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.

Founding Board Member, TiaraCon
TASK Toronto

What have I 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 I’ve given:

Hackfest 2016 “A Stuxnet for Mainframes”
Hackfest 2016 “Blue Team Reboot”
Sector 2016 “How to Rob a Bank”
Tiaracon 2016 “Women in Security Panel Discussion”
BSidesLV “How to Rob a Bank: The SWIFT and Easy Way to Grow Your Online Savings”
Circle City Con 2016 “A Stuxnet for Mainframes”
BSidesTO 2015 “What Lurks in the Shadow: Expanded”
NET Tuesday  “Digital Literacy for Non-Profits”
BSidesLV 2015 “What Lurks in the Shadow: Shadow IT/Data”

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”

09/15/2016         TVO “The Agenda” The Rise of Ransomware

09/28/2016        Dark Reading “How to Effectively Analyze Threat Intelligence Data”  with Haydn Johnson

11/15/2016          Dark Reading “Preparing for the Future of Online Threats”


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.





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