About

My name is Cheryl Biswas. My fascination with computers started with those blinking machines on the original Star Trek, and the realization that if I could learn to work those things, then I could boldly go  – anywhere!  But I didn’t learn math like everyone else and found myself struggling.  I  mistakenly believed a few key people who convinced me I couldn’t learn computers, so I didn’t take programming or comp sci. They were wrong, though. Curiosity and passion led me to technology through the back door and I taught myself computers. Along the way, I was truly fortunate to work with and learn from some terrific and talented people. They didn’t see my lack of a tech degree but rather my  keen interest and will to learn. Thanks to them (you know who you are) I strive to share my love for all things tech with those who find it overwhelming or scary.

Currently, I am a Threat Intel analyst on a cybersecurity team, researching, analysing, and communicating what I find to the team and to our clients to keep them safe. GRC, privacy, APTs, best practices, evolving threats – the learning never stops. As well, I write and speak about threats to less-known but critical systems like ICS SCADA and Mainframes, Shadow IT, Big Data –  because there is so much stuff we need to know. I never knew I would find something I love doing as much as I love doing this.

Threats and adversaries are moving faster than ever, which means we have a lot of work to do just to keep up. Malware, security breaches, online scams – how much can the average user do to protect themselves?  There’s a lot of great information out there, but only if you know where it is and what it means. My role is to help make all that intel actionable.  I hope this site can be a resource to you, and that my posts will educate, illuminate and keep you safe using the technology that’s part of everything we do. Because in my world, technology is friend, not foe. And this is my post on cyberwatch.

MEMBERSHIPS
Founding Board Member, The Diana Initiative
TASK Toronto
ISACA

A selection of pieces I have written:
Beginner’s Guide to Information Security by Peerlyst. Collaboration with members of the security community.
I have posted to LinkedInPulse; AlienVault; and Tripwire.
“Irongate and Customized Malware for ICS: Don’t Hit the Snooze Button on this Wake-up Call”
“Errors and Omissions: How the Phineas Fisher Release Reflects our Insecurities”
“Dangerous Assumptions: How What We Know Will Hurt Us”
“A Matter of Time: Lessons from the Ukraine Power Grid Attack”
“Big Data, Big Problems”
“Embracing the Shadow: Wait! What?”

TALKS:
08/2015 BSIdes Las Vegas “What Lurks in the Shadow: Shadow IT/Shadow Data”
08/2015 TASK Toronto “Review of Adventures in Mainframe Hacking”
09/2015 NET Tuesday Toronto (Tech Soup) “Digital Literacy for Non-Profits”
11/2015 BSides Toronto “What Lurks in the Shadow: Expanded Edition”
11/2015 TASK Toronto “What Lurks in the Shadow: Expanded Edition”
06/2016 Circle City Conference “A Stuxnet for Mainframes”
08/2016 BSides Las Vegas “How to Rob a Bank: The SWIFT Heists”
08/2016 TiaraCon Las Vegas “Women in Security Panel Discussion”
10/2016 SecTor Toronto “How to Rob a Bank: The SWIFT and Easy Way to Grow Your Online Savings”
11/2016 Hackfest Quebec City “Blue Team Reboot”, “A Stuxnet for Mainframes”
05/2017 InteropITX “Collecting, Correlating and Analyzing Security Data”
05/2017 DC416 “Enhancing Threat Intelligence Data”
06/2017 Circle City Conference “It’s A Disaster!”
07/2017 BSides Las Vegas “Banking on Insecurity”
07/2017 DefCon Wall of Sheep “Threat Intel for All: There’s More to Your Data”
07/2017 The Diana Initiative Keynote Speaker “Resilience, Strength, Determination”
11/2017 Hackfest Quebec City “Banking on Insecurity V2”
11/2017 BSidesToronto “Reduce Your AD Attack Surface: Securing the Forest Through the Trees”

Podcasts/TV/Webinar appearances:
11/26/2015 Brakeing Down Security “The Rise of the Shadow”
02/21/2016 Brakeing Down Security “Mainframe Security”
07/19/2016 Brakeing Down Security “TiaraCon, Women in InfoSec and SCADA Headaches”
10/10/2016 PVC Security
03/20/2017 Advanced Persistent Security Podcast
04/25/2017 Silver Bullet Podcast with Dr. Gary McGraw

WEBINARS:
Dark Reading September 28 “How to Effectively Analyze Threat Intelligence Data”

Dark Reading November 15 “The Future of the Online Threat”

Dark Reading March 23 “Enriching Threat Intelligence Data”

TV:
09/15/2016         TVO
“The Agenda” The Rise of Ransomware
http://tvo.org/video/programs/the-agenda-with-steve-paikin/the-rise-of-ransomware

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One thought on “About

  1. Hello Cheryl,

    My name is Mansoor. I’m a reporter for The Scope, Ryerson University’s radio station.

    I’m writing to you today because I am working on a news story about the cyber security preparedness of Toronto’s universities. I saw that you were quoted in an Ottawa Citizen article regarding a ransomware attack against Carleton and thought I’d reach out to you for a sit-down interview.

    I want to get a general overview of what the public should know about cyber security, and maybe even apply that to universities.

    We can conduct the interview in our studio at Ryerson, or I can even come to you. An over the phone option is available as well.

    The story goes out on January 23rd. Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

    Cheers,

    Mansoor

    mansoor132@gmail.com

    Like

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