We are super excited to announce our 2 keynote speakers for our 2020 event!

Friday, Aug 21:
“Empathy as a Service to Create a Culture of Security” by Tracy Z. Maleeff

So-called “soft skills” are greatly undervalued in the Information Security industry. The very core of security involves humans. Rather than tackle human problems with zeros and ones, try to approach security with a more people-minded focus. A former librarian turned Information Security professional will go through examples of how addressing humans can ultimately help security. Using a 7-step framework from the library science discipline, the speaker will help you improve interactions with both colleagues and end users. You will come away with new ideas and a different outlook on how to improve the security posture of your organization.

Tracy Z. Maleeff, aka @InfoSecSherpa, is an Information Security Analyst for The New York Times Company. Prior to joining the Info Sec field, Tracy worked as a librarian in academic, corporate, and law firm libraries. She holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in addition to undergraduate degrees from both Temple University (magna cum laude) and the Pennsylvania State University. While a member of the Special Libraries Association, Tracy received the Dow Jones Innovate Award, the Wolters Kluwer Law & Business Innovations in Law Librarianship award, and was named a Fellow. Tracy has been featured in the Tribe of Hackers: Cybersecurity Advice and Tribe of Hackers: Leadership books. She also received the Women in Security Leadership Award from the Information Systems Security Association. Tracy publishes a daily Information Security & Privacy newsletter, and maintains an OSINT blog. A native of the Philadelphia area, she lives and dies with its sports teams.


Saturday, Aug 22:
“What Does it Mean to Be a Barrier Breaker?” by Yolonda Smith

We often assume ‘Barrier Breaker’ means that someone was ‘the first’ or ‘the only’ to do something and what happens after that is almost a foregone conclusion . That’s not how barriers get broken. It’s kind of like saying, “a single drop of water breaks the dam”, when we know that it takes a critical mass of water, a flood, before the dam will break. In security, especially, we reward the ‘lone hacker’ who discovers a zero-day and tend to dismiss those that come behind who identify similar classes of vulnerabilities or the same vulnerability presented in different ways–as if those discoveries aren’t equally remarkable. Barrier breaking isn’t a one-person phenomenon, it is a movement of people committed to change. Using a handful of examples, I will highlight some barrier breakers in our industry and provide actionable methods that each of us, day by day, and byte by byte, can use to become better barrier breakers.

Yolonda Smith is the Head of Cybersecurity for sweetgreen, a fast-casual salad restaurant chain with over 100 locations across North America whose mission is inspire healthier communities by connecting people to real food. In this role, she is responsible for the development and operationalization of security policy; building high-performing teams which instantiate security practices throughout core business functions and; ensuring that sweetgreen’s two million guests are able to access real food using a trustworthy platform.
A security professional herself, she spent 8 years in the United States Air Force as a Cyberspace Operations Officer with duties and responsibilities varying from Mission Commander, (Advanced Network Operations) where her team planned and executed the first DoD Cyber Threat Hunting Missions to Flight Commander, (Cyber Defense Capabilities Development) where her team developed and fielded the first and only malware neutralization tool for the Predator Drone Weapon System. Additionally, she successfully completed multiple deployments in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom where her teams delivered secure, reliable communications capabilities to forward-deployed units on-demand.

Yolonda holds a litany of degrees and certifications including a Bachelor of Science, Computer Science (University of Notre Dame, 2005), Master of Science, Information Technology, with a concentration in Information Assurance (University of Maryland, 2010) as well as GSEC (2008), GCIH (2011), and CISSP (2008) certifications.


Excited yet? We are! [Grab your tickets today] so you don’t miss out on these and other great talks.