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BIPOC in Cybersecurity Forum: From Inclusion to Equity

  • Thursday, October 1, 2020 | 10:00 am - 2:15 pm EDTThursday, October 01, 2020 at 10:00 AM EDT (2020-10-01 14:00:00 UTC)
  • Lodrina Cherne, Chris Cochran, Ronald Eddings, Tomiko Evans, Mari Galloway, Jessica Gulick, Stephen A. Hart, InfoSteph, Christina Morillo, Xena Olsen, Mansi Thakar, Dominique West, Larry Whiteside

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Presented by SANS Summits

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We've known for years that, to address the talent gap in cybersecurity, the industry needs to be much more proactive in recruiting and training Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) for cyber jobs. BIPOC are still woefully underrepresented, and though theres been a groundswell of support in recent months, many of those outstanding efforts are targeted at bringing BIPOC into the field. What about the people already working in cybersecurity? How do we amplify and support BIPOC who have cybersecurity skills and experience to elevate them to senior and leadership positions? Diversity and inclusion initiatives remain vitally important, but it's time to expand our efforts to achieve true equity.

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10:00 - 10:10 AM EDT - Welcome & Opening Remarks

Lodrina Cherne @hexplates, SANS Institute

Stephen A. Hart @stephenahart, SANS Institute

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10:10 - 10:35 AM EDT - Keynote: The Language of Equality: Re-Writing Cybersecurity Education to Reflect a Commitment to Equity

Lodrina Cherne @hexplates, SANS Institute

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10:35 - 10:40 AM EDT - Break

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10:40 - 11:15 AM EDT - Panel: Good on Paper: Packaging Your Skills and Experience

Moderator: Larry Whiteside, Jr. @LarryWhiteside, Co-Founder & President, International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) @ICMCP_ORG

  • Jenai Marinkovic, vCISO/CTO, Tiro Security
  • Jessica Robinson, Founder & CEO, PurePoint International
  • Steffanie AK Schilling @SAKSchilling, Global Program Manager - Cybersecurity Policy, Communications, and Security Awareness, AmTrust Financial Services
  • Sherron Burgess, SVP & CISO, BCD Travel

There are so many different paths that can lead us to careers in cybersecurity, and a myriad of ways to develop technical skills. But too often, the recruiting and hiring process for cybersecurity jobs still emphasizes traditional criteria, including a college degree and a set number of years of work experience. What do you do when your background doesnt fit the mold, but you know youre qualified for the position? How do you get past the gatekeepers to a hiring manager who will value the totality of your experience? How can your online presence (LinkedIn profiles, blog posts, etc.) bolster your candidacy if your resume doesnt tell the whole story? Our panel will explore ways to package and present your skills and expertise to advance your career.

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11:15 - 11:35 AM EDT - Authentic at Work: Assimilating vs Bringing Your Whole Self to Work in Infosec and Tech

Christina Morillo @divinetechygirl, Microsoft

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11:35 - 11:45 AM EDT - Break

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11:45AM - 12:20PM EDT - Panel: You Got a Job in Cybersecurity!... Now What?!

Moderator: Toni Benson, Cyber Defense Education and Training (CDET), Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)


So often, we hear of the struggle for those trying to break into the cybersecurity field, but seldom do conversations involve what to do once youre in the field. Join our panel of professionals wholl discuss how to level up your cybersecurity career.

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12:20 - 12:35 PM EDT - Break

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12:35 - 12:55 PM EDT - Owning Your Narrative: Lessons from #SharetheMicinCyber

Camille Stewart @CamilleEsq, Google

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1:00 - 1:30 PM EDT - Public Speaking: Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway

Xena Olsen @ch33r10

Yup, public speaking can be scary; approximately 25% of people say they suffer from some degree of glossophobia. (Yes, theres a name for it!) But the benefits of presenting at industry conferences and events make it worth the risk. You'll establish credibility, make connections, and hone skills that will serve you well in other settings like pitching ideas or planning and executing projects with deliverables or giving progress reports to senior management. Xena, who's always a little bit nervous but does it anyway, will discuss how developing a public speaking persona can boost your career, how to find opportunities and support, the possible downsides to public speaking as an underrepresented minority, and how to calm or at least harness your nerves to give a stand-out presentation.

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1:30 - 2:10 PM EDT - Panel: Building Your Brand: Blogging and Podcasting Your Way to Leadership

Moderator: Stephen Hart @stephenahart, SANS Institute


Often, getting great opportunities is all about who you know. But sometimes, especially in the age of social media, it's about who knows you. Blogs, podcasts, LinkedIn articles, and Twitter personas are some of the ways to create a vast network, establish your own voice and expertise, and provide a crucial leg-up for other underrepresented minorities in the industry. Hear from a panel of cybersecurity practitioners who have

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2:10 - 2:15 PM EDT - Wrap-Up

Lodrina Cherne @hexplates, SANS Institute

Stephen A. Hart @stephenahart, SANS Institute

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Speaker Bios

Lodrina Cherne

A lifelong curiosity about technology and puzzles, and particularly codes and cryptography, made digital forensics a perfect career for Lodrina Cherne. She sees forensics investigation as a series of facts and data waiting to be identified and discovered, sometimes leading to a clear path, other times showing the investigator that more needs to be done. Lodrina brings that curiosity to her professional work and to her role as an instructor for SANS FOR500: Windows Forensic Analysis.

Lodrina is a Partner and Services Product Manager at Cybereason, where she collaborates with customers to deliver optimal solutions. Previously she worked as a computer forensics examiner for Arsenal Consulting, where she focused on preservation and analysis of electronic evidence, including host-based analysis of Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS systems in matters concerning intellectual property theft, employment disputes, and evidence tampering.

Lodrina has a bachelor's degree in computer science from Boston University and holds the GCFE, GCFA, and GASF certifications. She is a member of the GIAC Advisory Board, contributes to the Forensics Wiki, and is a two-time Lethal Forensicator Coin Holder.

Lodrina is a powerhouse outside of work as well. She's an internationally classed powerlifter who earned the title of National Champion at the 2013 USA Powerlifting championship and received the bronze medal at the 2014 IPF World Championships. She is also a volunteer case reviewer for the Massachusetts foster care system.

Chris Cochran

Chris Cochran is former active duty US Marine Intelligence. He currently leads threat intelligence for a premier entertainment company in Silicon Valley. Chris has dedicated his career to building advanced cybersecurity and intelligence capabilities for national-level governments and the private sector. Chris has made it his personal mission to motivate and empower cybersecurity professionals and teams through coaching, his podcast Hacker Valley Studio, and speaking engagements. His concern for the ever-growing cyber skill gap serves as a motivator for his desire to inspire the next generation of cyber warriors to take the helm.

Ronald Eddings

Ronald Eddings is a Silicon Valley based cybersecurity expert, blogger and digital nomad whose ingenuity, dedication, and ambition have earned him a reputation as a trusted industry leader. Over the course of his career, he has garnered extensive experience, working at various fortune 500 companies and mentoring a multitude of fellow professionals along the way. In addition to cybersecurity, he is well-versed in software development, devops, and artificial intelligence.

Tomiko Evans

Tomiko Evans work as a Cybersecurity Specialist at Cybercrime Support Network (CSN). She is one of the Atlanta Chapter’s founding member for Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu. She was appointed a judge for the 2020 Ally of the Year Award for Inteligenca, Inc and the 2020 Cyberjutsu Awards for Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu. She was one of the invited guests on many podcasts, including ITSPMagazine, Tech and Main, and Bridge and Tech. In 2019, Tomiko won multiple awards. The Cyber Rising Star award from Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu and the ISC2 ISLA Up-and-Coming Award. She spoke at multiple speaking engagements, where she was invited to come a second time to speak at the ISC2 Security Congress conference, in addition to being on multiple panels. She is an active speaker and has been featured in various events as well as podcasts. After working nearly 20 years in the information technology field, Tomiko Evans decided to go back to school earning a Master of Science Degree in Cybersecurity Technology with honors from the multi-award-winning program at University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC). She also holds a US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 107 Drone Certification, where she is licensed as an FAA Certified Drone Pilot. In order to pursue her passion to integrate cybersecurity discipline into the protection of systems and information in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), she launched a startup called Aerial Footprint, LLC. Tomiko has also been combining her interdisciplinary professional skills and innovative artistry to produce introductory videos and educational content with poetry and rap. As Tomiko Evans continue her journey to spread awareness to all communities, she hopes to lead the next generation towards a passion of cybersecurity and drone technology.

Mari Galloway

Mari is the CEO and a founding board member for the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), one of the fastest growing 501c3 non-profit cybersecurity communities dedicated to bringing more women and girls to cyber. WSC provides its members with the resources and support required to enter and advance as a cybersecurity professional. Mari began her cyber career with Accenture where she excelled as a Network Engineer. Mari is also the inaugural ISC2 Diversity Award winner for 2019. With over 10 years of Information Technology, 8 of which are in cybersecurity, her experience spans network design and security architecture, risk assessments, vulnerability management, incident response and policy development across government and commercial industries. She holds a variety of technical and management certifications (CISSP, GIAC, CCNA, etc) as well as a Bachelor's degree in Computer Information Systems from Columbus State University and a Master of Science in Information Systems from Strayer University. Mari is currently a resident of Las Vegas working to secure the Gaming industry of the south west as a Sr. Security Architect. She regularly contributes content to security blogs and training companies across the country as well as an Adjunct Professor for UMGC. Outside of being a geek, Mari enjoys arts, puzzles, and legos! @marigalloway mostlymimi.com

Jessica Gulick

Jessica Gulick is founder, president, and CEO of Katzcy Consulting, a woman-owned growth strategy and marketing firm specializing in cybersecurity start-ups and SMBs. A CISSP and PMP, Gulick is a 20-year veteran in the cybersecurity industry with proven experience in strategy, cyber policy, business metrics, global marketing and security program management. She has successfully launched multiple award-winning global cyber marketing campaigns for services, products, and cyber competitions. Her portfolio of work also includes the authorship of strategic cybersecurity plans for federal government agencies and whitepapers for private companies, cybersecurity consulting, and engineering projects for national security and financial clients, and a public-private initiative launching the first Maryland Cyber Challenge and Conference.

Stephen A. Hart

Stephen A. Hart is the Marketing Manager for the SANS Institute's Cyber Defense curriculum and the host of Trailblazers.FM, an interview-style podcast that delves deep into bold conversations with brilliant Black men and women - legendary creators, best-selling authors, self-driven entrepreneurs, and passionate leaders.

Stephen has been featured in Black Enterprise, Apple Podcasts, Podcast Movement, Fortune.com, Thrive Global and several other media outlets. He is a proud Jamaican who resides in Maryland, married to his wife Kristin and considers himself the #bestdadever to their two 'crumbsnatchers', Layla and Nigel.


For her day job, InfoSteph serves as a regional information security analyst. Outside of work, however, InfoSteph has filled her life with all kinds of cool activities. She serves as a Lead for WoSEC Houston and a Lead for WISP DEFCON 2019. She has also started speaking at conferences this year. She co-hosts a "happy hour" inspired podcast called Coolest Nerds in the Room, where conversation surrounding the lives of tech people are nurtured. She attends school full time, hoping to obtain her Bachelor's by the end of the spring. She had the honor of being a delegate for Security Field Day 2 and Tech Field Day 20. She writes blog posts on her website, StephAndSec.com, which is also her side business. And she is working on a course for LinkedIn Learning on Social Engineering and Security Awareness. Stephanie recognizes those that inspired her or helped her get to where she is today and hopes that everything she does moving forward does the same for others.

Follow Steph on Twitter and LinkedIn, or visit her online at StephAndSec.com. Her podcast is also available everywhere.

Christina Morillo

Christina Morillo is an information security, enterprise identity professional, and technical security product manager. Christina's experience across enterprise security and identity, insider threat, cloud identity and security programs & deployments, have taken her to companies like Morgan Stanley, Fitch Ratings, AllianceBernstein, Microsoft and currently Marqeta. She advocates for and is passionate about meeting people and companies where they are, and is also a proponent of making security practical, accessible and easy to digest (sometimes with the help of basketball analogies :). When she is not spending time with her family, or knee deep in her graduate studies, you can find her co-leading Women in Security and Privacy’s NYC chapter and supporting others in the tech & security community as an advisor and mentor.

Xena Olsen

Xena Olsen is a cyber threat intelligence analyst in the financial services industry. A graduate of SANS Women’s Academy with 7 GIAC certifications, an MBA IT Management, and a doctoral student in Cybersecurity at Marymount University.

Mansi Thakar

Mansi Thakar is the Chief Operating Officer and has over 5 years of experience leading national nonprofits. She has a flair for sustainable innovative ideas and a history of implementing them successfully. With an undergraduate degree in chemistry, Thakar decided to get a cyber security degree after becoming intrigued with the field and realizing how highly transferable and applicable a degree in the discipline would be. To Thakar, cyber security is a field where you can be a superhero. But when you’re a modern-day tech protector facing millions of malware threats, you need backup. That is why she is drawn to the space where cyber security meets machine learning. Thakar wants to help shape how we meet the growing magnitude of cyber threats through data and automation. This challenge energizes her – the same way she is energized by the challenge of being one of the few women in the field, even though it is sometimes difficult. She knows that what she achieves can have a ripple effect and inspire others. She also plays a Lead role in the PBS Documentary, Life Hackers and is a key member of the DefCon NOC. When she isn't discussing infosec, she can be found crocheting InfoSec memorabilia for the community.

Dominique West

Dominique West is currently a Senior Cloud Security Consultant for a multinational professional services and creator of the Security in Color cybersecurity podcast. Achieving her CISSP and Master’s degree in cybersecurity, Dominique is deeply passionate about cloud security & cyber awareness, with 8 years of experience in IT spanning risk, vulnerability, incident and response, cloud transformation & security across the commercial industries.

In addition to her professional endeavors she founded a platform, Securityincolor.com, that delivers top national and world cyber and cloud security news in a modern and digestible format via podcast format. Aimed at new and continuing cyber and cloud security professionals, Dominique aims to help the next generation of cybersecurity professionals succeed in the field. Additional, Dominique also leads the Atlanta chapter of the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, a nationwide non-profit with the aim of empowering women in the field of information security.

Larry Whiteside

Larry Whiteside Jr. is a veteran CISO, former USAF Officer, and thought leader in the Cybersecurity field. He has 25+ years experience in building and running cybersecurity programs, holding C Level Security executive roles in multiple industries including DoD, Federal Government, Financial Services, Healthcare, and Critical Infrastructure.

Larry is a Co-Founder and President, and on the Board of Directors at the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP), a 501(c)3 non-profit association that is dedicated to increase the number of minorities and women in the cybersecurity career field through providing workforce development that includes skills assessment, training, education, mentorship, and opportunity.

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