Jennifer Bisceglie

CEO & Founder, Interos Inc.

Cyberattacks are the number one business risk in most of the world, according to a 2022 study from the World Economic Forum. Not all cyber threats are alike, and diverse problems require diverse solutions. Yet, the cyber industry is predominantly led by men. How can we solve this significant threat to the business world with only half of the population? Fortunately, the women who make up that percentage are some of the fiercest in the greater technology industry. In this series, The Female Quotient and Deloitte are putting a spotlight on 25 women at the forefront of the cyber revolution, amplifying their career advice and sharing their insights on how the industry will evolve in the future. Their stories are proof that behind every functioning society is a woman in cyber.

What does a typical day of work look like for you?

First things first: I will always make time to work out, whether I’m on the road or having a slow weekend. I take a minute to reflect on how fortunate I am, how I have the privilege to lead an amazing team that is changing how the world does business. I get in the right frame of mind to be the best I can be for my employees. At work, I focus on surrounding myself with good people. My job is to make sure that the team can do their job. It’s not to tell them what to do because they are professionals and highly skilled. Each day, my job is to clear the path for them to succeed.

What's a common misconception about women in cyber you'd like to debunk?

I don’t know about specific myths. What matters for women – and everyone – is identifying their strengths and building from there. Having the confidence and tenacity to pursue what we know we are good at and remembering why we are successful. Women should focus on finding like-minded people who see the problems with the status quo and figure out how to change that and add value.

What aspects of your career journey have taken you by surprise?

My role has changed from focusing on the doing, and it has transitioned to the up and out focus. Along my career journey, I have built a company with a team of people who are better at their jobs than I could have ever had been. I’d like to think it was all by design. I do believe the harder you work the luckier you become.

What's your superpower as a woman in cyber?

My superpower is my ability to stay calm and maintain a good perspective while juggling multiple things. As the CEO of Interos, my technical acumen is not as important as my ability to handle the highs, lows, and the in-betweens as my company advances technology to satisfy customers and solve business challenges.

What's the most challenging component of your job today?

I learned early on that the highs are never so high, and the lows are never so low. You need to be even-keeled. When challenges come, I look for the message in it, I learn from it, and that’s how I get through it.

Tell us about the cyber project you're most proud of working on in your career.

The work we are doing at Interos to help companies manage physical and digital supply chain risk, and particularly how we have supported companies through serious attacks including SolarWinds, Kaseya, Log4J, and the Colonial Pipeline hacks. On average, supply chain cyber-attacks cost companies $34M per incident. I’m proud that Interos is tackling such a massive problem at scale. Our teams are making a difference and changing how the world mitigates third party cyber risks.

What's one must read, watch or listen for women wanting to work in cyber?

Winners Dream: A Journey from Corner Store to Corner Office by Bill McDermott

How has public perception of cybersecurity changed over the course of your career, and how do you predict in the future?

Cyber has moved from a technical problem to a business issue. For the first time, the public is feeling the impact of their third party vulnerabilities. People are becoming aware that their personal data and passwords are not the only things at risk, and that despite not being hacked themselves, they feel the ripple effect of attacks on critical infrastructure. In the future, third party cyber-attacks will become even more prevalent and begin to regularly affect the general public. Companies are going to need to be able to pre-empt these disruptions and mitigate them, otherwise, these impacts will be played out in the court of public opinion. Revenue losses can eventually be regained, but brand and reputation damage can cut deeper and last much longer.

What's one piece of advice you'd give your younger self about getting started in cyber?

If I could go back, I would tell myself, “It’s okay not to know everything.” It would have been a confidence booster to know this because I thought leaders had to know everything, which is impossible of course. Knowing that leaders set the vision, build the team, and empower people’s success would have been a relief.

Who are some women working in cyber today that you admire?

There are too many to mention! A few that come to mind are Edna Conway, Deborah Wheeler, Jen Easterly, Michele Iversen, and Amy De Salvatore.

Jennifer Bisceglie is the founder and CEO of Interos, the dynamic supply chain risk management and operational resilience company. Under Jennifer’s leadership, Interos, a ‘unicorn’ startup with a $1B+ valuation, has emerged as a major player in the emerging operational resilience space, empowering clients such as the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA, and a host of Fortune 500 companies with the tools and counsel needed to detect and respond to crises before they happen. Jennifer and Interos have disrupted the traditional supply chain risk management discipline, bringing 24×7 real-time visibility into every supplier at every tier and at every location around the world.