Karen Worstell, MS, MA is a cybersecurity expert who was inspired to study cybersecurity while a computer science grad student after her professor encrypted a final exam. She had to use her kit of code-breaking tools – and the rest, as they say, is history.
Her work was initially in research at companies like Boeing and SRI Consulting to develop computing models for the emerging world of distributed computing and the Internet. She presented appeals for improving cybersecurity for the Internet alongside luminaries like Donn Parker, Peter Neumann, Rhonda MacLean, the late Howard Schmidt, Fred Thompson, and the Secretary General of Interpol in the early 2000s. Later she held leadership roles in cybersecurity for Bank of America, AT&T Wireless and Russell Investments.
Today she consults on cybersecurity talent, matching cybersecurity professionals to the companies who need them, and provides coaching masterminds and intensives that contribute to improved cybersecurity by increasing resilience in IT pros in highly stressful roles.
She believes that computer science and cybersecurity are important career fields for everyone, and encourages women and young female students to excel as computer technology professionals through her mentoring and coaching programs. She has spoken internationally on the topic of cybersecurity, is the author of books on the subject and is also a contributor to publications on cybersecurity, IT, and e-discovery.