Michael Figueroa, CISSP, brings to the ACSC a diverse cyber security background, serving at times as an executive technology strategist, chief architect, product manager, and disruptive technology champion. He promotes an optimistic security approach that emphasizes the need to better assist the users, operators, and business owners in protecting their critical assets versus blaming them for being unable to properly configure and maintain complex technologies. Rather than focus on external influencers that business and mission owners have no control over, he encourages organizations to prioritize what they should do against what they are able to do, without judgement.
His past work has spanned a broad security spectrum. In the advanced technology space, Figueroa has prepared cyber technologies for transition, managed research and development applying non-security emerging technologies such as deep learning and human analytics to security problems, and led technology design and development of an innovative secure network and communications platform for cloud and mobile applications. As an enterprise security architect, Figueroa managed teams securing large-scale systems integration efforts for several U.S. Government agencies including the Departments of Defense (DoD), Homeland Security (DHS), and Veterans Affairs (VA). His business management roles have included serving as the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of a late-stage financial services startup, as an executive at a security consulting startup, and as a strategic program advisor for CISOs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the World Bank Group.
Figueroa is a graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and from the George Washington University (GWU) in Forensic Sciences, concentrating on High Tech Crime Investigations.
Director in Residence, community Engagement
Kasha brings 15 years of leadership experience to the ACSC. After experiencing firsthand, the effects of a security breach, she developed a deep passion for Cybersecurity and its mission. Her work with ACSC focuses on strengthening the regional Infosec community and furthering ACSC’s education and thought leadership programs. She helps develop the next generation of leaders through her professional and extracurricular activities, and has a particular interest in cybereducation and cybersafety.
Professionally, she’s held a range of strategic positions in financial management, operations, marketing, human resources and strategy at organizations ranging from startups to Fortune 100 companies. Her specialty is helping companies achieve their near-term objectives, while building healthy teams and companies for the future. Most recently she was CFO/COO at Pwnie Express, an Infosec startup focused on IOT threats. Previously, she worked at RSA Security, where she held a series of roles across marketing, operations, and finance. Prior to that, she worked at EMC, where she led sales operations for the NY/NJ division, and implemented the Sarbanes Oxley risk control framework. She began her career in public accounting, where she earned her CPA and performed forensic audits and consulting for distressed companies.
Kasha is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts of Amherst. In her free time, she is often found putzing in her garden, attempting to write poetry, or playing with her kids.
Emily Walt joined the ACSC with over 15 years of investor relations and communications experience. Prior to the ACSC she was an investor relations consultant for Avid Technology. Before Avid, Emily was the Director of Investor Relations at Carbonite where she was the first internal head of Investor Relations. Prior to joining Carbonite, she spent six years at EMC; the first three as a Manager of Global Investor Relations and the remaining three creating communications programs internally for the global sales and corporate finance divisions. Before EMC, Emily was an Investor Relations Specialist at Thermo Fisher Scientific (NYSE: TMO). She started her career working in finance and marketing functions in healthcare venture capital and real estate investment management.
Emily is strong supporter of diversity in the workplace, having led the women’s employee resource groups at Carbonite and EMC. She has also served as the Co-President of the Boston Chapter of Ellevate, a global professional organization investing in women. Emily is a member of the Thomas Crane Public Library Foundation and serves as an mentor to elementary and college age women for Strong Women, Strong Girls.
She is a graduate of Boston University in Business Management.