In Memory of
Rebecca “Becky” Bace
1955 – 2017
“Becky’s passion and focus not only changed the world of Zentera but changed the world of security as a whole. Her ability to recognize the future of the industry and create a positive outcome from any situation will be greatly missed.” – Jaushin Lee, CEO and President of Zentera Systems, Inc.
More Information about Becky here and her impact here. Information on the Rebecca Gurley Bace SWSIS Scholarship here.
Rebecca Gurley Bace was an internationally recognized expert in intrusion detection, cyber security, and technology transfer. She was the Chief Strategist of the Center for Forensics, IT, and Security in the School of Computing, University of South Alabama. She was also President/CEO of Infidel, Inc., a strategic consulting practice headquartered in Daphne, AL. Before coming to South Alabama, Bace served as Vice President of the Security Practice for InQTel, the investment arm of the U.S. Intelligence Community, where she led a team of security thought leaders and investment professionals. These experts leverage commercial security product capabilities in order to meet mission needs for the community. In the decade prior to joining IQT, Ms. Bace was President/CEO of Infidel, Inc., and Venture Consultant for Trident Capital, where she led the firm in building an industry-leading portfolio of security startups. (When Ms. Bace left Trident in 2009, the security portfolio team had investments in 13 firms, with 5 successful exits.)
Ms. Bace’s recognized leadership role in the security world built upon information security expertise developed during her thirteen years in government service, the first twelve as a senior electronics engineer for the National Security Agency. She led the Computer Misuse and Anomaly Detection (CMAD) Research program from 1989 through 1995, as a charter member of NSA’s Information Security (Infosec) Research and Technology Group (R2). In this role, she had the privilege of working with many of the pioneers of Computer Security, and she remained an activist in the Computer Security History field, as an advisor to the NSF-funded Computer Security History Project at the Babbage Institute, which seeks to document the accomplishments of the first generation of information security theorists and practitioners. As leader of CMAD Research, Ms. Bace sponsored much of the seminal research in Intrusion Detection, funding research at Purdue University, the University of California, University of New Mexico, and Tulane University. She also served as technical monitor for several early intrusion detection projects at SRI International and Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Ms. Bace’s research collaborations with the FBI produced a manual for Computer Crime Investigation (Computer Crime – A Crimefighter’s Handbook, O’Reilly, 1995) She is credited with building a national community that connected early network security researchers with government organizations, including the Air Force Information Warfare Center and the FBI’s first Computer Crime Squad. Bace and the CMAD workshop she founded and sponsored played a pivotal role in the 1995 detection, traceback, and apprehension of the FBI’s most wanted computer criminal, and she is included in Shimomura’s book on the case, Takedown. (Hyperion Press, 1995). Ms. Bace received the National Security Agency’s Distinguished Leadership Award in recognition of her work building the CMAD community. Before leaving NSA, she helped build an intern program for the NSA to develop experts in the areas of network attack and defense.
Ms. Bace left NSA in 1996 to become the Deputy Security Officer for the Computing, Information, and Communications Division of the Los Alamos National Laboratory. In this role, she was charged with determining protection strategies that allowed the Laboratory to balance needs for security with needs for availability and performance. The computing base protected is in excess of 20,000 hosts, and the information contained within those systems includes much of the most critical information in the national security arsenal
In 1998, after leaving LANL, Ms. Bace moved to the Bay Area, and formed Infidel, Inc., to provide services to the fledgling security industry and professional community. Under the auspices of Infidel, Ms. Bace successfully provided a range of strategic and operational consulting services for clients that include security point product developers, venture capitalists, legal firms, government agencies, and Internet solutions providers. She has advised, both formally and informally, countless security stakeholders through the last fifteen years in matters ranging from startup strategies to public policy. In recent years, her focus has been primarily on three areas, cyber security technology transfer, promoting the participation of women and minorities in cyber security occupations, and cyber security related education and training, with focus on her native Alabama.
Bace was also a noted author on topics in intrusion detection and network security, with credits including the critically acclaimed Intrusion Detection (Macmillan Technical Publishing, 2000, ISBN: 1-57870-185-6), A Guide to Forensic Testimony The Art and Practice of Presenting Testimony as An Expert Technical Witness (Addison Wesley, 2002) the white paper series for ICSA’s Intrusion Detection Consortium, the Intrusion Detection Special Publication for the National Institute of Standards and Technology (SP 800-31), and the chapters on intrusion detection and vulnerability assessment for the Computer Security Handbook, Fourth Edition, (Wiley, 2002) and Fifth Edition, (Wiley, 2012) More recent publications include an invited OpEd on cyber security strategy that served as cover for a special issue of Politico (December, 2015,) an invited tutorial advising cyber security entrepreneurs on dealing with venture capitalists for the IEEE Security and Privacy Journal, an article on web security for ACM Queue, and an invited tutorial on venture capital, presented and published within the Intelligence Community.
Ms. Bace’s accomplishments in cyber security run the full gamut from research to community building and professional development. She was a founding member of the Executive Women’s Forum, a community composed of women executives in the areas of security, privacy, and risk management; she has served on the program committee of that community since its inception. She has served as a presenter and moderator at many of the major security conferences, most recently RSA, Black Hat, RSA Europe and ACSAC. Other accomplishments include a stint as the founding lead faculty member for the Institute for Applied Network Security, where she moderated the popular Intrusion Detection Forum, a quarterly professional development program for senior Information Security Managers.
In 2014, SC Magazine named Rebecca Gurley Bace one of the five most powerful women in cyber security. In 2007, Information Security Magazine named Bace one of the ten most influential people in the information security industry; in 2005 she was named one of the five most influential women in information security and privacy.
Bace held the Master of Engineering Science (Electrical, with concentration in Digital Systems) from Loyola College.