Winn Schwartau is one of the world’s top experts on security, privacy, infowar, cyber-terrorism and related topics.

Provocative, informed, challenging, he’s on the leading edge of thinking, writing and speaking. Highly technical security subjects are made understandable, entertaining, engaging and thought-provoking. Audiences find themselves challenged with original ideas which are related through historical analogy and metaphor and made relevant to the present and future world.

Winn Schwartau thinks asymmetrically. If you want originality in thought, writing, presentations or any aspect of Security, call Winn. In addition to being called, “The Civilian Architect of Information Warfare,” he is one of the country’s most sought after experts on information security, infrastructure protection and electronic privacy.

As an acknowledged global expert in the field of information security, Mr. Schwartau has testified before Congress, advised committees and has consulted as an expert witness. He has appeared regularly on popular US, European and Asian television shows, (CNN, BBC, ITV, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNBC), as well as multiple radio shows nationwide. He has been featured in dozens of documentaries aired on The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, History, BBC, CBC and more.

“My career has been about awareness and getting people to think about things that they don’t have to think about.”

Having spent a lengthy career educating the masses on cyberwarfare and internet privacy, Schwartau has truly earned his nickname, the “civilian architect of information warfare.” It’s a moniker that’s stuck because he was the first person to introduce the concept of infowar to the public in his 1991 nonfiction book Information Warfare: Chaos on the Electronic Superhighway (Thunder’s Mouth Press). Just a sampling of his other notable achievements include founding InfowarCon, a leading conference of information warfare, and SCIPP International, a nonprofit global security awareness certification organization. Schwartau’s biggest achievement, though, is the consciousness for information security issues he’s fostered throughout both the public and private sectors.” Top 20 Security Industry Pioneers (SC Magazine)”

“Our industry’s leaders are those we read about, hear about or speak about. This is Security Magazine’s third annual Top 25 Most Influential People in the Security Industry list for 2008, which includes government leaders, industry authors, CSOs and research pioneers, to name a few.” – Erin J. Wolford, Security Magazine

“In the way-olden days of vacuum tubes, I learned engineering from my father who produced Bob Dylan and Peter Paul & Mary. My mother made me read the dictionary and all 26 volumes of the Encyclopedia Britannica. They both taught me to not accept (almost) anything on face value, question conventional wisdom and examine problems (opportunities) from every angle except straight on. (Everyone else has already done that.)

“Who knew that a no-name like me would get umpteen visits from spooks and spies Information Warfare in 1992? They thought the book was classified information, written by the he-devil.

“I quickly discovered that the military, senior brass, executives and “People in Charge” are the biggest security leaks. In 1996, I was speaking about the security integration of private sector and the government. At one point, I referenced some security details about North Korea, NSA-encryption agendas and French intrusions into Boeing. One general, a two-star, literally slid out of his chair, hollering at his two Colonel-grade aides, “How the hell did he know that?” I smiled to myself: “DATA CONFIRMED.”

“Security is really about people and the technology should be absolutely incidental.”

“My Bucket List would include the following:

  • Assist in creating a national cyber-corps, focused on using the innate untapped talents of kids from middle through high school. Mom and pop and family are mission critical to the security of enterprise and country.
  • Imbue IT manufacturers with the mindset that product simplicity is good, enhances personal and national security and operational reliability.
  • Get ISC2, SANS, MCSE, etc. courses and certifications to teach failure rather than success.“

” award_title=”Top 25 Most Influential People in the Security Industry (Security Magazine)” award_date=”2008″ award_image=”1756″][vc_award_single award_title=”Top 5 Influential IT Security Thinkers (SC Magazine)” award_date=”2007″ award_content=”The concept of user education, championed by author and consultant Schwartau, has given birth to a nonprofit organization providing cybersecurity certification to ordinary PC users.

SCIPP International (the acronym’s meaning is unavailable) was formed by Schwartau with the help of an all-star roster of prominent IT security minds and uses the organization’s SCIPP General Accepted Practices and an annual certification program to bring end-users up to date on threats and best practices.

The program is another instance of Schwartau, who gained acclaim in the 1990s for his books on cyber-warfare and future threats, playing a lead role in public advocacy of security issues, says Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity adviser and (ISC)2 security strategist.

“End-user education is one of the three legs of the stool. You have the hardware and software vendors building better products, the enterprise operators, and that third leg is the user and consumer space,“ Schmidt says. “He’s looking for ways to solve the problems. A lot of people talk about the problems and complain, but he’s been proactive in coming up with ways to solve the problems.“” award_image=”1755″][vc_award_single award_content=”Power requires balance. The 50 people we’ve selected as this year’s most powerful network players sometimes make it look easy, but deciding when to take risks and when to play it safe is a true art.

Schwartau teaches security awareness to commercial and government clients. Just about every government agency in the U.S. and several foreign government organizations have used his services. One tendency he sees across clients is that people view network security exclusively as a technology issue. But Schwartau advocates a “new security triad,” which is a synthesis of three security components: cyber, physical and people. It’s not a new concept for Schwartau, but more people are listening to his advice following the terrorist attacks. “Bittersweet” is how Schwartau describes the recognition that his theories about an Electronic Pearl Harbor — a term he coined — are not just scare-mongering.” The 50 Most Powerful People in Networking and Power Thinkers (Network World)


“The civilian architect of Information Warfare” – Admiral Patrick Tyrrell (Royal Navy, UK)


“He is single handedly responsible for the infowar panic.” – Andy Mueller (CCC, Germany)


“I think he is overstating the case.” – Reaction to his prescient predictions to Congress about growing infosec problems. June 1991.


“Your presentation at GFIRST was exceptional. Thank you.” – Mitch Wander, Dept. of Homeland Security


“…informative and thought provoking presentations…” – Janet Scheitle, Military Librarians Workshop


“…lively style and knowledge…” – Bob Dwyer, Director, Professional Development Programs


“Of all the speakers, you are the best.” – Fred Villella


“You were fantastic! You were wonderful! You were outstanding! Everyone who attended your speech was raving about what you had to say and your delivery. They are still talking about you!” – Terry Chapman, Special Projects Coordinator, National White Collar Crime Center


“My career has been about awareness and getting people to think about things that they don’t have to think about.”


“Is [info warfare] going to get nastier? Yes, it’s going to get nastier.”


“I’ll tell you what my hope is, and maybe it’s fairly unrealistic considering how long things take in the real world. It’s where employees can get certifications that would be able to reduce risk cost, insurance costs and, from a real dollars and cents perspective, the losses are much less internal than external.”


“Security is really about people and the technology should be absolutely incidental.”


“I see no reason that an operating system should not be self-repellant.”


“What happened to the global electronic bill of rights we signed 61 years ago?”


“Who knew that a no-name like me would get umpteen visits from spooks and spies Information Warfare in 1992? They thought the book was classified information, written by the he-devil.”

On June 27, 1991, Winn was asked to report to the Congressional Subcommittee on Technology & Competitiveness and the Committee on Science, Space, & Technology about the state of security in the private sector and government. The following quotes (available from the committee as well) sum it all up.

Government and commercial computer systems are so poorly protected today they can essentially be considered defenseless – an Electronic Pearl Harbor waiting to happen. As a result of inadequate security planning on the part of both the government and the private sector, the privacy of most Americans has virtually disappeared.

At the time, detractors said Winn was, “overstating the condition,” and “cyber-terrorism simply doesn’t exist.” They were wrong then, and many are still wrong about his other predictions. In fact, Winn’s predictions have been spot on since the late 1980s.

Compsec II (basis for the Novel DoD C2 network security system) employs Program Whitelisting as a malware deterrent.”

(No one seemed to care.)”

“Data viruses and micro viruses will come our way and not need executable code to spread or infect. Coined the words HERF Gun and EMPT Bomb.”

1996: Word Macro virus was the biggest and fastest spreading virus in history, and both terms were in popular lexicon.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1989″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Predicted that the government would need to implement its own crypto system to control hegemony over security and information. Warned Congress and America about the dangers of cyber-terrorism and was labeled “Chicken Little.“ Sold C2 Network Security System (created in 1985) to Novel and Centel Federal.” edu_loc=”(1993: The Clipper Chip. 2005: Terrorists are using the Internet.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1990″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Coined the term “Electronic Pearl Harbor” in U.S. Congressional testimony and submitted papers. Predicted that chipping, the intentional modification of integrated circuits to do malicious things, would come soon.” edu_loc=”(1994: First commercial chipping example with modified keyboards that spewed out dirty words when not used. 1996: CIA Director John Deutsch makes “Electronic Pearl Harbor” mainstream.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1991″][vc_education_single edu_title=”US News & World Report and Nightline both report on chip-based computer viruses used to defeat Iraqis; Winn proved it was a hoax within 30 min.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1992″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Coined the term “Information Warfare“ without knowing it was classified at the time. Founded InfowarCon, the world’s first (and still largest) conference on cyber-terrorism.” edu_loc=”(1994-1996: Information Warfare goes mainstream. 2007: China attacks U.S infrastructures as part of Class III InfoWarfare. 2008: Data breaches affect 300 million Americans, and Class I InfoWarfare is in full global swing.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1993″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Predicted HERF Guns – the nuclear weapons of the nuclear age – were the coming “thing.“ Predicted Cyber Civil Disobedience using Denial of Service attacks on the Internet.” edu_loc=”(1995: First DoS attack in France, then Italy. 1996: USA, Mexico. Over these 2 years, a heightened sensitivity to DoS attacks is created. 2009: HERF/EMP are finally recognized as threats to CIP.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1994″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Called the “Most Dangerous Man in America, and the Most Valuable“ by former CIA Case Officer, and named the “Civilian Architect of Information Warfare“ by U.K. Admiral Patrick Tyrrell. Predicted that Time is the metric by which security can be measured and established first formulas for measuring security.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1995″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Predicts exported US commercial products will contain intelligence and military Trojans. Focuses on preaching Proactive Defensive Information Warfare. Designed Internet-wide system to protect against DoS, and predicted that malicious code would be found to be the cause of many DoS events. Declares use of Microsoft products and OS’s is a National Security Threat in Newsday article. Predicts HERF weapons will come out of the closet within the next 2 years, whether military likes it or not, and several DoS attacks will be found to use this technology.” edu_loc=”(2006: Many American citizens support organized crime and terrorism through their ignorance of security.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1996″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Winn’s website breaks 2 million hits per month.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1997″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Vice President Al Gore adapts Winn’s Electronic Bill of Rights as his own. Congress holds hearings on HERF/EMP and financial sector weaknesses to such attacks.” edu_loc=”(1999-2002: More HERF/EMP hearings in Congress; they finally care. 2008: U.S. government finally considers EMP as offense, and brainstorms effects of attacks on U.S. infrastructure.” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1998″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Introduced his book Time Based Security as a method to measure and quantify network and information security. Predicts Deception will become key network defense technology.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”1999″][vc_education_single edu_title=”States that security is all about people, not technology.” edu_loc=”(People buy into this quickly.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2000″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Predicts (and creates) new integrated security triad will replace the old cyber-only model. Made an Adjunct Professor by Norwich University. Developed a mathematical model to measure the security of people and administrators in an Enterprise.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2002″][vc_education_single edu_title=”10th anniversary of InfowarCon. Partnership with the world’s largest conference firm, Reed/Elsevier and with St. Petersburg College.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2003″][vc_education_single edu_title=”During DHS National Conference Keynote Speech, 25% of audience walked out during “Why We Must Kill Political Correctness for Security.”” edu_loc=”(DHS management was thrilled.)” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2005″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Many American citizens support organized crime and terrorism through their ignorance of security.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2006″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Co-founded SCIPP International as the Security Awareness Certification organization for Enterprise users.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2007″][vc_education_single edu_title=”Winn’s new book “Beyond Information Warfare” says we are all wrong. Sold InfowarCon to Association of Old Crows.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2008″][vc_education_single edu_title=”World Cyber War has begun, and Winn wishes he had been wrong.” edu_loc=” ” edu_level=” ” edu_year=”2012″][/vc_education][/vc_column][/vc_row]