Eric O'Neill spoke at our Qualcomm conference and our group was very pleased. He hit home with the importance of being diligent to protect personal and company data - with many examples of ways we are all being targeted. The threat is REAL, and people need to take it seriously.
Cybersecurity Expert, Former FBI Operative Featured in the Film Breach, Bestselling Author, Technology Futurist, and National Security Strategist
Best known for his role in capturing the most notorious spy in United States history, Robert Hanssen, Eric O’Neill is a cybersecurity keynote speaker, former FBI counterterrorism and counterintelligence operative, technology futurist, and practicing attorney. He is the bestselling author of Gray Day, and the inspiration for the film Breach, in which he was portrayed by actor Ryan Phillipe. O’Neill is the founder of The Georgetown Group, a premier investigative and security services firm, and a national security strategist for VMware Carbon Black, the leader in next-generation endpoint security. In addition to cybersecurity, he also addresses the new SEC cybersecurity reporting requirements, the threat to U.S. security posed by terrorism, cyber threats to critical infrastructure, foreign intelligence, and the national conscience in a monitored society.
A talented motivational speaker who weaves real-life experiences worthy of Hollywood spy thrillers and bestseller lists into talks that are as entertaining as they are inspiring, Eric O’Neill provides practical cybersecurity insights into real work situations relevant to many industries. Key to his presentations are his captivating first-hand accounts of his role in capturing the most notorious spy Robert Hanssen, a 25-year veteran of the FBI who was responsible for the greatest security breach in U.S. history. The story was captured in O’Neill’s bestselling book, Gray Day, and the critically-acclaimed thriller Breach, starring Ryan Philippe as O’Neill.
Eric O’Neill began his career in counterintelligence and counterterrorism as a graduate of the FBI’s Intelligence Program. He spent the first five years of his FBI career as a special surveillance group field operative tasked to surveil and monitor foreign, national, and domestic terrorists and spies. He transitioned from field operative to direct undercover work focusing on Hanssen. Although his prior training had focused on “ghosting” targets from the shadows, he engaged Hanssen in conversation to elicit the information needed to catch him in the act of espionage. The singular nature of the assignment, one with little backup or support, required O’Neill to draw from deep reserves of courage and inner confidence to deflect Hanssen’s mind games and learn to “stop reacting to Hanssen and begin acting.”
Currently, Eric O’Neill is the National Security Strategist for VMWare-Carbon Black, the leader in next-generation endpoint protection, where he provides insight and advice on strategic cyber-security issues and ensures that they are an active participant in the conversation about the national strategy for cybersecurity. He is also a founding partner of The Georgetown Group, a premier investigative and security consultancy specializing in counterintelligence operations, investigations into economic espionage, cybersecurity penetrations, internal investigations, catching the trusted insider, and security risk. As an attorney, O’Neill also serves as the general counsel and chief ethics officer for Global Communities, a charitable humanitarian relief organization serving 20 million people each year.
In addition to his book and the movie it inspired, O’Neill has told his story on CNN, ABC, Fox, MTV, and NPR, including programs such as Nightline, Hardball with Chris Mathews, Fox News Power Player of the Week with Chris Wallace, CSPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR’s Fresh Air with Terry Gross, World News Now, and Access Hollywood.
His speaking engagements include Fortune 100 companies and strategic clients such as AT&T, Salesforce, TIAA, IBM, Dell, Raymond James & Associates, Roche Diagnostics, and Allstate.
Featured Keynote Programs
How I Caught the Most Damaging Spy in American History
Imagine if the FBI locked you in a room for eight hours a day with the most ruthless and damaging spy in United States history. Imagine feeling unqualified and outgunned, knowing the country depends on you to succeed despite the fact no one has provided the means to do so. Robert Hanssen was a notorious cyber spy charged with selling American secrets to Russia for more than US$1.4 million in cash and diamonds. His ability to exploit computer systems allowed him to protect his identity during a 22-year spy career. In this edge-of-the-seat spy thriller talk, Eric O’Neill shares intricate details of the investigation and shows how you can find success inside yourself by setting small goals that lead to big accomplishments until finally, through courage, confidence, and determination, victory is achieved.
Cybersecurity in the Age of Espionage
Experts predict that the cyber theft of private and confidential information from government agencies, business, and private individuals will reach $6 trillion annually by 2021. The modern spy is responsible for these sophisticated, brilliant, devious, and technologically advanced attacks targeting your data. Robert Hanssen was the first of these new cyber spies, charged with selling American secrets to Russia for more than US$1.4 million in cash and diamonds. His ability to exploit computer systems allowed him to protect his identity during a 22-year spy career. In this exciting and informative talk, Eric O’Neill uses real-life spy stories and a review of recent massive cyber-attacks to show how careful diligence, counter-espionage techniques, and restraint in social media can help identify the numerous spies, hackers, cyber criminals and trusted insiders that threaten every stroke of your keyboard.
Data Is The Currency Of Our Lives; This Is How You Protect It
In the information age, your company’s most precious asset is data. How can you keep it secure? In this lively and informative talk, cyber-security expert, author and spy hunter Eric O’Neill uses true stories informed by decades of work as an undercover operative in the FBI and security consultant to help you protect your information. Audiences will learn about the need for diligence; critical areas in physical security; phishing and email hacks; social media do’s and don’ts; how spies recruit; economic espionage; preventing the insider threat; and why it is important to hunt the threat before the threat hunts you.
Cyber Spies Are Holding Your Data Hostage; This Is How You Stop Them
Ransomware is not only the most damaging and costly cybercrime, it is a go-to tool for spies, terrorists, and attackers. Over the last three years, ransomware attacks increased 2,500 percent and security experts predict that this economic boom industry will cost $11.5 million by 2019. In this lively and entertaining talk, cyber-security expert Eric O’Neill uses humor and stories to explain why ransomware has taken the dark web by storm, why terrorists and spies are launching the largest ransomware attacks, how a single email can cause catastrophic damage and the easy steps you and your organization can take to save your data.
Eric was the perfect guest speaker for our event. With an audience of IT Security folks, he not only captivated the room with his thrilling espionage story, but also incorporated our latest cyber-security report and other cyber-security themes into his talk. Eric has a long list of interesting topics he can speak on, and we hope that we can bring him back to speak again in the future.
Eric does an incredible job engaging an audience through the telling of espionage stories, while masterfully weaving in what it means today in the world of cybercrime. He captivated the attention of over 350 business leaders, who left with clear insight into the non-negotiable importance of strategic cyber-security.
Mr. O'Neill's presentation was very engaging. He was able to translate his experiences into a thought-provoking presentation on risk management covering the investigation methods used and professional/life lessons learned with insight and humor.
Eric O'Neill is an enthralling speaker who brings to life the realities of espionage and what it means to the average business. He painted a picture that was both enticing and terrifying based upon his experience at the FBI
Eric was a wonderful addition to our Company-wide Conference and, for many of our attendees, his presentation was the highlight. He was engaging, animated, charming and able to extract important business lessons from his experience with the FBI. I appreciated his candor, the tailoring of his message to our theme and the time he took to spend with our team. I'd recommend him as a speaker at any corporate event.
Eric is a consummate professional, with a relaxed demeanor, he was the absolute hit of our event! We had a record attendance at our meeting, and due to his great presentation we have new exposure for our ISACA chapter!