Female Information Security Leaders Honored

Corporate leaders, governor of Michigan honored with third annual Women of Influence Award.

At the Executive Women’s Forum in Scottsdale, Ariz., in September, two corporate security leaders, an engineer for a hardware vendor and the governor of the state of Michigan were honored for their work in driving the security agenda. (The awards are cosponsored by CSO Magazine and Alta Associates, the recruiting firm that runs the conference.) More about the winners:

Susan J. GueliVP of Information Risk ManagementNationwide InsuranceColumbus, Ohio

Since taking on her current role about five years ago, Gueli has developed a comprehensive information risk management program at Nationwide, with a special emphasis on effective reporting and metrics.

Attitude: Information risk management is a business issue, not a technology issue.

Why she was nominated: A consultant who has worked with Gueli for five years praised her ability to influence positive change at Nationwide. She wrote: "We need strong and talented corporate leaders that are able to drive change, not just talk about it. She has embedded information risk management into the culture and values of the organization at Nationwide, and has been able to show positive return and value for the investment in this program."

Women of Influence
Susan Gueli

Suzanne HallInformation Security Officer and Director of IT OperationsAARPWashington, D.C.

A CPA and IT consultant by training, Hall was recruited out of internal audit into IT and then launched the creation of the association’s first-ever information security program in 1999.

Attitude: Security’s philosophy should be one of business enablement, not hindrance.

Why she was nominated: A vendor noted that Hall has influence in every direction: upward to the board of directors; downward to protegees, whom she often brings to meetings; and externally through a Third Party Security program, which requires vendors to follow industry best-practices in their work at AARP. The program has been cited as a model by other security executives.

Women of Influence
Suzanne Hall

Radia Perlman Distinguished EngineerSun MicrosystemsMenlo Park, Calif.

A prolific inventor, Perlman holds 80 patents and has another 15 pending, many of which contribute to the field of network security.

Attitude: Perlman is not a "female engineer"; she’s an engineer.

Why she was nominated: One of the hard things about influencing is being able to explain things that are technically complex, and this is a skill that Perlman has in spades. A colleague wrote that "her communication skills are lauded by everyone who works with her. She asks difficult, probing questions; explains complex material to people of all technical levels; and leads intellectually stimulating brainstorms."

Women of Influence
Radia Perlman

Jennifer M. GranholmGovernorState of Michigan

Since taking office in 2003 as Michigan’s first woman chief executive, Gov. Granholm has encouraged regular cabinet briefings on IT security, instituted cybersecurity training for all state employees and supported the creation of an Office of Enterprise Security. While serving as attorney general in 1999, she was a leader in establishing Michigan’s first High Tech Crime Unit and worked with other states to establish similar offices.

Attitude: Raise the knowledge base about security within government, while educating citizens about how to protect themselves.

Why she was nominated: A director of the Michigan Department of IT wrote: "Governor Granholm ‘gets it’ when all things related to information technology are discussed. She consistently encourages innovation and ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking in all areas of government."

Women of Influence
Governor Jennifer Granholm

Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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