, and systems. She led the integration of FutureAdvisor into BlackRock, implemented the California Consumer Privacy Act for BlackRock's financial technology business, and led FutureAdvisor's risk and controls program. Lannon received her law degree from Trinity College, Dublin.


18. Polina Blinchevsky
Company: Zero Networks
Title: Vice President of Customer Success & QA

Polina Blinchevsky is the Vice President of Customer Success and QA at Zero Networks, having joined the team in September of 2019. Zero Networks delivers cloud-based network security as a service and automates the creation and enforcement of network access policies for each user and machine in the organization, making it easy to scale and maintain an airtight, up-to-date, zero-trust model for the entire network. Blinchevsky comes with more than a decade of experience in software testing, design, and customer success.

Prior to Zero Networks, Blinchevsky was part of the leadership team at CyberX (acquired by Microsoft), responsible for the CS and building a highly successful QA department from scratch. She is driven by quality in every aspect of her life, through her work at Nice Actimize, ConteXtream, and CyberX and full military service in an elite technological IDF unit. Blinchevsky holds a Bachelor of Science degree in medical science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


19. Tarah Cammett
Company: Immersive Labs
Title: Vice President of Marketing

Tarah Cammett is the Vice President of Marketing for Immersive Labs, bringing with her 22 years of experience across all things sales and marketing. Hot on the heels of her success at Carbon Black, having taken it through three major rebranding efforts, she is now brought into companies to build their sales and marketing processes from the ground up and create powerful demand generation machines. Her focus is now on establishing Immersive Labs as a serious player in the cybersecurity arena and carving out the company’s niche as the world’s first Human Cyber Readiness platform.

Cammett’s goal as a leader is not just about success; it's about building teams, creating respect within and for them, establishing community energy, and opening up pathways for career acceleration and growth. In supporting her people, she creates a tight alignment and a strong culture across multiple teams with transparency, energy, efficiency, and humor. Prior to Immersive Labs, Cammett held senior marketing roles at OutlookSoft Corporation, AwarenessHub, Compuware, Carbon Black, and VoltDB, Inc. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in human services and psychology from Lesley University.


20. Danelle Au
Company: Ordr
Title: Chief Marketing Officer

Danelle Au is the Chief Marketing Officer at Ordr, the leader in IoT and connected device security. With over 20 years of cybersecurity experience, Au spearheads the company’s efforts to bring global awareness of the Ordr platform to IT and security leaders. Ordr is ideally positioned to address the expanded attack surface from the massive growth of connected devices including IoT, IoMT, and OT. While these devices are critical to accelerate digital transformation, they are not always designed with security in mind. Ordr discovers and classifies all devices in the network, profiles risks and behavior, and automates policies to secure these devices at scale.

Prior to Ordr, Au was the CMO at Blue Hexagon, a deep learning for malware protection company, and the CMO at SafeBreach where she helped define the Breach and Attack Simulation category. Previously, she led strategy and marketing at Adallom, a cloud security company acquired by Microsoft, and was also the director of security solutions at Palo Alto Networks. Au was the co-founder of a high-speed networking chipset startup, co-author of an IP Communications book, and holds two U.S. Patents. She writes about cybersecurity for SecurityWeek and Dark Reading and holds a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering from UC Berkeley.


21. Linda Khachooni (tie)
Company: Privacera
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Linda Khachooni is the Chief Financial Officer at Privacera, the cloud data governance and security leader founded by the creators of Apache Ranger™. Privacera offers solutions that ensure compliance with regulations while maximizing the usability for data science and analytics teams. As CFO, Khachooni has been a valuable and trusted member of the Executive Team. She brings 30+ years of experience working with early-stage growth companies to her position at Privacera where she is responsible for finance, legal, operations/HR, negotiations, fundraising, and organizational processes.

Most notably, Khachooni has helped increase Privacera’s team by 130 percent, and she secured outside funding for the company whose mission is to enable data democratization without compromising compliance with regulations such as GDPR, CCPA, LGPD, and HIPAA. Prior to Privacera, she was an integral part of the C-Suite for a number of emerging businesses where she oversaw financial management and growth and managed M&A activities that led to acquisitions by AT&T, eBay, Smith Micro, Riverstone, and Excite. Khachooni received her Bachelor of Science degree in business and economics and her Master of Business Administration degree from San Jose State University.


21. Kathleen Thomas (tie)
Company: Cysiv
Title: Chief Financial Officer

Kathleen Thomas is the Chief Financial Officer at Cysiv. Cysiv’s SOC-as-a-Service combines all the elements of an advanced, proactive, threat hunting SOC, with a managed security stack for hybrid cloud, network, and endpoint security, and delivers them as a 24/7 service, with simple, consumption-based, monthly billing. Thomas brings more than 15 years of experience developing and managing highly functional and progressive financial organizations in the semiconductor and cybersecurity industries. As Cysiv’s CFO, Thomas partners with the executive team and investors to increase the business’s overall value, provide financial and accounting leadership, and contribute to the strategic direction of the company by providing sound strategic advice and ensuring company-wide financial execution.

Prior to joining Cysiv, she held leadership roles at high-growth companies including Zimperium (a leader in mobile threat defense) and DeviceFidelity (acquired by Square Technologies). Thomas holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas, a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from St. Edwards University, and is working toward her AWS Solutions Architect Certification.


22. Harpreet Mangat
Company: Axiad
Title: Vice President, Marketing & Talent Management

Harpreet Mangat leads the branding, marketing, and talent management at Axiad, an identity solutions provider for enterprise, government, and financial organizations. She has over 10 years of U.K. and U.S. marketing experience in developing and directing strategic marketing initiatives in highly charged environments. Mangat’s background includes a blend of internal and external marketing communication, building employee morale, cultivating strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders and employees at all levels of the company to identify goals, conducting strategic planning, and developing and unleashing high-energy marketing plans to swiftly advance aggressive objectives.

Prior to joining Axiad, Mangat held management roles within the healthcare, logistics, and commissioning industries, including at TOTE Maritime, Health Education England, and the NHS Vale Royal Clinical Commissioning Group. Mangat received her Bachelor of Science degree from Aston University and her Master of Science degree in healthcare leadership from the University of Wolverhampton.


23. Lisa Hayashi
Company: SafeGuard Cyber
Title: Senior Vice President of Marketing

Lisa Hayashi is the Senior Vice President of Marketing at SafeGuard Cyber. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, SafeGuard Cyber is a cloud-based technology that protects a company’s social assets from security threats and compliance risk factors. Hayashi joined the company in 2019, working in the San Francisco Bay Area. In her current role, she’s responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy, developing integrated marketing programs across brand, corporate, product, and customer marketing. Hayashi also directs SafeGuard Cyber’s demand generation, corporate communications, public relations, and event marketing activities, while also having an orchestral role in the company’s fundraising and upcoming rebrand.

Prior to joining SafeGuard Cyber, Hayashi was a strategic advisor at JoinREACH, an advisor at goDeskless, and VP of U.S. operations, Playstack at Snatch. She also held varying roles at Igloo Products, VKRM Services, Countrywide Home Loans, Signed & Sealed, and Brocade. Throughout her previous and current roles, Hayashi has leveraged her deep experience in demand generation, innovation, fundraising, and strategic partnerships to achieve growth for the companies she has served. Hayashi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.


24. Nathalie Bureick
Title: Chief Marketing Officer

When Nathalie Bureick came to as Chief Marketing Officer, her goal was to work for a company that makes the world a safer place., a Member of TÜV Saarland, has its headquarters in Munich (Germany) and is a B2B authorization management platform on which brand manufacturers can award trustworthy online partners the forgery-proof real-time seal “Authorized Partner” optionally with TÜV-ShopIdent. The solution not only protects brand manufacturers and consumers, but also affects conversion rates and turnover in online retailing through more security, transparency, and trust.

Bureick is responsible for finding and implementing innovative strategies to establish the platform and its associated services in the European and international marketplace. She focuses on digital cross-channel marketing, marketing automation, brand management, and PR. She has worked in positions of responsibility in marketing for 16 years, in charge of complex products requiring in-depth explanation in the fields of measurement and sensor technology, SaaS, and IoT. Her IT background, comprehensive marketing expertise, instinct for trends, and growth mindset enabled her to build marketing from scratch in several companies and achieve value increases in the double-digit millions.


25. Jennifer Rass
Company: AaDya Security
Title: Chief of Staff

Jennifer Rass is the Chief of Staff for AaDya Security. Headquartered in Detroit, AaDya is the developer of Marzo4, an all-in-one cybersecurity platform that provides smart, simple, effective, and affordable protection for small and midsized businesses. A seasoned communications and cybersecurity professional, Rass brings more than 25 years of experience to AaDya and has led the design and execution of the company’s human resources strategy including culture, staffing, benefits, and employee engagement. Under her leadership, AaDya was awarded recognitions including PowderKeg’s Top Rated Culture award, and was rated a Top 10 Tech Company and “one of the best places to work in the city” by Purpose Jobs in Detroit.

Rass previously held leadership roles at FireEye, Duo Security, and Cisco. She is also a passionate volunteer and community leader and was elected to Birmingham Public School’s Board of Trustees, is a Trustee of the Birmingham Education Foundation, and a Board Member and Walk Chair of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), for which she has helped raise thousands of dollars to fund research. Rass holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Eastern Michigan University.