Elizabeth Joyce, SVP & CISO at HPE. PHOTO: Cybercrime Magazine.

HPE’s CISO Elizabeth Joyce On Ireland, Cybersecurity, And Girl Scouts

Global security leader is all about collaborating and helping others

Steven T. Kroll

Northport, N.Y. – May 17, 2019

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Elizabeth Joyce, SVP and CISO at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), credits her career path to the interests she had growing up.

“I was always a little bit of a math and science geek, so I had lots of opportunity to do lots of different sciences in school and continue that in college,” says Joyce.

Her parents nurtured this curiosity by taking her to conferences and lectures. One tour at an automated factory was the catalyst for her college studies. Joyce became deeply interested in robotics — how they keep workers safe, complete complex tasks, and the science behind making them run. She attended University College Dublin to study robotics and hardware. However, she came across software engineering and switched her focus. 

After graduation, Joyce pursued a doctorate at the University of Plymouth right around the time when information security popped up, so she specialized in the field. “That really gathered my interest and hasn’t lost it since,” says Joyce.

Joyce always followed her passions, from robotics to software to cyber, which is the best way to engineer a career. A typical science enthusiast, Joyce wanted to come to the U.S., ever since she first heard about the moon landing as a child. An opportunity presented itself at work, and she launched into the States.

The transition from Ireland to England to America aligns with the trajectory of her career. She began as a technician then moved into the management and business side before becoming a CISO. Throughout these different roles, Joyce gathered bits of information that accumulate into a wealth of knowledge — which she uses daily — to communicate across the entire enterprise.

Joyce is all about collaborating and helping others. “Everybody is fighting the same fight, and everybody understands that we are stronger if we help each other,” says Joyce, referring to the other CISOs in her network.

Communication is paramount in Joyce’s opinion, as executives need to understand the cyber threats and attack vectors they face. She explains that successful CISOs are able to do this, making cybersecurity an essential aspect of the business.

“I think one of the really important characteristics for any security leader these days,” says Joyce, “is that ability to translate what can either be a deep technical issue or a regulatory compliance issue and put it in terms of ‘here’s what you’re trying to do in the business.’”

In addition to being a savvy, passionate, and knowledgeable CISO, Joyce is heavily involved with cybersecurity education and training, especially when it comes to young girls. Under her stewardship, HPE has worked closely with Girl Scouts Nation’s Capital and other organizations to offer up a cybersecurity curriculum, made with the help of a game company.

Not only is this a pro bono, volunteer initiative for HPE and Joyce, it also affects her on an emotional level. “It’s been great personal satisfaction because I have a child myself who is a Girl Scout,” says Joyce.

The future plans for this program are to continue its growth and help fill the projected 3.5 million employment gap. Another bonus is to introduce cybersecurity to young people who may not know what it is and to increase diversity — of people, talent, and skills — in the workforce.

A seasoned cybersecurity expert, with experience in many areas of the field, is the right person to head an organization’s security practices. Joyce’s journey took her from Ireland to the States and from a young student, passionate about science, to a Ph.D. in information security. Now she secures the networks at HPE — and also the future generation of cyber fighters.

That’s because she believes “everybody has a role to play in security.”

Steven T. Kroll is a public relations specialist and staff writer at Cybercrime Magazine.

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