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Your data, your reputation, your customers’ trust: it’s all on the line in the new age of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity veteran | White hat hacker | Author of Women in Tech

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Lavin Exclusive Speaker

Cybersecurity attacks are doubling every year. Phishing scams are at an all-time high. These days, CEOs and business owners are the people who answer for security breaches—and those who aren’t prepared and up-to-date are jeopardizing everything. Enter Tarah Wheeler: one of America’s leading digital security veterans, a “white hat” hacker, and the author of Women in Tech—“the essential handbook for women in technology”(Library Journal). Practical, hands-on, and brimming with her signature charismatic style, she offers non-tech professionals clear, actionable guidance on how to secure themselves and protect their customer’s data in the 21st century.

Today, every single person at an organization must feel confident in their ability to protect themselves against a minefield of risks. Password hacking, email phishing, ransomware attacks—these emerging threats against every business have only been made stronger by the global move towards remote and hybrid work. And while it might be easy to fault someone who unwittingly clicks on a link—what people don’t realize is how vast and systematic this issue really is. Fortunately, Tarah Wheeler does. A skilled practitioner in the realm of digital security, Wheeler’s dazzling resume includes working with organizations like Symatenc, Splunk, and Microsoft, as well as revered institutions from Harvard to Oxford.  A white hat hacker, Wheeler knows how to proactively find security weaknesses and fix them before they can be exploited. As a result, her smart, effective talks show leaders how to turn potentially major and costly security problems into non-issues. Wheeler’s on-the-ground technical expertise is combined with such a clear, compelling presentation style that it’s easy to understand even the most complex concepts. Because we’re facing opponents who are highly sophisticated, we must learn and apply stronger defense behaviors at every level—whether that’s teaching employees how to properly create and store passwords, or building and implementing a company-wide security system. Under Wheeler’s leadership, audiences will learn how to build resilient systems; create a sense of accountability among team members; and personally empower themselves with an arsenal of tools for safe-guarding their privacy.

Tarah Wheeler Van Vlack is a brilliant role model.Elissa Shevinsky, editor of Lean Out

Once named the top female cybersecurity influencer in the world, Wheeler is also the author of Women in Tech: Take Your Career to The Next Level with Practical Advice and Inspiring Stories, which details her experience in the male-dominated space of cybersecurity. It was a #1 Amazon career guide bestseller, and topped both the women in business and technology nonfiction lists. In addition to her technical know-how, she can expertly advise on how to improve the industry to include, support, and uplift women based on her own personal experience.

A global leader in keeping private citizens and corporations safe from cyber attacks, Wheeler is an International Security Fellow at New America; a Belfer Cybersecurity Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government; a contributing cybersecurity expert for The Washington Post; and a Foreign Policy contributor on cyber warfare. She was selected for the prestigious Fulbright Cyber Security Scholar Award; she conducted research at Oxford University, in conjunction with the UK National Health Service, on mitigating the harms civilians face in nation-state sponsored cyberattacks. In 2022, she became a a senior fellow for global cyber policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Wheeler is an advisory board member for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a board of directors member at several cybersecurity companies. She has also led projects at Microsoft Game Studios, including the iconic video game franchise Halo. She holds an MSc from Portland State University, and is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and a Certified Scrum Developer (CSD). She is also a pre-candidate for a PhD in Complex Systems and Political Science from the University of Michigan and a National Science Foundation Fellow. A Texas holdem poker player, she acquired her startup funds by cleaning out poker rooms in the Northwest and Las Vegas.


What a hit! Tarah was a super warm, professional, and engaging speaker. She was so interesting and we loved that she split her hour into two segments: the first, a conversation with the audience, and the second a fireside-type chat for Q&A. She was a wonderful start to our 2022 event!

Municipal Information Systems Association

Tarah was an absolute hit! The audience loved her.

Verizon Media

We wanted to thank you once again for delivering what is being called the best PASS Summit keynote ever. The entire conference was buzzing with excitement and conversation following your presentation. It was beyond thought provoking!

Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS)

Tarah was absolutely terrific. The dimensions of her presentation were very well received: she touched on some leadership and management techniques in times of cyber volatility and it went over very well.

- Asis International

Speech Topics

Staying Safe at a DistanceCybersecurity in the Age of Hybrid Work

Spearfishing and business intelligence theft has increased multi-fold since the shift to remote and hybrid work, and recent cyber and ransomware attacks have cost companies millions of dollars. Given the current situation, transitioning skilled employees to security awareness has never been more difficult or more timely. How can we effectively prepare our employees now that data is not only secured through the office, but is now often left to the good graces of our home Internet?

Internationally renowned cyber operations expert Tarah Wheeler is here to help. Mobility is part of modernity, says Wheeler. Remote work isn’t going anywhere, so it’s imperative that we learn how to properly secure employee data and company laptops at home—which means investing in our people and teaching them how to be personally secure. For every expert who knows the right way to do things, there are a dozen people to whom this is brand new information. Wheeler has a deep knowledge and expertise of the security challenges employees don’t even know they’re facing yet. In this talk, she shares the ins-and-outs of digital security since both the cloud revolution and the telecommuting transition began—ensuring we can all confidently become good stewards of company data in the age of remote work.

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Women in TechInspiring Diversity and Real Change in the STEM Fields

Despite noble initiatives designed to inspire girls to seek careers in the STEM fields, women are still vastly outnumbered by men—and the disparity is only getting worse. To Tarah Wheeler, women don’t need more inspiration—they already love science! But they do need help dismantling widespread and insidious discrimination: forces that mean ‘diversity’ looks like one token woman amid scores of men; that mean women make much less than their male peers; and that ensure they rarely ascend to the same level of influence.

This isn’t the result of some conspiracy, Wheeler argues—rather, it’s a larger problem of unconscious social biases that companies rarely confront, and can barely resolve beyond the safest initiatives. So, in this large-hearted, emboldening talk, Wheeler shows students, professionals, associations, and companies how to fight for meaningful gender equality at work. With advice on salary negotiation, when to change careers, how to mentor others or start a business, balance family matters, and even how to best format resumes or ace interviews, Wheeler lays out practical advice for anyone, no matter where they are on the corporate ladder.
It’s time to stop watching women get sidelined, stuck, or overlooked in tech, and time to let them bring their wealth of creativity and innovation to the field—at all levels of influence.

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