Katie Moussouris: Profile in Fortitude

by Bill Brenner on December 18, 2013

Friends in the information security community continue to inspire me. Last week, it was Trey Ford. This week, it’s Microsoft senior security strategist Katie Moussouris.

Mood music:

Katie has had a huge year at Microsoft and in the wider security industry. After a seemingly eternal push, she succeeded in getting a bug bounty program off the ground, ensuring that the software giant will find and patch many more security holes than it has before. She traveled the globe nonstop, speaking, teaching and organizing for a multitude of security events.

And she did it despite adversity that would have crushed many good people.

She endured a divorce and continued to grieve from losses she suffered two years ago — both parents and a best friend from childhood died that year. There was a parent’s estate to settle, a high-pressure matter no matter how agreeable people try to be.

She continued to be a dedicated mom to her two children, even while circling the globe.

In short, she pressed on, refusing to let personal calamities derail her work.

She touched on this in a June 30 Facebook post, noting how she was having the weirdest, saddest, happiest, yet oddly most productive past couple years of her life. Years spent growing, grieving, gestating, breastfeeding, estate settling, celebrating births, and honoring lives cut short. And working to turn the heresy of a Microsoft bounty into gospel in the midst of it all swirling around and through her.

What she’s been through isn’t unique, and as I’ve noted many times before, we all suffer: We go through career challenges. We lose loved ones. Marriages crumble.

But when people do it with exceptional grace and fortitude, I like to celebrate them.

Here’s to your continued success, friend.

Katie Moussouris

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kate Brew December 19, 2013 at 8:18 pm

Nice blog! I met Katie recently at an Austin ISSA chapter meeting, and I found her to be, well, pretty awesome.

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