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About The Speakers
Ron Ford, CISA (Moderator)
Since 2017, Ron Ford has served as the Regional Cybersecurity Advisor in New England managing major cyber engagements for the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA ) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). In this role, Ron champions cyber resilience through partnership engagement, education, and cyber risk assessments with the public sector and small, mid-size and large private companies.
Ron began his career in information assurance in 2002 in the Washington, D.C. area working in with the Department of Defense. In 2008, Ron transitioned to DHS to work on cyber supply chain risk management and best practices. Ron worked on key national-level efforts including the Presidential Policy Directive (PPD-41) on U.S. Cyber Incident Coordination in 2016 and the National Cyber Incident Response Plan in January 2017, which codified the federal roles and coordination efforts with public and private sectors in cyber incident response.
Ron also serves as adjunct faculty at Boston College teaching graduate courses on cybersecurity governance, intelligence and policy. He has also served as a mentor to aspiring professionals in information technology and cybersecurity.
Michael A. Echols, Board Member - IACI
Michael A. Echols (Mike), is the author of the 2020 book Secure Cyber Life: The Government is Not Coming to Save You.
Mike spent 10 years in critical infrastructure protection and cybersecurity leadership at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He spent another 6 years as a consultant to DHS for the creation of the National Infrastructure Protection Plan, National Response Frames and Critical Capabilities List. Mike led several national security and risk management initiatives prior to departing DHS in September 2016.
At DHS, Mike was Chairman of the Communications Sector, Government Coordinating Council where he led a national risk assessment across wireline, wireless, cable, broadcast and satellite. He was also the Designated Federal Official for the President’s NSTAC. Mike Chaired the Network Security Information Exchange consisting of cybersecurity experts from Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand. Mike served as the U.S. Representative to the NATO Civil Communications Policy Committee (CCPC) in Brussels. He also led classified and unclassified information sharing programs at DHS. He was the point-person for President Obama’s E.O 13691, Promoting Private Sector Information Sharing - developing the program for ISAOs.
Mike helped to launch the International Association of Certified ISAOs at Kennedy Space Center. He is the CEO of Max Cybersecurity, an SBA 8a company in Washington DC. He was featured on a PBS Cybersecurity Special, Roadtrip Nation” and has published Forbes Online articles. Mike helped develop coding programs for the Hispanic Heritage Foundation and is now developing “Cyber Secure Zones.” A national security strategy for “Whole of Community” cybersecurity management, skills training, and community advancement. Mike is a columnist for Homeland Security Today Magazine.
Amy Bianchino, FedEx
Amy C. Bianchino is a senior attorney with the FedEx Corporation’s International Regulatory Affairs Office in Washington, DC. Her practice focuses on security regulatory compliance and related policy matters, including those pertaining to aviation security, supply chain security, and cybersecurity. In this role, she also advises on strategic and operational decisions related to security initiatives and assists in the development of internal security policies and protocols. In addition to her role at FedEx, Amy volunteers as a legislative drafting advisor to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission.
Prior to joining FedEx in 2019, Amy spent more than a decade as a government lawyer, serving as legislative counsel at the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Aviation Administration. While at DHS, she handled a wide array of legislative and congressional oversight matters relating to aviation security, emergency management, immigration, information sharing, technology policy and R&D, and cybersecurity, including the creation of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Amy is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and the University of Florida.
Laura Galante, Galante Strategies
Recognized as a leading authority on state cyber operations, Laura founded Galante Strategies (Galantestrategies.com) in 2017 to equip governments and corporations to respond effectively to cyber and information threats. Her recent work includes directing analysis for the Ukrainian Election Task Force, developing a security framework for the Ukrainian government, and serving as an expert witness for cyber warfare claims.
A Senior Fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Eurasia Center, Laura previously served as the Director of Global Intelligence at cybersecurity company, FireEye Inc. (formerly Mandiant). Her teams exposed Russian and Chinese military operations and authored numerous public intelligence reports. Prior to FireEye, she led a team analyzing state cyber capabilities for the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency.
Laura has testified before the UN Security Council and regularly comments in global and industry media. She speaks frequently about the future of state conflict and security, and has given a TED talk at TED2017.
Laura holds a B.A. from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the Catholic University of America. She serves on the board of advisors of Safeguard Cyber and the board of the Northern Virginia 4-H Center, and is a Term Member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
Ryann Hallback, The Vertex Project
Ryann Winters Hallback is a Principal Intelligence Analyst for the Vertex Project, where she researches and analyzes cyber intrusion data, and contributes to the development of Synapse, a novel intelligence analysis platform seeking to advance and standardize data modeling and analysis.
Prior to the Vertex Project Ryann worked IBM as a Global Threat Researcher contributing to the development of the new Incident Response and Intelligence Service business unit; conducting threat discovery and hunting, and tracking established and emerging threats. Ryann also served as a Principle Threat Intelligence Analyst and Functional Intelligence Lead at FireEye, and as a Computer Network Analyst for the Department of Defense.
Ryann holds a B.S. and M.S. in Information Technology (Computer Security concentration) from Florida State University. She is a Florida native who currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and son. Ryann is an avid foodie who loves to travel, cook, graphic design and serve others in any capacity possible.