The Software Report is pleased to announce the Top 25 Women Leaders in Cybersecurity of 2019. 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 professional capabilities. The Software Report also conducted candidate evaluation based on research of qualified information sources and publicly available information. 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. Congratulations to each of this year's awardees.
Angela McKay is the Senior Director of Cybersecurity Policy and Strategy within Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft. Angela also serves on the Board of Councilors for the East West Institute, a think tank focused on international conflict resolution, and as Microsoft’s Point of Contact for the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee, which provides the President of the United States with recommendations to maintain reliable, secure, and resilient communications. Previously, Angela led Microsoft’s cybersecurity policy work in the U.S., and its work to increase cybersecurity capacity internationally. Before joining Microsoft in 2008, she worked at Booz Allen Hamilton on cybersecurity policy and communications resiliency, and at BellSouth Telecommunications as an engineer. Angela holds a bachelor’s of Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Kara Sprague is the Senior Vice President and General Manager of F5’s Application Delivery Controller (ADC) business unit, responsible for the company’s ADC product portfolio management, product and solutions. Kara joined F5 in 2017 from McKinsey and Company, where in her thirteen-year tenure she held various leadership positions across their technology practice. Most recently she led the Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice for the Western Region. Prior to McKinsey, Kara was on the engineering staff of Oracle, Agilent Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard. A trained computer scientist and electrical engineer, she holds two master’s degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and serves on the board of Girls Who Code.
Debbie Umbach is the Vice President of Marketing at BitSight Technologies, the pioneer of and leader in security ratings, where she is responsible for the Company’s global marketing strategy and corporate communications. Founded in 2011, BitSight built its Security Ratings Platform to continuously analyze vast amounts of external data on security issues and behaviors in order to help organizations manage third party risk, underwrite cyber insurance policies, benchmark performance, conduct M&A due diligence and assess aggregate risk. Debbie has held key positions in the tech industry with organizations of various sizes ranging from 20 employees to 70,000 including Akamai, SAP, RSA, and VCE. She joined BitSight in 2014 as employee #39 and has since helped the Company grow its customers base more than tenfold to 1,600 customers. Today, BitSight has nearly 500 employees. Debbie earned a bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering from The University of Virginia and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Sheila Jordan is the Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Symantec, a global leader in cybersecurity solutions for enterprises. Since joining Symantec in February 2014, Sheila has set the vision and strategy for Symantec IT, developed an experienced leadership team, and insourced IT operations from an outside vendor by building Symantec’s next generation secure data center in the company’s virtual private cloud. Prior to joining Symantec, Sheila served as senior Vice President of Communication and Collaboration IT at Cisco Systems. During her nine-year tenure at Cisco, Sheila’s IT organization was recognized by the industry with awards presented by CITE, InformationWeek and CIO Magazine. In June 2016, Sheila joined the Board of Directors of FactSet Research Systems Inc., a leading global research company that delivers the world's best insight and information to investment professionals through superior analytics, service, content, and technology. She holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Florida Institute of Technology.
Keenan Skelly is the Vice President of Global Partnerships & Security Evangelist for Circadence, a leading cybersecurity firm that leverages artificial intelligence and training platforms to address critical security challenges for enterprise, government and academic institutions. Throughout her 20 years of experience in the field, Keenan has continued to surpass the expectations of others and inspire other females in the cybersecurity field to achieve. She was one of the first female U.S. Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technicians and is among the less than 15% of executive leaders in cybersecurity who are female. Keenan has mentored more than 100 young women and girls to encourage interest in cybersecurity and actively works with organizations such as Cyber Patriot, Girls Who Code and Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu. She earned two bachelor’s degrees from American Military University, one in Homeland Security and the other in Information Technology as well as two master’s degrees in National Security Policy Studies from National Defense University and Cybersecurity Strategy and Information Management from The George Washington University.
Dana Tamir is the Vice President of Market Strategy at Silverfort, which protects enterprises from data breaches, cyber attacks and insider threats by preventing identity-based attacks. The Company was founded by leading cybersecurity and cryptography experts from the 8200 elite cyber unit of the Israeli Intelligence Corps. Dana is an accomplished marketing and product leader, having held key senior positions with industry leading cybersecurity companies such as Trusteer, Imperva and Symantec. At Silverfort, she built the marketing team from the ground up driving product sales growth. Previously, as Trusteer’s Director of Enterprise Security, Product Marketing, she led the marketing initiatives around Apex endpoint security, which was the core consideration for IBM’s acquisition of the company for $650 million. Dana graduated from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
Sigalit Shavit is the 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.
Sarah Walker is the Vice President of Engineering for White Ops, the leading provider of cybersecurity technology for the detection and prevention of advanced bot and malware fraud, protecting the entire digital advertising ecosystem and enterprise organizations across the globe. Sarah is a software engineering leader with over 20 years of experience, she first joined White Ops in 2016 as the Company’s Director of Engineering and was named Vice President the following year. She has worked in the IT field since 1998 and got her start at American Management Systems then moving on to Sapient, where she was for several years and rose to Manager. Sarah has held a number of key senior positions with technology companies including FreeWheel, Annalect Group, American Express and Next Jump. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from James Madison University.
Vasu Jakkal is the Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of FireEye, a leading cybersecurity company that provides front-line expertise and intelligence. Vasu joined FireEye in September 2017, bringing 18 years of technology industry experience, including senior management roles at Brocade, LSI and Intel. Prior to FireEye, Vasu was Vice President of Corporate Marketing at Brocade. She previously served as chief of staff to LSI's CEO and was head of strategic initiatives and marketing for the company. Earlier in her career, she spent more than a decade at Intel in a variety of leadership roles in marketing, engineering, strategy, and general management. Vasu holds a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from College of Engineering, Pune.
Jennifer Wang is the Vice President of Customer Success at Vectra, a global leader in AI-powered network detection and response. Jennifer brings successful prior experience in building and leading customer-facing teams for enterprise cybersecurity software companies. Most recently, she was Vice President of Customer Success at Agari, where she was responsible for post-sales functions, with a focus on the continuous success of customers from onboarding to renewal and expansion. Before that, Jennifer spent close to 11 years at Proofpoint in customer success, professional services and sales engineering roles, from start-up to post-IPO. She started her career in professional services at Netscape. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory and cognition from Northwestern University. Through it all, Jennifer brings a sales and customer focus to every interaction, balancing people, the customer, the product, and the business.
Ola Sergatchov is the Vice President of Corporate Strategy for GuardiCore, a leading provider of internal data center security and breach detection. Ola joined GuardiCore from IBM where she led world-wide portfolio strategy and go-to-market for IBM Security Identity and Access Management (IAM) solutions. Prior to that she held leadership positions in Oracle, global system integrators and various start-ups, focusing on business development, go-to-market, customer success and global projects delivery. Ola is a security expert with more than 15 years of technical, pre-sales and IT services leadership experience. She graduated from The Hebrew University of Journalism with a bachelor’s in Economics and Business Administration.
Julie Parrish is the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer of RedSeal, which provides security analytics and incidence response technology for government agencies and global 2000 companies. Julie has been with RedSeal since 2016 bringing with her deep experience across well-known technology and cybersecurity companies. Most recently, she was the CMO of Check Point Software and before that was the CMO of NetApp. She also held senior positions at Symantec where she was the Vice President of the Global Channel Office driving channel strategy, programs and infrastructure to support the company’s more than 60,000 partners around the world. Julie began her career with Hewlett-Packard and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Decision Information Science from Santa Clara University.
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.
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.
Eleanor Lacey is the Chief Legal Officer of Sophos, which provides a complete security solution to more than 100 million users in 150 countries. Eleanor joined the Company in 2016 from SurveyMonkey, where she was Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, and was the Executive Sponsor of Diversity and Inclusion. Prior to joining SurveyMonkey in 2012, Eleanor was General Counsel and Vice President of Business Development at Corel Corporation, during which time the company completed its transition to a private company and undertook significant corporate restructuring. Before moving to Corel Corporation, Eleanor held the position of Vice President of Corporate Development at SupportSoft, Inc. She received her J.D. from Yale Law School, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in History and English from the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst.
Deepika Chauhan is the Executive Vice President of Emerging Markets for DigiCert, a leading provider of high-assurance digital certificates. Deepika has over 15 years of experience in strategy, product development and management, marketing and sales and business operations. She spent over seven years as an engagement manger with McKinsey with a focus on the technology sector. Most recently prior to DigiCert, Deepika was the Vice President of Strategy and Business Operations for Symantec. She began her career as a technology manager for Nokia, where she was for over six years. Deepika earned an MBA from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a bachelor’s degree for Delhi Institute of Technology.
Ashley Fidler is the Chief Product Officer of eSentire, the largest pure-play managed detection and response service provider. Ashley leads product at eSentire where it is building the next generation of managed cybersecurity. Previously, she was the Vice President of Product for Versive, where she led a cross-functional product team to develop a machine learning engine to uncover cybersecurity threats in corporate networks. Prior to Versive, she was a program manager and computational linguist for Microsoft. Ashley earned a master’s and PhD in Linguistics from Georgetown University, a master’s from The University of Edinburgh, and a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado.
Bina Chaurasia is the Chief People Officer of Tanium, which provides a platform technology for endpoint management and security. Bina was most recently SVP and Chief HR Officer at Ericsson, where she was instrumental in building a global human resource function and developing and implementing the people strategy to support business transformation. She has deep expertise in human resources, working across diverse sectors with companies including Hewlett Packard, Gap, Inc., Sun Microsystems, and PepsiCo/Yum! At Tanium, Bina is responsible for developing and implementing all people enablement initiatives in support of the Company’s overall strategic direction. Bina holds a master’s in Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a master’s in Management & Human Resources from Ohio State University.
Meerah Rajavel is the Chief Information Officer for Forcepoint, a cybersecurity company that protects data and identities for thousands of enterprise and government clients. She brings more than 25 years of experience in information technology to Forcepoint. Most recently, she was the CIO at Qlik, a visual analytics company, where she led efforts to build an IT infrastructure and operational excellence strategy to support rapid growth on a global scale. Before joining Qlik, Meerah led IT cloud services for all McAfee products at Intel Security. Earlier in her career, she held IT leadership, research & development and product development roles at Cisco Systems, Infosys, Nortel, Cybersource and Solix. Meerah holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science & Engineering from Anna University in Chennai, India and an MBA from Santa Clara University.
Tara Long is the Senior Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at McAfee, one of the world’s largest pure-play cybersecurity companies. Tara leads mergers and acquisitions and business development for the Company. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Strategy and Corporate Development at Seagate, where she completed M&A transactions worth $2 million to $2 billion across the hardware, software, and services industries. Prior to Seagate, Tara served as Managing Director and Director of Research at MCG Capital Corporation and Managing Director and Equity Research Analyst at C.E. Unterberg, Towbin. She has served on a variety of boards, including eASIC, Reduxio, Link-a-Media, and Drobo. Tara earned her bachelor's degree in economics from Marquette University and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
Liz Shulof is the Senior Vice President of Marketing of BeyondTrust, a global leader in privileged access management. Liz is responsible for all aspects of marketing, including corporate communications, digital marketing, product marketing, and field marketing. She has more than 15 years of experience developing and managing strategic and marketing initiatives for B2B technology companies. Before joining BeyondTrust, Liz served as Vice President at Greenough Communications, where she managed public relations programs for clients, including Quest Software, Numara Software, and IGEL Technology. Previously, she spent more than five years in strategy and technology consulting with Accenture. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Purdue University.
Mison Riggins is the cybersecurity subject matter expert at Inspired eLearning, which offers turn-key security awareness and compliance programs. She has authored several key publications on important cybersecurity related topics covering frontline defense against cyberwar. Mison earned a master’s in security science with a specialization in information assurance and since then she has focused on cultivating a security first mindset that transcends company silos and departments. She began pursuing her broader career path of education by earning a teaching certificate from Texas State University and subsequently certifications in computer hacking forensics and systems security. Inspired eLearning in many ways is the optimal conduit for accomplishing Mison’s career goals. The Company provides enterprise-class security training which includes a Cybersecurity Quotient and Anti-Phishing Simulator. It was founded in 2003 and is based out of San Antonio, TX.
Nita White-Ivy is the Executive Vice President of Human Resources for Blackberry, a leading provider of end-to-end mobility solutions that are the most secure and trusted. Nita is responsible for leading the HR team to design and deliver global programs, initiatives, partnerships, solutions and services to support the achievement of the company’s operational goals and strategic objectives. Prior to BlackBerry, she served as Chief People Officer and Chief Human Resources Officer for SAP Cloud and SuccessFactors. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Worldwide Human Resources for Sybase, Inc., where she was responsible for providing and implementing high quality, state-of-the-art human resource and security services and programs for Sybase employees, management, executives and campuses worldwide.
Nita has an MBA from Santa Clara University and earned her bachelor’s in Business Administration with finance and accounting major with honors.
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.
Sabina Knotter-Finney is the Vice President of Business Operations for Agari, which leverages data science and real-time intelligence to detect, defend and deter email attacks. Sabina joined Agari in 2015 originally as a Director of Business Operations and Chief of Staff to the CEO. She has an extensive career in technology previously serving in a variety of elevated roles within Oracle over a 15 year period culminating in her role leading consultants in delivering Oracle’s EBusiness Suite across South East Europe, Slovakia and Austria. Most recently prior to Agari, Sabina was the Director of Business Operations for MongoDB. There she built system infrastructure and improved business processes. She received her master’s in computer science from Technische Universitat Wien.