Keren Elazari Headshot

Keren Elazari, a cyber security expert and woman in tech speaker, sat down to discuss her journey into the technology industry.

As the founder of Leading Cyber Ladies, she shares her story to inspire other female professionals and widen the global professional network of women in cybersecurity. Learn more about Keren in this exciting Q&A.

How did you enter the cybersecurity industry?

“I was a very, very curious young little girl growing up in sunny Tel Aviv, and I would ask my parents so many questions. They taught me how to find the answers on my own. So, instead of a bedtime story, I got volumes of the encyclopaedia, and I had to navigate that encyclopaedia on my own.

“Then, when we first got access to the internet, they gave me my own computer. I had to teach myself how the internet worked if I was ever to find answers to my many, many questions. Teaching myself how the internet worked was actually by process of reverse engineering, by looking at how web pages were built and identifying flaws that allowed me to enter password-protected websites.

“Because I was really curious at the time, I didn’t even know this was part of the world of cybersecurity and hacking. It was through my discovery, through my exploration, through my curiosity that I learned about this incredible world of cybersecurity. And I’ve been passionate and curious about it ever since.”

What are some of the challenges you overcame as a cybersecurity expert?

“Growing up in Israel and serving in the military, I’ve had my share of going through war, conflict, terrorist attacks, rocket attacks. Just in the last few years, we’ve had to deal air raid sirens and rockets going off in the middle of the night!

“The way to find the silver lining for all of that, for me, has been the idea that ‘pressure makes diamonds.’ All that pressure has just pushed me to be better at what I do, to be more hopeful, more positive, and to really count my blessings every day.

“It has made me grateful for the opportunities that I have available to me and has pushed me to try and share my knowledge and my passion with as many people as I can. So, that’s where I find my resilience: ‘pressure makes diamonds.”

‘What is your proudest achievement?

“I would have to say that my proudest professional achievement is also my personal achievement, which is speaking at the TED International Conference. I was invited in 2014, which was also the 30th anniversary for the TED event. This was for the main TED conference. In the audience were visionaries like Bill Gates, Larry and Sergey from Google, journalists, musicians, actors.

“I was easily the most anonymous person on that stage! I prepared for those 16 minutes as if I was preparing for the most important event of my life, because I knew it’s not just about my 16 minutes on that stage.

“It’s millions and millions and millions of people’s minutes and their time that they give me, their attention. So, I really prepared for that, to use that platform, to use that stage, to share my message that hackers can help us get safer and that we can learn from hackers. I’m very proud of it to this day.”


This exclusive interview with Keren Elazari was conducted by Mark Matthews.