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Meet Helen Patton


Meet the members of Ohio State's Cyber Security Canon Committee. 


Helen Patton

Helen Patton

Helen Patton, Advisory CISO at Duo Security (now CISCO), is one of our #InfoSec experts vetting books for the #CybersecurityCanon.


Helen advocates using information risk, #security and #privacy to enable the mission of organizations and to support society at large.




What books are currently in your queue of reading materials? 

I have more in my queue than I have time to read!  I’m going back through the cyber canon winners and adding any I have missed – which are a few! 


What’s the last great Security book you read? 

“Countdown to Zero Day” by Kim Zetter.  Amazing writing, and amazing information


Are there any classic novels that you only recently read for the first time? 

“Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles.  While not a “classic”, it is a new take on the Great Gatsby.  Both terrific books.


Describe your ideal reading experience (when, where, what, how) 

Saturday or Sunday afternoon, on the couch, with at least two books and a kindle.  Must also have tea.


What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of? 

“The Dark Is Rising” by Susan Cooper.  It is for teens, and I read it first when I was a teen.  It’s still my favorite series.


Which writers – novelists, playwrights, critics, journalists, poets – working today do you admire most? 

Anyone with the audacity to write has my undying admiration.  The process of writing is challenging on so many levels.  In the cybersecurity space, anyone who can weave history, international security, technology and reality into a readable book is a divine gift to us all.


What Security book would you most like to see turned into a movie or TV show that hasn’t already been adapted? 

Code Girls, by Liza Mundy.  There are stories about women in security that should be amplified, and the stories in this book are amazing.


What’s the most interesting thing you learned from a Security book recently 

I continue to be intrigued by all the places cyber security has influence.  It’s not just about corporate or even public defense.  It’s also ethics and geopolitics and food safety and law and…


Which Security subjects do you wish more authors would write about? 

Human psychology, risk and cyber.


How do you organize your books? 

LOL.  Organization?  What is that?


What book did you feel as if you were supposed to like, and didn’t? 

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.  I still feel like it is a personal failure that I’m not more into that book


What books are you embarrassed not to have read yet? 

I’m not embarrassed not to have read a book – I’ll get to it eventually!


What do you plan to read next? 

I have at least 5 more cyber books teed up ready to go, but I’m most looking forward to “Cult of the Dead Cow” by Joseph Menn.  


What book do you wish was never converted into movie?  

Don’t get me started…


Which book or movie most inspired you in this field? 

Anything written by Richard Clarke and Robert Knake.