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Careers & People

7/31/2018
12:00 PM
Kelly Sheridan
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10 More Women in Security You May Not Know But Should

The second installment in a series highlighting women who are driving change in cybersecurity but may not be on your radar - yet.
3 of 11

Wendi Whitmore
Global Lead, IBM X-Force
When Wendi Whitmore worked on computer crime investigations in the early 2000s as a special agent in the US Air Force, the notion of nation-state cyberthreats was mostly nonexistent outside of the military. 'We were focused on intrusions into government military contractors by nation-state actors who you continue to hear about today,' Whitmore says. 'But at the time, [most] people weren't familiar with those types of attacks.'
Whitmore joined Mandiant in 2006, where she headed up incident response (IR) services for the federal government and law enforcement agencies. In 2010 she became managing director of the company, in charge of data breach and incident investigations for clients in the US and Europe. That led to another high-level IR position at CrowdStrike as vice president of services, where she started the company's first global consulting services operation. There she and her team worked on IR and data breach investigations for major corporations and US government agencies.
Today, Whitmore is among a rare group of women at the helm of top IR positions. As global lead of IBM's X-Force team, she oversees both IBM's IR and threat intelligence services teams. Her X-Force IR team gets called in by Fortune 500 firms to help them thwart and mitigate cyberattacks, as well as investigate the incidents and lock down their security.
Through her career, Whitmore says she has been pushing for attack remediation to be more proactively integrated into incident response. That's a departure from the early days of IR, she says, where it could take weeks or months of running tools to investigate and recover from an incident. 'IR [then] ran in an iterative approach - until you felt you had a full grasp of the compromise,' she says. 'But that allowed attackers to stay in the environment much longer.'
Tools like endpoint detection and response have helped propel IR into the next generation, she explains. 'You can detect things in-line and prevent them, which meant that investigations could start remediating in a couple of weeks ... Shortening the time window of an attack is now happening a lot. We can be more aggressive and see what [attackers] are doing and start locking [them out],' she says.
When Whitmore is off the clock from tackling breach investigations, she likes to spend time paddle-boarding and relaxing. 'Anyone who spends a lot of time in the water understands how it allows you to see the world from a different perspective,' the Los Angeles-based Whitmore says. She believes that helps in work as well.
That fits what her colleagues say is her ability to bring a calming influence to high-pressure cyberattack incident cases for IBM's clients. 'Our clients need us to bring calm to a very chaotic situation' and provide them with a process and plan for what to do next, Whitmore explains.
---By Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor, Dark Reading

Wendi Whitmore

Global Lead, IBM X-Force

When Wendi Whitmore worked on computer crime investigations in the early 2000s as a special agent in the US Air Force, the notion of nation-state cyberthreats was mostly nonexistent outside of the military. "We were focused on intrusions into government military contractors by nation-state actors who you continue to hear about today," Whitmore says. "But at the time, [most] people weren't familiar with those types of attacks."

Whitmore joined Mandiant in 2006, where she headed up incident response (IR) services for the federal government and law enforcement agencies. In 2010 she became managing director of the company, in charge of data breach and incident investigations for clients in the US and Europe. That led to another high-level IR position at CrowdStrike as vice president of services, where she started the company's first global consulting services operation. There she and her team worked on IR and data breach investigations for major corporations and US government agencies.

Today, Whitmore is among a rare group of women at the helm of top IR positions. As global lead of IBM's X-Force team, she oversees both IBM's IR and threat intelligence services teams. Her X-Force IR team gets called in by Fortune 500 firms to help them thwart and mitigate cyberattacks, as well as investigate the incidents and lock down their security.

Through her career, Whitmore says she has been pushing for attack remediation to be more proactively integrated into incident response. That's a departure from the early days of IR, she says, where it could take weeks or months of running tools to investigate and recover from an incident. "IR [then] ran in an iterative approach until you felt you had a full grasp of the compromise," she says. "But that allowed attackers to stay in the environment much longer."

Tools like endpoint detection and response have helped propel IR into the next generation, she explains. "You can detect things in-line and prevent them, which meant that investigations could start remediating in a couple of weeks ... Shortening the time window of an attack is now happening a lot. We can be more aggressive and see what [attackers] are doing and start locking [them out]," she says.

When Whitmore is off the clock from tackling breach investigations, she likes to spend time paddle-boarding and relaxing. "Anyone who spends a lot of time in the water understands how it allows you to see the world from a different perspective," the Los Angeles-based Whitmore says. She believes that helps in work as well.

That fits what her colleagues say is her ability to bring a calming influence to high-pressure cyberattack incident cases for IBM's clients. "Our clients need us to bring calm to a very chaotic situation" and provide them with a process and plan for what to do next, Whitmore explains.

---By Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor, Dark Reading

3 of 11
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SaulMorris
50%
50%
SaulMorris,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/21/2018 | 7:46:18 AM
Re: Jamie Tomasello
i agree
gif-washco
50%
50%
gif-washco,
User Rank: Strategist
8/17/2018 | 11:13:01 AM
Extroverts?
I have worked with and reported to female coworkers and leaders. The leaders in this article seem to have a common trait of being extroverts, no difference in comparison to their male counterparts. However, a lot of unsung female heros are not extroverts and work diligiently with their team members and customers. They do not want publicity. To me, they are also leaders...

 
aumickmanuela
100%
0%
aumickmanuela,
User Rank: Strategist
8/7/2018 | 4:42:15 AM
Jamie Tomasello
I don't know that in this sphere are working pretty girls, like this. This article is very interesting for me. Jamie Tomasello has interesting experience and give me good advices in my work!
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