Cybersecurity Conference Speaker Profiles

Keynote Speakers

Shamla Naidoo

Shamla Naidoo
Vice President, IT Risk and Chief Information Security Officer
IBM

Shamla Naidoo is an accomplished information security executive with more than 25 years of experience. As the global chief information security officer of IBM, Naidoo is the company’s top information security executive, responsible for safeguarding IBM globally including all its business units and brands. She is responsible for IBM’s overall information security program, which includes the company’s information risk and security strategies, planning, governance, architecture, and operations.

Prior to joining IBM, Naidoo was vice president of information risk and security at Starwood Hotels and Resorts. Previous roles include chief information officer, chief information security officer, and chief risk officer at leading companies including WellPoint, Northern Trust, and ABN AMRO.

Naidoo is an adjunct law professor, developing and teaching courses in information technology, cybersecurity, and privacy law. She also has a license to practice law in both Illinois and Washington, D.C.

Naidoo holds a bachelor’s degree in Information Systems and Economics from the University of South Africa, and a J.D. degree from John Marshall Law School.


James Stanger

James Stanger
Chief Technology Evangelist
CompTIA

James Stanger is a respected authority on security, open source, network administration, and IT certification. He has consulted with corporations, governments, and learning institutions worldwide for more than 20 years including: IBM, Symantec, the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA), the United Arab Emirates Cultural Division, the Open University (UK), the U.S. Department of State, Mesei University, the University of Phoenix, and the Business Professionals of America (BPA). He has developed IT-based education and certification programs used around the world.

Stanger has published books and articles with O’Reilley, Sybex, Eselvier, Linux Pro Magazine, and Admin Magazine, and many others concerning security, Linux, web technologies, and IT support. His writings have been translated in over a dozen languages. He is also a respected educator, having created education events and webcasts for audiences worldwide since the 1990s. He has designed and taught both traditional and online courses and is also an award-winning blogger and social media consultant and regularly speaks at events worldwide.

Currently, Stanger is senior director of products at CompTIA, where he determines the direction and strategy for its certifications. CompTIA is the world’s largest vendor-neutral certification body, offering certifications such as A+, Network+, Security+, and CSA+. He lives and plays in the Puget Sound area of the United States.


Speakers

Alexander Abramov

Alexander Abramov
President
ISACA, New York Metropolitan Chapter

Alexander Abramov is a technology governance, risk, and compliance senior leader with more than 20 years of experience in financial services, advisory services, and life sciences. His roles span from the head of application development, IT audit manager, IT governance and compliance practice leader to the head of information risk.

Abramov is the president of ISACA New York Metropolitan Chapter and a member of the board of directors since 2007. His credentials include Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA), Certified in the Governance of Enterprise IT (CGEIT), Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC), and FINRA Series 99.

Abramov is a recognized thought leader in areas of information risk and governance. He is a co-author of “Cyber Risk” and “Governance, Compliance and Supervision in the Capital Markets”. An accomplished speaker, Abramov has presented at more than 30 conferences in North America and Europe on the topics of risk management and IT compliance.


Gary Albaugh

Gary Albaugh
Deputy Chief Information Officer
U.S. Military Academy

Gary Albaugh’s education includes a Master of Information Systems, Business Administration and American Military History. He enlisted into the United States Army as an information systems operator/analyst. His Army decorations include a Commendation Medal (2nd Award), Achievement Medal, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon (2nd Award), and Driver and Mechanic Badge with Driver–Wheeled Vehicle Clasp.

Gary continued his service to his country and transitioned to the Department of Defense Civilian Workforce as the Deputy Director at the Network Enterprise Center located at Fort Hamilton, Brooklyn, N.Y., and most recently served as the Deputy Chief Information Officer/G6 at the United States Military Academy at West Point.


Raj Badhwar

Raj Badhwar
Chief Information Security Officer
Voya Financial

Raj Badhwar is Chief Information Security Officer for Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), which helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 14.3 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $8.6 billion in revenue in 2017.

Badhwar is responsible for leading the company’s security engineering, architecture, and operational functions for all domains (data security, network security, application and system security, monitoring and response, vulnerability management, and identity and access management), setting the overall security strategy and direction, enhancing security standards and policies, and establishing compliance with required government, financial, and privacy regulations.

He has more than 24 years of experience within the IT industry, with proven management, analytical, and organizational skills, as well as expertise involving requirement analysis, architecture, design, development, and management of technical resources for cybersecurity engineering and operations, and incident response. He has a mix of security, application development, and network management experience and possesses a strategic and tactical skill set for analytical and technical workloads. He also held a top secret (SSBI) clearance from the U.S. Department of Defense.

Prior to joining Voya, Badhwar was the global head of information security for AIG, where he led global security engineering and operations, aided by a strategy centered on the protection and preservation of IT systems, infrastructure, and other computing assets. Additionally, he authored the AIG security policy and many security standards and guidelines. Prior to his role at AIG, he held senior security and IT leadership roles at BAE Systems Inc., Bank of America, Time Warner Cable, and AOL Time Warner.

Badhwar graduated from George Washington University with a master’s of science degree in Information Systems Technology and also holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering from Karnatak University. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), a Cisco Certified Design Associate (CCDA), and a Cisco certified Network Associate for Security (CCNA-Sec). He has also co-authored 13 security patents and conducted extensive research in the areas of Cryptography, Zero Trust Networks, Artificial Intelligence (AI) code of ethics for Cyber Security, and AI-based pattern matching and reactive-response for Cyber Incident Response.


Melody L. Balcet

Melody L. Balcet
Director, Global Cybersecurity Program
The AES Corp.

Melody Balcet (@MelodyBalcet) is the director of the Global Cybersecurity Program at The AES Corporation, a U.S.-based Fortune 200 energy company operating in 15 countries. Previously, she spent more than 11 years with IBM’s Public Sector Cybersecurity and Biometrics service area leading its defense and intelligence cybersecurity capture activities and serving government clients in both defense and civilian agencies, most recently as an advisor on Department of Defense (DoD)-wide FISMA and cybersecurity performance measurement under the DoD deputy chief information officer for cybersecurity. She recently finished her term as president of the ISACA Greater Washington, D.C. chapter and volunteers with a number of non-profit organizations.

Balcet holds an M.A. with merit from the University of Manchester, Institute of Development Policy and Management (IDPM) and a B.A. from the College of William and Mary. She actively holds the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) certifications. She co-authored a chapter in “Protecting Our Future: Educating a Cybersecurity Workforce” and regularly speaks on GRC, FISMA, cybersecurity measurement, workforce, and leadership topics.


Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry
Co-Founder and CEO
Myntum Limited

Kevin Barry is a co-founder and CEO of Myntum Limited, a start-up company founded in 2017 in Dublin, Ireland. The company is building blockchain-based online vaults to store critical digital assets for individuals and businesses. Based in the European Union, all of Myntum’s products will have the EU’s General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) protections built in.

Barry formerly worked in the United States Attorney’s office, Southern District of New York, civil division. He is also a human rights attorney affiliated with an NGO, World Information Transfer (WIT), at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City. WIT promotes environmental health literacy globally.

Through his body of work nationally and internationally, Barry understands the need for balance between the interests of governments, businesses and individuals regarding Cybersecurity and privacy. He can be reached at kevin@myntum.com.


Salman A. Baset

Salman A. Baset
Chief Information Officer
IBM Blockchain Solutions

Salman A. Baset is the CTO, Security, for IBM Blockchain Solutions. He oversees the security and compliance of blockchain solutions being built by IBM in collaboration with Fortune 500 companies, and interfaces with clients on blockchain solutions and their security. He drove the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation for blockchain-based solutions.

Baset has also built the identity management system used by Fortune 500 companies involved in global trade digitization and food trust blockchain solutions. Previously, he built security solutions that are part of numerous IBM offerings, including IBM Vulnerability Advisor and IBM Managed Cloud Services. He is a co-author of a recently published book on blockchain and Hyperledger.


Babak D. Beheshti

Babak D. Beheshti
Interim Dean
College of Engineering and Computing Sciences, NYIT

Babak D. Beheshti is professor and interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computing Sciences at New York Institute of Technology (NYIT). The School has approximately 3000 students, at undergraduate and graduate programs in two New York campuses, as well as in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Babak has been a full-time faculty member at NYIT for more than 30 years.

Over the last 20+ years, Beheshti has worked in R&D with companies in the embedded systems and wireless technology industry. He has successfully managed joint R&D programs with Asian, European, and U.S. companies, including Siemens Mobile, Nokia, Samsung, KDDI, and LG.

An active member of IEEE since 1991, Beheshti is currently a member of the IEEE Board of Directors, having held positions at section, region, and major board levels. He has been a member of the IEEE’s Publication Services & Products Board (PSPB), as well as the Member and Geographic Activities (MGA) Board.

Beheshti is a recipient of the IEEE MGA Leadership Award; the IEEE Millennium Medal; the IEEE Long Island Section Athanasios Papoulis Outstanding Educator Award, given for noteworthy contributions to engineering education; and three IEEE Region 1 Awards, including a 2008 IEEE Northeastern Region Technical Innovation Award “For Providing Technical Leadership in the Development of State-of-the Art Reconfigurable Wireless Technologies.”

Beheshti received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth and master’s and bachelor’s degrees at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.


Randy Bishop

Randy Bishop
Director of Operations
Guardtime

Randy Bishop has more than 30 years of cyber, counterintelligence, and defense leadership. He is a distinguished veteran of the United States Air Force Office of Special Investigations, where he served as a special agent focusing on cybersecurity, counterintelligence, special weapons, intelligence, and related special-security operations. Bishop’s industry experience includes his current position at Guardtime, where he leads all energy-related projects across the company’s portfolio. He also served as executive vice president of strategy for a leading defense company, helping lead the company growth to more than 250 staff across the defense and intelligence communities.

Bishop’s federal experience includes leading innovation and transformation initiatives in the Departments of Energy, and Dod’s Counterintelligence and Cyber Operations. He is a former member of the Department of Energy’s PNNL National Security team, leading the DOE headquarters’ efforts in nuclear weapons security and nonproliferation efforts.


Kenneth C. Brancik

Kenneth C. Brancik
Chief Information Security Officer
Mount Sinai Health System

Dr. Kenneth C. Brancik is an experienced Technology leader and innovator and he continues to accomplish significant achievements throughout his career with increased responsibilities and successes in both industry and within his advanced graduate academic education. He has been the Chief Information Security Officer at Mount Sinai Health System for the past three years.

Previously he was at Northrop Grumman Information Systems (NGIS). During his leadership tenure at NGIS, he was a key contributing member for setting strategy for the company in 2008 to help create the Cyber powerhouse they are today in support of creating the federal governments Cyber solutions. He was selected as the Managing Director of the company’s multi-million dollar investment in the creation of the innovative and collaborative NG Cyber Security Research Consortium (NGCRC) with MIT, Carnegie Mellon and Purdue Universities. In 2012, he was awarded the coveted Technical Fellow title, a highly competitive program for engineers and architects and also earned the Technical Fellow title based on decades of professional and academic accomplishments and his many successes as a practical thought leader and Cyber innovator at NGIS.

Dr. Brancik has worked senior leadership roles in Cybersecurity at JPMorgan Chase and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and was the Co-Director of a Cyber Security Working Group he created. During his time at the FED he evaluated technology risk introduced within industry led software development products to assess its impact on the financial services sector who are the recipients of the technology. He also functioned as a federal bank regulator for the United States Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) where he served as a National Bank Examiner assessing the financial and technology safety & soundness of those banks. Additionally, his work experience in corporate audit at Citigroup, PricewaterhouseCoopers and Merrill Lynch & Company allowed him to provide value-added audit recommendations and information security advisory experience for complex software development projects and audit recommendations for production systems.

Kenneth earned his Doctoral degree in computer science at PACE University. Kenneth holds active certifications of a CISM, CISSP, CISA and ITIL and is a published author of the seminal work he researched and developed for the insider threat problem. He earned his Masters Degree at NYU in technology and holds a bachelors degree in Finance/Business Administration/Finance.


Ali Chettih

Ali Chettih
Lead Information Security Engineer, IT Security
Montefiore Health Systems

Ali Chettih is the lead information security engineer at IT Security for one of the largest New York Metropolitan area’s health care organizations, Montefiore Health Systems.

His career started as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories, where he sharpened his technical and analytical skills and then moved on to lead and implement performance and optimization solutions to various institutions in education, financial, and consulting industries. In the past 10 years, he has concentrated on security issues, earned an M.S. degree on cybersecurity at NYU Tandon School of Engineering, and applied security programs to local government (McAfee/DoITT NYC), consulting (Pivot Point Consulting), and health care organizations.

Ali is also an industry professor at Mercy College, where he teaches Cryptography, Penetration Testing, and IR/Disaster Recovery courses in the college’s cybersecurity program.


Marios Damianides

Marios Damianides
Partner, Northeast Cyber Security Leader
Ernst & Young

Marios Damianides, a partner in EY’s Advisory Practice and the Northeast Region Cybersecurity Leader, has more than 30 years of professional services experience leading global teams delivering security, business, and large-scale IT transformation programs. He has assisted several fortune 500 clients in implementing agile security programs and architectures as well as broadening their protection and business improvement programs.

Damianides received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Kwazulu Natal and a master’s degree in MIS from Rand Afrikaans University, both in South Africa. He also has a post-graduate degree in accounting from the University of Kwazulu Natal. Damianides is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), and is a board member and executive committee member at the Lighthouse Guild.


Bryan Dickens

Bryan Dickens
Head, Global Business Development, Strategies and Partnerships in Cybersecurity
Cybint

Bryan Dickens offers unique talents to the cybersecurity and intelligence ecosystem as a retired FBI behavioral profiler. During his tenure with the bureau, he was involved in effectively developing and delivering hundreds of psychological profiles to apprehend some of the most prolific violent and cyber criminals of the past 20 years. Dickens took his expertise in behavioral trends and analysis and successfully translated it to a civilian career in cybersecurity and business management. Under Dickens’ leadership, capital was raised for two privately held companies leading to IPOs on valuations of more than $1 billion.

At Cybint, Dickens has wed his expertise in human behavior with his astute ability to analyze businesses and cybersecurity. His ability to forecast the needs of the cybersecurity industry, from workforce demands to potential threats, makes him a leader and resource in the field.


Barry Dynkin

Barry Dynkin
Co-Founder and Co-CEO
Atlas Cybersecurity

Barry Dynkin is a co-founder and co-CEO of Atlas Cybersecurity, a top managed security services firm. He is also the co-founder and co-executive director of the American Cybersecurity Institute, a leading cybersecurity and cyber warfare policy think tank that works with policymakers at all levels of government. He was a legal researcher for the Tallinn Manual on Cyber Warfare 2.0 and a contributing author on Law Firm Cybersecurity, a publication of the ABA. Dynkin has published extensively on a variety of legal topics ranging from cybersecurity and cyber warfare to digital forensics and national security. He was also on the staff of the Journal of Law and Cyber Warfare. Dynkin received his J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.


Robert Graham

Robert Graham
Chairman and CEO
BlackRidge Technology

Robert Graham has been the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of BlackRidge Technology since its inception in 2010. A longtime IT and technical expert who has seen many technologies come and go, he sees blockchain technologies as transforming the way organizations engage with their customers and partners for contracts and information management, in addition to their support for cryptocurrencies. BlackRidge is working with IBM Blockchain group and others to protect blockchain cloud services from unauthorized discovery and access, and from denial of service and other cyber-attacks. BlackRidge was founded in 2010 and funded by the U.S. military to commercialize its patented network security technologies.


Frederick J. Harris

Frederick J. Harris
Head of Data and Technology Risk
Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking

Fred Harris is an accomplished technology Executive with more than 30 years of cross-industry experience in the professional services, financial services, technology, media, telecommunications, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, performing arts and health care industries. Harris is currently the Head of Data and IT Risk at Société Générale, responsible for the Second Line of Defense for Data and Information Technology. He is also participating in the Voice Security Research Transition Forum under the Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security. This forum is bringing together industry experts, government officials, and major carriers to discuss threats to enterprise voice environments, including Telephony Denial-of-Service (TDoS) attacks, call pumping, fraud and more. Harris received his bachelor’s and M.B.A. degrees from NYIT and is an adjunct professor in NYIT’s School of Management. He is also a member of the Business Advisory Board for the NYIT School of Management, vice president of the NYIT Alumni Federation, and the proud father of a student enrolled in the Hospitality Management program in NYIT’s School of Management.


Stacy Huggins

Stacy Huggins
Co-Founder and Managing Partner
NIO, Inc.

Stacy Huggins is a technology entrepreneur, seasoned marketing executive, and global speaker

on blockchain technology, data privacy, token strategy and customer acquisition. Huggins is the co-founder and managing partner of NIO, Inc., a blockchain consulting firm helping clients harness decentralized technology to transform industries for the better and achieve global impact. NIO specializes in tokenomics, marketing, fundraising strategy, and technical development of blockchain and token layer protocols.

Huggins has been an active and influential member of the blockchain community since 2015 when she co-founded MadHive, a data management platform using blockchain and token economics to establish a fair, efficient, and secure exchange within the advertising industry. MadHive subsequently launched the MAD Network and completed a $25MM token generation event. She is also a co-founder of AdLedger, the media industry’s first blockchain consortium with more than 70 active members comprising the industry’s largest stakeholders.

Huggins has more than 18 years of experience designing and executing innovative technology

solutions and data-driven marketing campaigns for companies such as American Express, IMG, TEGNA, Sony Music, IAC, sbe Hotels & Casinos, and Tamara Mellon.


Michael Iwanoff

Michael Iwanoff
SVP and Chief Information Security Officer
iconectiv

Michael Iwanoff, SVP and chief information security officer at iconectiv, leads global information security organization and is responsible for building and implementing enhanced security policies, standards, and technology controls and establishing security strategy and direction for the company. As the authoritative partner of the communications industry for more than 30 years, iconectiv’s market-leading solutions enable the interconnection of networks, devices, and applications for more than two billion people every day. A U.S.-based company, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., doing business as iconectiv, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ericsson.

With more than 15 years of experience in IT risk and security, Iwanoff has successfully built and implemented comprehensive IT security, risk, and compliance programs for global organizations. His professional experience spans telecom and financial services at leading organizations including AIG, Barclays, Comcast, and AT&T. Prior to his current position, he served as the vice president, chief security officer, for the Property/Casualty division of AIG, a global financial business.

Iwanoff holds a bachelor of science degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology in computer science and is currently pursuing his master’s of science degree in Information Systems Assurance. He has also earned numerous security certifications, including CISSP, CISM, CISA, and CRISC.


Mark Kay

Mark Kay
CEO
Strike Force Technologies, Inc.

Mark Kay serves as BlockSafe’s advisor and Chairman of the Board. He is also the CEO of StrikeForce Technologies, Inc., a public company on the OTC Bulletin Board that has developed proprietary security-software that prevents cyber theft in mobile and desktop environments, a growing problem for businesses and consumers across the globe.

Prior to joining StrikeForce, Kay worked at JPMorganChase & Co., where, for the majority of his 26-year employment, he was a managing director. During his tenure, he led various strategic and corporate business groups globally. His responsibilities included chief operating officer, chief information officer, and global technology auditor, mostly relating to the Investment, Technology, Audit, and Securities divisions.

Kay also worked for more than five years as systems engineer and account manager at Electronic Data Services (EDS) concentrating on the banking and health care sectors. He holds a B.A. in mathematics from CUNY. Kay is a proud husband and the father of two young men.


David Lehrer

David Lehrer
CEO
cysana

David Lehrer is CEO of cysana (CYberSecurity ANAlytics), a technology company applying artificial intelligence and quantum computing to insider fraud detection in banks and to protection of critical infrastructure such as power plants. cysana participates in the World Economic Forum Partnering Against Corruption Initiative. The company was global finalist in the Citibank Tech4Integrity Challenge, completed the major cybersecurity and quantum startup accelerator programs in the US, UK and Canada, and received first prize from IBM for business innovation during its annual ISV summit in Germany.

Lehrer has led technical product development teams in large and small organizations and advised leaders on strategy and operations in companies, government agencies and NGOs. These include the World Bank, central bank of Finland, global commercial banks, U.S. hospitals, Latin American governments on health care finance and delivery, and a European energy monopoly on the shift to renewables.

His work has been profiled in Foreign Policy, Wall Street Journal, Science, Utne Reader, Australian public radio, Clarin Argentina, and as a New York Times Idea of the Year. Lehrer completed M.P.A., M.B.A., and A.B. degrees at Harvard and has been visiting fellow in criminology in Oxford.


Anna Mercardo Clark

Anna Mercado Clark
Partner
Phillips Lytle LLP

Anna Mercado Clark’s practice is focused on complex e-discovery and digital forensics, data security and privacy, and complex commercial and business litigation. As a former Assistant District Attorney, she also handles white collar criminal matters and investigations.

Clark routinely counsels clients on data governance issues to address business needs while minimizing risks and complying with a rapidly evolving regulatory landscape and other legal obligations. She has extensive experience advising businesses in the technology, consumer, health care, and financial industries regarding information management and disposition policies, litigation readiness, data transfers, third-party/vendor negotiation and management relative to data administration, and disaster recovery and avoidance.

She has successfully leveraged the latest technology, including artificial intelligence and technology-assisted review (TAR), to streamline high-volume discovery, establish defensible document review workflows, and minimize litigation costs. She is a member of EDRM at Duke Law, a community of e-discovery and legal professionals who create practical resources to improve e-discovery and information governance, including cross-border discovery in light of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). She regularly speaks at national and international conferences as a subject matter expert on these issues.

As an experienced litigator, Clark is well positioned to identify and minimize litigation risks and assist with internal investigations, including managing digital forensic investigations. She is also able to seamlessly serve as litigation counsel in the event of a dispute or government investigation, having represented individuals, small businesses, multinational corporations, and government entities in contract disputes, franchisor-franchisee litigation, trade secret disputes, antitrust litigation, securities litigation, labor and employment matters, and government investigations. She is a member of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee.


Ilona Murynets

Ilona Murynets
Security and Data Scientist, CTO
Bloomberg LP

Ilona Murynets is a data scientist and security architect at the Chief Technology office at Bloomberg L.P., where she leads projects in the area of machine learning in application to network security, anomaly, fraud, and insider threat detection. Murynets launched her career at the Chief Security Office at AT&T where she led research in fraud and abuse detection and developed big data machine learning algorithms for detection of SMS spam, SIM card hijacking, mobile malware, phishing, M2M, and network anomalies. Her work was recognized by multiple key contributor awards. Murynets holds patents on mobile security and co-authored papers presented in top communications and security conferences. She obtained her Ph.D. in Systems Engineering at School of Systems and Enterprises, Stevens Institute of Technology. Her dissertation received an Outstanding Dissertation Award. Murynets holds a B.Sc. degree in Mathematics and an M.S. degree in Statistics, Financial and Actuarial Mathematics from Kiev National Taras Shevchenko University, Ukraine.


Michael Nizich

Michael Nizich
Director, Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center, College of Engineering and Computing Sciences
NYIT

Michael Nizich is the director of the Entrepreneurship and Technology Innovation Center (ETIC) and an adjunct assistant professor of Computer Science at NYIT. He has more than 25 years of professional experience in information technology in a variety of industries including aviation, education, law enforcement, biotechnology, and cybersecurity. He has held IT leadership positions in private and publicly held companies and has more than 10 years of teaching experience at higher education institutions in both the departments of Computer Science and Computer Information Systems. Nizich holds a Ph.D. in Information Studies from Long Island University, a master’s degree in Technology Systems Management from Stony Brook University, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems from Dowling College. As the leader of the ETIC and a cybersecurity instructor at NYIT, Nizich regularly connects both domestic and international students with internships and full-time positions in cybersecurity through his programs at the ETIC. He is also currently the Director of the Center of Academic Excellence for Cybersecurity Education at NYIT and serves as a member of the CTEA committee for Cybersecurity for Suffolk Community College.


Jayshree (Bhatt) Pandya

Jayshree (Bhatt) Pandya
Founder and CEO
Risk Group LLC

Jayshree Pandya (née Bhatt), founder of Risk Group LLC, is a scientist, visionary thinker, futurist, expert in disruptive technologies, advisory board member, keynote speaker, and a globally recognized risk intelligence expert who is working passionately to drive thought leadership on security-risk intelligence.

Pandya has decades of experience in science and technology, geopolitics, global trends, existing and emerging technologies, and risk management. She has exceptional knowledge of independent and interdependent security threats that enables organizations to more effectively overcome the risk of being blindsided by change, and aids in better enabling the C suite and board to lead in the rapidly changing world. A highly motivated and globally connected thought leader and influencer, she has a strong history of building security communities with a shared purpose and goals.

Pandya is passionately creating and managing cutting-edge security ventures that bring a futurist perspective to nations that affords governments and corporation alike the information to improve innovation capacity, develop strategies, and design new products and services for its security and sustainability.

She is actively engaged in existing and emerging technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence, collective intelligence, machine learning, nanotechnology, biotechnology, fintech, synthetic biology, CRISPR technology, gene editing, drones, 3-D printing, IoTs, and more.


Babak Pasdar

Babak Pasdar
Founder, CEO/CTO
Acreto

Babak Pasdar is an ethical hacker and a globally recognized expert in cybersecurity, the cloud, and crypto currency. He has a reputation for developing innovative approaches and methodologies for the industry’s most complex security problems. Throughout his career, Pasdar has founded multiple groundbreaking cybersecurity firms, developed large-scale infrastructures for some of the most well-known global companies, and identified critical threats to national security.

Before Acreto, Pasdar brought the first proxy-in-the-cloud platform to market, even before the word “cloud” was coined. Named one of New York’s “Top 10 Startup Founders over 40,” he built and exited two cybersecurity technology companies: igxglobal and Bat Blue Networks.

While contracted by Verizon, Pasdar discovered a warrantless wiretapping mechanism in their infrastructure—named the “Quantico Circuit”—leading to unrestricted access to private customer voice and data communications. Concerned about its constitutionality, Pasdar subsequently became an expert witness to Congress, testifying before multiple top-tier congressional committees.

At Acreto, Pasdar plays the role of visionary and innovator for the company’s much-anticipated security platform. He believes that addressing security challenges with the Internet of Things and crypto currency will transform the way the world does business.


Frank Santoro

Frank Santoro
Information Security Analyst, Cybersecurity Team
Con Edison

Frank Santoro is an information security analyst at Consolidated Edison Company of New York, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the United States. He focuses on cybersecurity threats related to the utility industry, working with federal, academic, and private sector peers. He has experience in designing, architecting, and implementing cybersecurity solutions in both corporate and OT environments to fill security gaps. He also works to hunt and protect against security threats as well as collect and store security logs for data analytics. Santoro holds a B.A. in Information Technology from New Jersey Institute of Technology and is currently pursuing his master’s degree in Management of Technology from NYU.


Teresa Varela

Teresa Varela
Director of Business Development
CompTIA

Teresa Varela is the director of Business Development at CompTIA, a non-profit trade association advancing the global interests of IT professionals and companies. She has 20 years of progressive sales, management, and business development experience working with high-technology companies. At CompTIA, Varela has the fortunate position of working with companies who invest in training and certification their employees. She manages strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 organizations and handles alliances with associations, workforce groups and other organizations who encourage IT learning and certifications. Varela is passionate about ongoing learning and education for everyone.