The emergence of cybersecurity as a top priority for businesses, governments and other organizations has been well documented in recent years. The men and women chosen for our first Cybersecurity Power List are at the cutting edge of technological advances to protect our digital assets. They’re also at the vanguard of teaching and bringing awareness to the best practices in cybersecurity today.
Winner Profile — Ellison Anne Williams, Founder and CEO of Enveil
After a decade working in the cybersecurity industry, including with the National Security Agency, Ellison Anne Williams founded Enveil, a data security startup, in 2016. She holds advanced degrees in mathematics and computer science.
What drove your interest in working in the field of cybersecurity?
I love working in this field because there is never a shortage of interesting challenges to solve. I’m fortunate to now serve as CEO of the company I founded, and to be building a market around privacy enhancing technologies. We help organizations enable critical business functions while prioritizing the security of their most sensitive data.
What is the biggest challenge facing the cybersecurity industry?
One of the challenges I’ve seen on the rise lately revolves around a lack of shared understanding about “buzzy” topics. For example, when discussing machine learning, we frequently see cross-functional teams working to collaborate without a shared definition of the topic. Because the impact of cybersecurity goes beyond security teams, ensuring understanding among stakeholders is a critical step.
What personal lesson have you earned from your career that you would like to share?
My advice to anyone with aspirations in cybersecurity is to just go for it. Don’t let fear or any other assumptions hold you back — find and pursue meaningful, substantive work. When you encounter the inevitable roadblock, don’t be afraid to ask for help from people who are walking a similar path.
Read full interview here.