Mastering Cyber. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

Buckle Up, Your 60 Seconds Of Cybersecurity Starts Now

Dr Jay takes you one step closer to mastering cyber

Eli Kirtman

Northport, N.Y. – Dec. 24, 2020

Mastering cybersecurity is a major challenge for consumers and businesses, according to Alissa “Dr Jay” Abdullah, senior vice president and deputy CISO at Mastercard. But no worries, she has devised a game plan for anyone to follow.

“A lot of times we will look at the newest controls, the newest opportunities, and we forget about the ‘basic’ fundamental ideas that create a solid cybersecurity foundation,” says Dr Jay, a former White House technology executive.

Dubbed Cybercrime Magazine’s “CISO Ambassador” — a special designation per editor-in-chief Steve Morgan — Dr Jay is the host of “Mastering Cyber,” a weekly one-minute episode which airs on the Cybercrime Radio podcast channel. Now entering its second season, Dr Jay says the series speaks to the simplicity of things we can do to make ourselves and our data more secure.

“Dr Jay is the best host,” says Morgan. “We get feedback from CISOs, small business owners, educators, parents, and students, and they love what she brings. Very few people have the range to address everything from personal privacy to locking down the world’s largest enterprises.”

Cybercrime TV: Alissa “Dr Jay” Abdullah

Profile of a woman in cybersecurity

“Buckle up, your 60 seconds of cyber starts now,” says Dr Jay at the beginning of each episode. If you make it to the end, then she promises you’ll be one step closer to mastering cyber. This is important when you consider that cybercrime will cost the world $11.4 million per minute in 2021, according to Cybersecurity Ventures.

Dr Jay practices what she preaches at Mastercard. She plays cyber defense with company-wide spear-phishing campaigns and custom-designed attacks on her staff. “Our threat briefings tell employees what they’re facing and the steps they can take to protect (themselves),” she explained on a recent Cybercrime Radio roundtable discussion with a group of Fortune 500 CISOs.


Growing up in the small town of Albany, Ga., Dr Jay’s mother, a mathematician, and her father, a physics professional, intilled a scientific mindset on her early in life, which planted the seeds of success.

Dr Jay was inspired by the creativity and range of influence that legendary NBA basketball player Julius Erving — a.k.a. “Dr. J” — brought to the game. Aiming to resonate the same energy and influence in the cybersecurity community, she adopted a slightly different version of the dunk master’s nickname when completing her PhD in Information Technology Management.

A role model for anyone contemplating a career in cybersecurity, she hit the list of “100 Fascinating Females Fighting Cybercrime” in the 2019 book Women Know Cyber.  “We absolutely know cyber! I like to think I’m the first one featured in the book because I’m just that fabulous — BUT it’s in alphabetical order!” she laughs.

Dr Jay possesses the street cred, cyber credentials, and outsized personality to turn what is often a boring topic into an entertaining and informative program. Tune in here for all of her episodes.

Eli Kirtman is a freelance writer based in Cincinnati, Ohio.


As Mastercard’s deputy chief security officer, Alissa (Dr Jay) Abdullah, PhD leads the Emerging Corporate Security Solutions team and is responsible for protecting Mastercard’s information assets as well as driving the future of security.

Prior to Mastercard, Dr Jay was the chief information security officer of Xerox where she established and led a corporate-wide information risk management program. Dr Jay also served as the deputy chief information officer of the White House where she helped modernize the Executive Office of the President’s IT systems with cloud services and virtualization.

Dr Jay holds a PhD in Information Technology Management from Capella University, a master’s degree in Telecommunications and Computer Networks from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Savannah State University.