Security Stories

Security Stories

Discover the unique, inspiring, and often amusing stories behind what it takes to lead cybersecurity efforts in an organization. The Security Stories podcast features interviews with a diverse range of guests, each sharing their leadership experiences for the benefit of others in the cybersecurity industry. Discover more at


January 17, 2023 42 min

In today’s episode you’ll hear from Joe Toscano. Joe is an award winning designer, published author, and international keynote speaker who left his role consulting for Google because he felt the industry was misusing data and that the issues needed to be addressed through innovation rather than strict regulation. Since leaving, Joe has written a book, called Automating Humanity, and has started DataGrade, both focused on increasing...

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In this episode, Taz interviews Jason Button, Information Security Director who manages our  Mergers & Acquisitions Cybersecurity efforts. This conversation is full of compassion, leadership insights, and brilliant gems that anyone can apply in their lives. In addition to chatting about imposter syndrome and Jason's career journey, you'll hear details about the M&A process and how to successfully go about it, no mat...

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I’m interviewing Lena Olympio. Lena hosted a fantastic conversation about Women in Leadership. You all know how important that is to us here at Cisco and on this podcast so I wanted to share it with all of you. 

Lena interviewed 3 incredible leaders here at Cisco Dana, Alex and Allison (a part of our Partners Organization) - they were rightfully recognized as this year’s Women of the Channel among many other incredible humans. 

I was...

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National Cybersecurity Awareness Month continues and in honor of it we interview global and industry recognized thought leader, Confidence Staveley. 

To name a few of her incredible accomplishments, Confidence has been recognized as Cybersecurity Woman of the Year in 2021 and 2022, she is a part of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitors Leadership Program. Not to mention she has single handedly changed the future of so m...

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Happy National Cyber Security Awareness Month! Today's guest is Cathy Pedrayes: Author, television host and bilingual social media influencer, Cathy Pedrayes is best known as TikTok's 'Mom Friend.'

She developed the reputation after sharing safety content that ranges from items she keeps in her first aid kit to how to maintain your security and privacy online.

With millions of followers on TikTok, Cathy is on a missi...

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On today's show our guest is one of our very own - Ashlee Benge, Strategic Intelligence Lead on the Cisco Talos team. 

After a very informative presentation at Blackhat on "Opsec in a Post-Roe World' we wanted to dive deeper with her to learn about the impact and implications on the security industry, practitioners and the world at large. 

The episode covers a vast range of discussion, with the fundamental hope to inspire...

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Today's episode features a recording from a live event that we hosted on 24 August, aka Independence Day for Ukraine. 

Six months since Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Dmytro Korzhevin, a senior threat intelligence researcher, JJ Cummings, Talos' national intelligence principal, and Ashlee Benge, a strategic intelligence lead, provided insights into their past few months of work in the region.

The discussion primarily focus...

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August 7, 2022 39 min

Security Stories faces off, once again, against the Beers with Talos crew, to see if we can regain some dignity after our close defeat in the first game of "Would I lie to you?" 

This second round contains stories of betrayal, donkeys, embarrassing situations, and antics so dangerous, Hazel feels compelled to issue a "Don't try this at home kids" warning at the start.

Speaking of Hazel, where is she, and why does ...

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Martin Lee, who leads Strategic Planning and Communications for Cisco Talos in EMEA, joins Hazel for a quick chat about the current status of hiring in cybersecurity. 

We discuss the industry needs are in terms of bringing more threat analysts in, what is getting in the way of hiring, and the potential solutions that we as an industry should consider.

We also talk about the skills need to be nurtured within the security workforce, an...

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Today’s episode, recorded live at RSA 2022, features a great conversation with Tomás Maldonado, NFL Chief Information Security Officer, and Brad Garnett, Director of Cisco Talos Incident Response. The dialogue is led by none other than the brilliant Tazin Khan.

Taz talks to Tomás about his early life and career (“I didn’t want to be another statistic”) and how he approaches new opportunities. He talks about how he communicates his v...

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All rise, all rise, for the inaugural episode of Infosec Court, brought to you live from RSA Conference. 

Judge Wendy Nather presides, and three infosec experts (Helen Patton, Dave Lewis and Dennis Fisher) all have a ‘hot take’ that they want to be more widely accepted in the infosec industry.

Their task as plaintiffs is to try to persuade Judge Wendy and a jury of their peers that their hot take deserves to become infosec canon. 


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For our 50th episode, we invited our friends from Cisco Talos to join us for an authentic, truthful conversation about mental health and burnout.

Amy Henderson, Ashlee Benge, Matt Olney, and Mitch Neff, joined Hazel and Taz to share  some experiences. We start by talking about the work that Talos has been doing in Ukraine and the mental health effects of that work. That also includes that weird, disconnected feeling that can develo...

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Today's episode features a chat between Hazel and three security leaders - Accidental CISO (yes, the anonymity intrigues us too!), Liz Waddell, Incident Response Practice Lead for Cisco Talos, and Christos Syngelakis, CISO and Data Privacy Officer at Motor Oil Group.

They talk about their experiences of building security resilience – so we got into the key elements of an Incident Response plan, how to achieve company wide buy i...

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Today we're going full steam into the metaverse and Web 3.0.  Joining us to discuss his research on this topic is Jaeson Schultz, Technical Leader for Cisco Talos Security Intelligence & Research Group.

Taz and Hazel have a great conversation with Jason about the evolution of the metaverse, as well as the security implications, such as rising numbers of scams going after people’s cryptowallets, and the ethical concerns that...

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Today's guest is Shannon Lietz, VP of Vulnerability Labs at Adobe. Shannon joined Hazel to talk about how she first got into offensive security and the lessons she’s learned along the way, as well as the kind of work she and her team undertake at Adobe to test defenses.

We also talk about measurement, and how security was never set up to be measured properly, which is something Shannon is trying to change. She also has some tho...

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Today we welcome two guests to the Security Stories pod. Firstly Martin Lee from Talos drops by to give us an update on wiper malware, and how it’s been playing a part in cyber attacks on Ukrainian organizations and infrastructure.

We talk about the history of wiper malware, where it’s cropped up before, it’s role in the kill chain and possible threat actor motivations, as well as what organizations can be doing to prevent this type...

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A short bonus episode for your feeds today, as Hazel got the opportunity to sit down with Cisco Talos' Head of Outreach, Nick Biasini, and chat all things hybrid work.

Nick recently published the research, "Time to secure hybrid work for 2022, not 2002" and in this episode, we explore some of the malicious activities from state-sponsored actors and criminal organizations, which have made being a defender an increasingly...

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Join Hazel for a threat alert event for guidance on current cyberattacks and insight into internet activity in Ukraine. This event was originally broadcast live, featuring members of the Cisco Talos threat intelligence team, and Cisco ThousandEyes.

Both teams are actively monitoring the digital landscape and openly sharing essential findings to contribute to the safety of our customers globally.

JJ Cummings, Principal, Thre...

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In today's Security Stories episode we meet Goher Mohammad, Head of Infosec at L & Q Group, one of the UK’s largest charitable housing associations which houses over a quarter of a million people.

Goher’s is a story of resilience, geeking out over technology, and the challenges and rewards of building a brand new security team from scratch. We also talk about the power of community and how Goher is bringing together fellow n...

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Since there’s been a lot of discussion and debate about Extended Detection and Response (XDR) at the moment, we thought we would bring on two experts to talk about it.

Enric Cuixeres is a Cisco Secure customer who has implemented an XDR strategy within his organization Leng D'Or. Our other expert is former US army CID special agent and computer forensic examiner Jessica Bair. Jessica is the Director of Technical Alliances at Ci...

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