The year was a blur, but some great things found their genesis in this calendar so I want to share my wanderings and activities with you here, with a little narrative in my own voice.

The year was a blur, but some great things found their genesis in this calendar so I want to share my wanderings and activities with you here, with a little narrative in my own voice.

Here’s the down and dirty of where I was, and where my heart was in 2014. Enjoy!

  • blog-jj year in review 2014January: RSA Podcast on Neuro-Hacking 101
    Kicking off 2014, my good friend and colleague Mike Rothman and I did a podcast with RSA as a lead-in to our talk by the same title this year. Read more and listen online.
  • January: My first (ISC)2 Board Meeting
    In this sequence of never-to-be-forgotten days, I attended a cacophony of meetings and events in a four-day sprint of 12-hour days. They say trial by fire shows character; I think they all did OK and managed my “fire” ;)  Oh wait, I think Hord nicknamed me “fireball” by the end of these first meeting. This was my first real introduction to the mysterious Hord Tipton, and I quickly realized we have a lot in common, and many more laughs would be coming!
  • February: RSA Sessions “Neuro-Hacking 101” and  “The 900 Days: Battles with NAC and Access Control”
    At RSA USA in February, Rothman and I debuted “Neuro-Hacking 101”, and I led a P2P session on NAC. The P2P was a bit stifled by the presence of numerous NAC manufacturer reps in the room (five if I remember correctly). Certainly a unique experience. Read more and see presentations online.
  • May: IT Hot Topics Conference
    This is my baby! Except it’s not really “my” baby any more, as now our Marketing and Communications Manager has a large role in making this event run like a finely-tuned machine. I had the distinct pleasure of inviting my friend Mike Rothman to keynote our flagship annual event in 2014, and then to speak alongside him to present our “Neuro-Nacking 101” talk to a surprisingly packed room. This event is always (of course) my favorite. I invite you to join me in 2015 and beyond at
  • June: CyberSecureGov in Washington, DC, Panel on DevOps
    Here I join several friends including Tony Vargas, Josh Corman and Adrian Sanabria to discuss DevOps. What a tumultuous crew we were! Tony surprised us with a few “zinger” questions. Corman discussed “I am the Cavalry“, and Adrian imparted his ever-present calm wisdom. I took the opportunity to catch up with old friends, and make new ones. Details.
  • July: Raleigh ISSA “Wireless 101”
    Mid-summer I had the opportunity to speak at Raleigh ISSA on wireless, right here locally. It was a great crowd, and as my (ISC)2 roles pulled me away from ISSA in some respects, this was a great chance to interact with my local security “family” and I truly enjoyed the chance to be involved in directly supporting our chapter.
  • August: SC Magazine Top 10 Power Players: Women in IT Security special edition
    I was absolutely blown away in August when I was featured as one of the Top 10 Power Players in Women in Security in SC Magazine. Several amazing women were profiled here including two I’m happy to call friends, Katie Moussouris and Wendy Nather – both amazing professionals. Read the full story at SC Magazine.
  • September: BruCon in Gent, Belgium and debut of “InfoSec Life Lessons from Dr. Seuss”
    Here I debuted my first major treatise on the grave need for “life leaders” in our industry. Follow the link for my play-by-play action of exploring new mohawks and then grown men crawling on stage. Belgium skyrocketed to the top of my “favorite countries” list, and I had the pleasure of traveling the country with my husband and favorite person, Dave. The BruCon team puts on an absolutely amazing event, and I was happy to catch up with many friends there, all while learning a few new things! I had the opporunity to meet Jacob Kuehndorf there as well. Many thanks to my friend, colleague and BruCon conference master Wim Remes for inviting me. You can read my post and watch my full keynote online.
  • September: Kennesaw State University Information Security Symposium
    This was a unique opportunity sandwiched between BruCon and the Security Congress. We have Wim Remes to thank for setting this up as well. During our visit to Atlanta, I joined many people I love dearly, including Martin Fisher, Chris Nickerson, Dave Lewis, and the aforementioned Wim Remes, to put on a one-day symposium for the Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State. We had tremendous success, amazing students, unprecedented engagement and a day that ended with meaningful exchanges and a sense of accomplishment. I had the distinct pleasure of torturing my friends while I moderated the opening panel, then Nickerson and I hosted “Beauty and the Beast”. This was also my first time meeting Andy Green who organized the event. See our full agenda here.
  • Sep -Oct: Security Congress
    Well this was a whirlwind for me. Speaking, media interviews, meetings and more! Security Congress is definitely on my “hot” list moving forward. Here, for the last time in 2014, my friend Mike and I presented “Neuro-Hacking 101” to a very receptive and diverse audience. As part of the (ISC)2 Board of Directors, I was invited to participate in the Members’ Town Hall. We had the whole panel sitting on the floor and engaging 1-on-1 with the attending members so I call that a WIN. Following the main events, I had the unique privilege of acting as Mistress of Ceremonies for the 2014 America’s Information Security Leadership Awards– an honor I hammed up for hours in gaudy pearls and 4″ heels (the theme was Rockstar, how could I resist?)
  • October: Executive Women’s Forum (EWF)
    Wow. Where do I start with this one? I never imagined I would so thoroughly enjoy a conference dedicated to women, but this one was an absolutely amazing experience where I met so many fantastic leaders, colleagues and new friends. I hope to attend again. Due to the time difference, I did have to get up at 4:30am to host a conference call, but given my normal morning gym schedule, I handled that like a champ! Read more at EWF.
  • November: NCTA Tech Woman of the Year
    In November I was again both surprised and honored to receive the NCTA Tech Woman of the Year” award. Knowing some of the competition in this group, I was shocked to have walked away from that event with the glowing blue monument denoting the accomplishment, which is bestowed upon our team at Carolina Advanced Digital, for I truly believe there is no such thing as an “individual award”. That award is the fruit of many peoples’ labor; from Meghan’s authorship of a heartfelt nomination, to Julie’s unwavering support in and outside the office, and of course the guidance of both parents who raised me in this industry.
  • November: Southern Fried Podcast
    From years ago, I still remember running around conferences handing out shiny new Southern Fried Security Podcast stickers. Martin Fisher is someone I consider a friend, colleague, mentor and all-around great guy whom I admire and respect. In this podcast I spill the beans on a few things related to (ISC)2 and the inner workings of the 100,000-member global beast. Around 12:15 I start the juicy stuff, how we work and why Robert’s Rules of Orders failed us; until then I’m rambling about our upcoming (ISC)2 elections. Read more or listen online.
  • November: Last Hacker Standing Podcast
    Giggle like a baby, and party like a rock-star! Martin McKeay introduces “himself” then our motley crew of friends Chris John Reilly, Dave Lewis and yours truly on this episode of Last Hacker Standing. Chris shows his age with a lead-in discussion of mainframes. Of course I propose a completely logical solution to his mainframe knowledge gap woes. After this I climb on the soapbox sometime around the 10-minute mark. “It’s easier to tear people down,” Chris says, and we go from there. Listen online.
  • November: Security Awareness Training article by Fahmida Y. Rashid of Dark Reading
    Also in November, I had the pleasure of talking to Fahmida about security awareness training, which I told her falls in line with religion and politics… we just don’t talk about it because no one agrees! Read her full article at Dark Reading.
  • Others events and new happenings
    There were many more fun activities of 2014; I was able to stop by the NCET conference, and the NCLGISA fall conference and see many friends and clients at both places. Late in the year, I found myself having adopted an amazing group of high schoolers that manage three competitive teams in the national CyberPatriot Challenges for cyber security. I’m just getting started with them, but so far I’ve found myself in great company- Chris Gaw, the teacher who leads the group, and the members of the Black Falcons cyber security teams there at the school. Later this week I get to join Raleigh ISSA in handing over 3 customized new laptops donated for their use. I can’t wait to continue getting to know them and connecting them with more resources throughout 2015!

It’s been a fantastic year (despite my failures to commit to my writings and public speaking consistently), and looking back I’m excited for the things accomplished, happy for those we’ve helped, and extremely energized for a fantastic 2015!

Where can you find me in 2015? Infosec World, RSA and more! Full release and schedule coming soon.

# # #



Author, speaker, and recognized authority on network and wireless security architectures, Jennifer (JJ) Minella helps organizations solve technical problems and align teams.

View all posts