Decrypted: How Heather Adkins thinks about security

Heather was hacked and the rest is history. 

An 18-year veteran of Google’s security team, Heather Adkins’ interest in security was sparked when the small ISP she worked for in college suffered a data breach. Her reaction to the incident wasn’t exactly typical:

“Most people when they get hacked, panic. There's a sense of fear, and a sense of unknowing. But I did not panic or have any fear—I was really excited! I felt very curious: I wanted to know how the attackers did this, how they managed to bypass our security. And I fell in love with the role.”

In our latest edition of Public Key, Google's director of information security discusses the details of incident detection and response—“the function of security that looks for hackers and kicks them out of the network,” why COVID-19 marks a turning point in her team’s approach to securing people working and learning from home, how medieval history informs her work, and the future of online security.

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Public Key

Googlers and academics share their thoughts about our approach to security and how product design, threats to high-risk users, research partnerships and medieval history (yup!) contribute to the ways we protect people online. 

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