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June 2017, Vol. 19, No. 5

Wendy Nather: 'We're on a trajectory for profound change'

Wendy Nather jokingly describes herself as a recovering CISO. She started out as a director of IT security in financial services and CISO in state government. She then turned her talents to the "business side of security" and became a research director at 451 Research and the Retail Cyber Intelligence Sharing Center. In December, she joined Duo Security, an authentication software-as-a-service pioneer in Austin, Texas, as principal security strategist. Marcus Ranum caught up with Nather to discuss her journey from private and public sector CISO to information security strategist, and the industry trends she has noticed along the way. How did you wind up in computer security? Wendy Nather: I started when I was 12. I told my dad one day that I was bored -- by the way, don't ever tell your parents that you're bored -- so he tossed a BASIC manual at me and said, 'Go make the bell on the teletype ring.' [The code looks like this: 10 PRINT CHR$(7).] That's how I started in programming: a combination of boredom and my dad having access...

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