Women in Security Forum

The Women in Security Forum

At the ISSA-LA Security Summit

May 16-17, 2019 

The Los Angeles Chapter of ISSA has long been an ardent supporter of diversity in the field of Information/Cyber Security. Our annual Security Summits have always had many women speakers and each year we have featured a Women in Security Panel. At Summit X in 2018, we had a day and a half of top women executives from around the world representing information security, privacy, and other technology-oriented fields.

The fields of Information Technology and Information Security have had a problem attracting and retaining women professionals. This must change! It is becoming particularly crucial not just to give women in our society the opportunities they deserve, but we must address the current and projected vast shortage of qualified IT and InfoSec professionals.

The deficit of women in IT security begins at a young age, when too often girls are dissuaded from pursuing studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), subjects that can form the foundation for the pursuit of a career in IT Security.

Girls need to be inspired to choose careers in Cyber Security, and role models are crucial to attracting young women into the field. This is why it is so important to ensure that all of our events have a focus to have female representation.

There has been a lot of discussion lately, on social media and in blogs, about increasing the number of women in cyber security, but there still remains an ugly side to this: discrimination. Sadly, most women in security have experienced some kind of discrimination during their careers. Men in the field have to have sensitivity towards the prevailing atmosphere and respect and appreciate women in security.

Our mission for our Women in Security Forum is to provide a focus for women in Information Security through talks, panel discussions, peer mentoring, workshops, and networking opportunities. We will have two full days of leading women speakers, including:

  • Chenxi Wang, Managing General Partner at Rain Capital
  • Marci McCarthy, CEO and President, T.E.N.
  • Marnie Wilking, CISO at Orion Health
  • Yun-Kyung (Peggy) Lee, Deputy Regional Manager at US HHS Office for Civil Rights, Pacific Region – Los Angeles Field Office
  • Jennifer Sunshine Steffens, CEO of IOActive, Inc.
  • Cynthia Stamer, Management & Regulatory Attorney at Cynthia Marcotte Stamer, P.C.
  • Wendi Whitmore, Global Partner and Director, IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM
  • Tanya Forsheit, Partner and Chair, Privacy & Data Security Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz
  • Marian Merritt, Lead for Industry Engagement at National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE)

While we proudly stand alongside our women in security colleagues, ISSA-LA is all about a diverse and open community; everyone, regardless of race, gender, religion and experience level, is encouraged to attend and participate.

The Security Summit starts on May 14-15 with one and two-day training classes. You should definitely check these highly discounted classes out for you and your teams at work. The Summit  continues with talks on May 16-17.  We are proud to have two great keynote speakers, whom you will be able to enjoy:

Keynote Speakers:

  • Chenxi Wang, PhDManaging General Partner, Rain Capital
  • Wendy Nather, Head, Advisory CISOs, Duo Security at Cisco
  • Jeremiah Grossman, CEO at Bit Discovery
  • Jackey Lacey, Los Angeles County, District Attorney 

Other Notable Speakers include:

Jim Manico, Dan Cornell, Adam Brand, Kenneth G.. Hartman, Sean Metcalf, Jack Mannino, David Caissy, Jimmy Sanders, Justin Collins, Alan Shimel, Chad Loder, and William Bengston

ISSA-LA, the founding Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association in 1982, is the premier catalyst and information source in Southern California for improving the practice of information security. The Chapter provides various training classes for information Security and IT professionals throughout the year and at the Summit.  ISSA-LA has a CISO Forum that meets quarterly at various companies throughout Southern California. The chapter meets monthly and regularly collaborates with other IT and InfoSec organizations, having joint meetings with ISACA, OWASP, the Cloud Security Alliance, HTCIA, and the Association of IT Professionals.