Ira Winkler

Ira Winkler has been dubbed “A Modern Day James Bond” by CNN and other media outlets for his ability to simulate espionage attacks against many of the top companies in the world, showing how billions of dollars can disappear.

Ira Winkler, CISSP is President of the Internet Security Advisors Group. Considered one of the world’s most influential security professionals, he has been named a “Modern Day James Bond” by the media, a reputation gained by his performing espionage simulations in which he physically and technologically “broke into” some of the largest companies in the world, by investigating crimes against them, and by advising them how to cost-effectively protect their information and computer infrastructures.

Winkler continues to perform these espionage simulations, and assists organizations in the development of security programs. Author of the riveting, entertaining and educational books, Spies Among Us and Zen and the Art of Information Security, he has also written columns for Winkler has recently been elected Vice President of the Information Systems Security Association, and has won their Hall of Fame award, as well as several other prestigious industry awards.

Winkler, is world-renowned security expert who has worked for and with a variety of intelligence agencies around the world, to discuss what he has found to be the most practical lessons security professionals can learn from the intelligence profession.

Winkler will discuss:
• The Intelligence Process
• The Counterintelligence Process
• The Types of Intelligence and Intelligence Analysis
• Applying Intelligence Techniques to Security Programs


Risk Management: Security as a Cost Benefit to the Business
Spies are unstoppable geniuses who can steal any information they want. You are at their mercy. Then there are the spy wannabes such as criminals, hackers, and even your employees, all with similar diabolical reputations. However as good as spies are in stealing your information, they are as good as protecting their information. After all, people know who the spies are and target them back. While some spy cases hit the newspapers they are rare when compared with all the people out to get them. The fact is that they know the underlying ways to compromise information, so they know best how to protect immense amounts of information.

Winkler uses actual cases of espionage, including those where he personally “stole” billions of dollars of information, taken over banks, etc., to demonstrate the most cost effective security programs for your organization.

Social Engineering: The Most Common Threat to Your Organization
Social Engineering has recently been listed as the most common threat to business. While people most commonly use the term to describe non-technical ways to circumvent computer security, Ira Winkler believes that Social Engineering is used much more widely than that, costing businesses even more than what they believe. Winkler received training in Human Elicitation from the Intelligence Community, and looks at Social Engineering as a science, vice an art as portrayed by computer hackers. This is an extreme difference in that if Social Engineering is a science, it can be prevented despite the supposed “expertise” of the perpetrators; whether they are supposed world class hackers or foreign intelligence operatives.

Winkler uses his own cases of Social Engineering and Human Intelligence collection to show how he took over banks and compromised some of the largest companies in the world. He then goes on to discuss how to protect your business from social engineering, not just your computers.

Zen and the Art of Cybersecurity
The biggest problem in corporate information security is the people performing the work. I have found that there are people outside the security field, and even many people inside the field, who think they know what they need to know about security but clearly don’t. Additionally, some people know a great deal about one aspect of security, but are woefully weak in other aspects and don’t know it (or want to know it). Because of this phenomenon, most organizations have a very false sense of security. Using entertaining analogies from martial arts and psychology, this presentation discusses this critical security failing. Attendees will learn how to tell if they are dealing with people who are properly skilled, and how to plan their security programs accordingly.

Beyond the Hype of Terrorism
Terrorism is in the back of everyone’s mind. News reports regularly highlight some aspect of terrorism, whether they are breaking news stories involving the deaths of people or they are just updating the latest uncorroborated threats. People are expected to lead their normal lives, yet they are warned about imminent threats. The government raises the threat level, causing companies and local governments to incur large costs, then we find out that they made a mistake. What should people and companies really do about terrorism? What is the reality beyond the hype? Winkler, a former intelligence analyst with the NSA, who now simulates intelligence acts, who the Wall Street Journal referred to as “One of the few voices of reason” on the subject of terrorism, discusses the reality of terrorism, and describes what actions people and companies should really take in response to the terrorist threat.

Learning From the Intelligence Community
When you consider what Intelligence professionals go through, security professionals have it easy. Think about it — intelligence collectors have to go out and collect random information that is generally known to be valuable and therefore very well protected. Counterintelligence professionals are responsible for protecting their information and computers from people and organizations with unlimited resources. However in the grand scheme of things, there are extremely few compromises of intelligence data given the comparable threats that are out there targeting the intelligence agencies. There are clearly lessons that can be taken from the intelligence field and applied to the corporate information security environment.


Full Biography

Ira Winkler, CISSP is President of the Internet Security Advisors Group. He is considered one of the world’s most influential security professionals, and has been named a “Modern Day James Bond” by the media. He did this by performing espionage simulations, where he physically and technically “broke into” some of the largest companies in the World and investigating crimes against them, and telling them how to cost effectively protects their information and computer infrastructure. He continues to perform these espionage simulations, as well as assisting organizations in developing cost effective security programs. Winkler also won the Hall of Fame award from the Information Systems Security Association, as well as several other prestigious industry awards

Mr. Ira Winkler is recognized as one of the world’s experts in Internet security, information warfare, information related crime investigation, and industrial espionage. Ira Winkler is a specialist in penetration testing, where he infiltrates companies, both technically and physically, to find and repair an organization’s weaknesses.

Winkler is also author of the riveting, entertaining, and educational books, Spies Among Us and Zen and the Art of Information Security. He was also a columnist for He has recently been elected Vice President of the Information Systems Security Association.

Winkler began his career at the National Security Agency, where he served as an Intelligence and Computer Systems Analyst. He moved onto support other US and overseas government military and intelligence agencies. After leaving government service, he went on to serve as President of the Internet Security Advisors Group, Chief Security Strategist at HP Consulting, and Director of Technology of the National Computer Security Association. He was also on the Graduate and Undergraduate faculties of the Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland.

He has also written the book Corporate Espionage, which has been described as the bible of the Information Security field, and the best-selling Through the Eyes of the Enemy. Both books address the threats that companies face protecting their information. Winkler has also written hundreds of professional and trade articles. He has been featured and frequently appears on TV on every continent. He has also been featured in magazines and newspapers including Forbes, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Planet Internet, and Business 2.0.

Expertise:  BUSINESS | Cyber-security | Risk Management | Security / Fraud | Social Media / Networking | TECHNOLOGY | Technology | Terrorism