Episode 19: Deb Radcliff

Deb Radcliff was the first person to recognize cybersecurity as a reporting beat in the 1990s, and created award-winning work on the topic.

Deb Radcliff is the first person to recognize cybersecurity as a reporting beat. She was immersed in the hacking community in the mid-1990s, when few people were familiar with hacking. Deb’s business, DeRad CyberSecurity Publishing Services, built a white paper and webcast program for SANS institute. She has also written for the SANS Security Insights blog, including “Top Three COVID-Related Risks” from earlier this year. 

She recently created a new cyberthriller screenplay, “Breaking Backbones,” as part of a hacker trilogy TV or streaming series. Look Left’s Davida Dinerman recently spoke with Deb Radcliff on the Look Left @ Marketing Podcast for a really insightful two-part episode. Highlights from Part I:

  • A high school teacher who gave Deb an unfair grade was an early inspiration to her to become a writer: “My freshman year, I wrote a paper about how badly we screwed the Native Americans with all the land deals, the Trail of Tears and all the horrors after they submitted. [My teacher] absolutely hated my paper. I swear it drove him to drink. He was screaming at me in his red lines.  All I knew was I (had upset) someone, and only a good writer can do that.”
  • Deb feels hackers are mislabeled: “To me, hackers are researchers, and criminals are doing it for financial gain and seriously violating the law. Hackers may be trespassing, but criminals are stealing the data and then turning it around and monetizing it by making fake credit cards or whatever they're going to do with the data.”
  • According to Deb, cybercriminal attacks create a double whammy for enterprises, which are both attacked and demonized: “So the corporations have these huge issues.  On one side, they're the victims. And on the other side, when they're victimized, the government and customers are treating them like they are the criminals with lawsuits. I wouldn’t want to be in business if I had to go up against all that.”

Listen to the podcast now, and be sure to subscribe to catch every episode as soon as it’s available. 

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