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Who are the top CEOs in cyber security?

Padlock symbol for computer data protection system

Not only can a cyberattack be detrimental to your company’s reputation, but it can also be very expensive. We took a closer look at some of the best CEOs in cyber security.

This list is in no particular order.

Robert M. Lee, Dragos

Lee is the CEO and founder of Dragos. Dragos is a cybersecurity company that provides critical visibility of cyber threats through a software platform so that threats can become quickly identified before they become a bigger issue.

Lee has been in the US Air Force as a Cyber Warfare Operations Officer, where he performed defence, intelligence and attack missions in a variety of government organisations including the creation of a cyber threat intelligence and intrusion analysis mission. Lee currently serves as the vice-chair of a World Economic Forum subcommittee on the Cyber Resilience Committee.

George Kurtz, CrowdStrike

Kurtz is the CEO and co-founder of cybersecurity company CrowdStrike. He is also the founder of Foundstone and the CTO for McAfee, arguably one of the world’s biggest and most well-known cybersecurity companies.

During his time at McAfee, Kurtz helped to build the company’s strategy for security risk management – he also led research around Night Dragon and Shady RAT threats. On a flight, Kurtz watched McAfee take 15 minutes to load on the laptop of the person sitting next to him, an event he would later cite as being the reason for him founding CrowdStrike.

In comparison, CrowdStrike attempts to identify the techniques used by hackers to spot threats instead of focusing on anti-malware and antivirus products.

Gil Shwed, Check Point Software

Gil Shwed is the co-founder and CEO of one of Israel’s largest technology companies, Check Point Software Technologies. The company is the world’s largest pure-play cyber security company.

Shwed founded Check Point Software in 1993 with Schkini Kramer and Marius Nacht, with the company going public on Nasdaq in 1996. He currently owns 20% of the company and has a net worth of $3.2 billion (£2.6 billion). Shwed is considered the inventor of the computer firewall.

Christy Wyatt, Absolute

Christy Wyatt is the CEO of Absolute. She has been named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 50 Women Entrepreneurs of America, Information Security’s CEO of the Year, and one of the Fierce Wireless “Most Influential Women in Wireless”.

Absolute is one of the first companies to offer real-time remediation of security breaches at the source. Previously, Wyatt has held executive roles in Citigroup, Motorola, Apple, and Sun Microsystems. At Absolute, Wyatt has been a leader in endpoint resilience and the only endpoint provider embedded in over 500 million devices globally. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Silicon Labs and BC Tech.

John Chen, BlackBerry Ltd

John Chen is a Hong Kong-born executive chairman and CEO of Blackberry Ltd. Prior to working for BlackBerry, he served as the CEO and president of Sybase, a software company specialising in data management and analytics. Chen was appointed to BlackBerry in 2013 and is responsible for defining the company’s vision and goals and setting its strategy.

Chen has been celebrated for moving the company away from its mobile hardware business to a cybersecurity and embedded software company.

Tomer Weingarten, SentinelOne

Tomer Weingarten is the Co-founder and CEO of SentinelOne. SentinelOne was formed when he had the idea to change the way companies protect their data and devices by building software that prevents and deflects cyber attacks in real time instead of just observing the attack. He is responsible for the company’s direction, products and services strategy.

Pam Murphy, Imperva

Pam Murphy is the CEO of Imperva, a cybersecurity company with a goal of protecting data and all paths to it. Imperva protects cloud applications, websites, applications, files, and databases from both theft and extortion attacks like distributed denial of service (DDoS) and ransomware. Pam previously served as COO for Infor, the world’s third-largest enterprise software company.

The company has a goal to protect critical assets from cybercriminals. Chris Hylen, the company’s previous CEO, resigned from the company last year after a data breach that impacted customers of Imperva’s Cloud Web Application Firewall (WAF).

Bill Holtz, Sectigo

Sectigo provides web security solutions for businesses of all sizes. The company is a global Certificate Authority (CA) with more than 700,000 customers and over 20 years of online trust experience. Since 2017, Holtz has been the president and CEO of Sectigo, where he has managed the company’s successful rebranding, expanded the company globally, and grew its employee base.

In 2021, Holtz was named one of the Top 25 Cybersecurity Executives of 2021 by The Software Report.

Pieter Danhieux, Secure Code Warrior

Co-founder and CEO of Secure Code Warrior, Australian-born Pieter Danhieux has over 12 years of experience as a security consultant. Secure Code Warrior is a gamified environment where developers and security testers can learn how to properly identify and fix security weaknesses in software. The company has the aim to build solutions for secure coding. The company wants to champion change in secure coding by inspiring a global community of security-conscious developers through its coding, stamping out poor coding practices.

Pieter was one of the youngest people in Belgium to obtain the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) certification.

Poppy Gustafsson, Darktrace

Darktrace is a finalist at this year’s Go:Tech Awards 2022. Having previously been the company’s CFO and COO, Gustafsson has been in the business since 2013. UK-based Darktrace uses self-learning AI algorithms to detect and neutralise cyber threats.

According to the company, Darktrace has experienced significant growth and expansion since Gustafsson’s leadership.

Prakash Panjwani, WatchGuard

Prakash Panjwani is WatchGuard’s CEO and a member of its Board of Directors. Panjwani is focused on expanding WatchGuard’s portfolio of security products and services and delivering widely deployable, enterprise-grade security to small and medium businesses.

Prior to joining WatchGuard, Prakash Panjwani was CEO at SafeNet, one of the largest information security companies on the globe.

Carey O’Connor Kolaja, AU10TIX

Kolaja has described herself as a ‘resident problem solver and industry disrupter’.

She spent 13 years at PayPal and four years at Citibank before taking on a role as CEO at AU10TIX, the world’s first enterprise solution for identity verification and management. The company, which is based in Israel, harnesses deep learning to verify and authenticate ID documents without the need for human intervention.

Eva Chen, Trend Micro

Eva Chen is the Co-founder and CEO of Trend Micro, one of the world’s largest security firms. In 2012, she made the Forbes list of ‘Asia’s 50 Power Businesswomen’. Since Trend Micro’s inception in 1988, Chen has spearheaded Trend Micro’s emergence as one of the world’s most innovative Internet content security companies.

Hed Kovetz, Silverfort

Hed serves as Silverfort’s CEO and is one of the company’s Co-founders. Silverfort provides unified security including both legacy and cloud, and extends visibility and protection to assets that couldn’t be protected before, without modifying them.

He brings a technical and leadership background, including product leadership roles at Verint, where he led the company’s nation-scale cyber security product and won the company’s innovation competition for his patent-pending inventions. Hed previously served as a Group Leader at the famous 8200 elite cyber unit of the Israel Defense Forces, where he received the unit’s excellence awards and the Chief of Intelligence Corps Award for Innovation. Hed holds an LL.B. from Tel Aviv University.

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