Meet our Mentors
BSides Melbourne are once again running the new speaker track in 2023. This is to help encourage first time or new speakers take the stage and discuss their research or work. We have some amazing mentors who are offering their time to work and help equip speakers with the skills needed to feel prepared and be successful.
Kirstin is the co-founder of Something Real, a community and angel investment syndicate for cyber security startups in Australia and New Zealand. As the former COO of CyRise, Australia’s only cyber security venture accelerator, she worked with some of most technically adept and ambitious minds of the cyber security community. Kirstin is the co-chair of The Startup Network, (formerly Startup Victoria) Australia’s largest grassroots community of founders, and a mentor with AWSN.
Previously, Kirstin worked in Europe and Asia in business development in the private sector, and corporate partnership roles in public sector for over 23 years before returning to Australia in 2017 and moving into startups. Kirstin holds an MBA from IMD in Switzerland, and a B.Comm from University of Melbourne.
Liam Connolly is the CISO for SEEK across APAC, where he is responsible for all aspects of cyber security. He has over 20 years of progressive information security experience in a wide range of disciplines, including strategic program development, incident response and forensic investigations, security operations, application security, threat intelligence, penetration testing, building multi-disciplinary teams, security training, and risk management.
Prior to coming to SEEK, Liam was the CISO at Zynga in San Francisco and has held additional security leadership roles that spanned multiple business sectors including HSBC, University of California, Berkeley, AT&T as well as teaching for the SANS Institute. Liam's expertise is in working with organisations to assess their information security risk posture to better understand their security-related risks and then designing, implementing and managing a security program, often from the ground-up, that is aligned to the organisations culture, vision and strategic business initiatives.
He currently holds several industry related certifications including GCFA, GCIH, GSEC, GCIA, GREM, GCCC, GLEG, GNFA, GISP, SSAP CISSP, and CRISC among others.
Shanna Daly has over 20 years experience across the information security industry. Shanna’s expertise has been called upon during countless data breach investigations, giving her an in-depth understanding of the security implementations that work, and the ones that don’t. Shanna continues to share her knowledge with the industry and has built and managed consulting teams of industry experts responding to all types of intrusions and breaches. Her experience across a wide range of information security domains gives her a unique perspective and a “think outside the box” attitude to securing organisations.
Eldar "Wireghoul" Marcussen
Eldar is a lead security researcher and penetration tester. He is a long time bug hunter with a large number of published advisories, exploits and conference presentations at leading security conferences all over the world. He was a recipient of the first CVE 10K candidate numbers.
In addition to finding vulnerabilities he contributes to and maintain several open source projects in his spare time aimed at web application security and penetration testing. These include graudit, doona, lbmap, dotdotpwn, nikto and more. His tools and research are featured in most security oriented linux distros as well as many industry leading books.
Lidia has been in the Information Security industry for almost 20 years, with experience spanning the DoD, financial, retail and telecommunication sectors. After living in the USA for 3 years and seeing the impact BSides brought to the community, she wanted to create the same experience in Melbourne.
Lidia is also a member of the Black Hat Asia Regional Review Board, DevSecCon Review Board, the Diana Initiative Review Board, BSides Las Vegas Review Board, Black Hat USA Speaker Coach Program, and actively involved in the information security community. She has completed a BAppSci (CS) & MAppSci (IT) from RMIT University and has spoken at many security conferences internationally and nationally.
Allen Baranov is a Manager in the Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) team at CyberCX where his daily grind is helping organisations understand, achieve, and then maintain compliance with government and industry standards such as ISO-27001 and PCI DSS. As a PCI subject matter expert, he knows more about the little numbers on the face of credit cards than is healthy for any single individual.
A very naïve Allen started in information security roughly 20 years ago and has worked across pretty much all the security domains and organisation types. He was not aware at the time just how important spreadsheets would be in his life.
Allen founded the DEF CON Melbourne group (DCG-11613) and has presented at a number of conferences and meet-ups including ComfyCon, CyberConf, BSides Melbourne, CrikeyCon, DEF CON Blue Team Village, etc. He has also mentored first-time speakers for the Diana Initiative and other conferences.
Vaughan is co-founder and CEO of Cydarm Technologies, a Melbourne-based startup that has built a secure case management platform for cybersecurity incident response. Vaughan first developed an appreciation for information security 20 years ago while working as a UNIX systems administrator. Before founding Cydarm, Vaughan worked at a Silicon Valley-based data analytics vendor, after almost 10 years at the Department of Defence, leading devops teams and driving analytic modernisation efforts.