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Dr. Jessica  Barker

Dr. Jessica Barker

Award-Winning Leader in the Human Side of Cyber Security

Dr. Jessica Barker

Award-Winning Leader in the Human Side of Cyber Security


Dr Jessica Barker MBE is a best-selling author and international keynote speaker. An award-winning leader in the human side of cyber security, she has delivered face-to-face awareness sessions to over 50,000 people in over 25 countries. Named one of the top 20 most influential UK women in cyber security, she is the go-to cyber expert for media including the BBC, Sky News and Wired magazine.

Jessica has delivered over 80 keynotes, including NATO, the World Government Summit, and RSA. Her speaking engagements bring the sociology and psychology of cyber security to life. She serves on numerous industry boards, including the UK Government Cyber Security Board. In June 2023, Jessica was awarded an MBE for services to cyber security by King Charles III in his first Birthday Honours.

Known for her ability to engage everyone from senior executives to ethical hackers, she brings energy, enthusiasm, and fun to cyber security. Jessica is co-Founder of the cyber security company Cygenta, where she focuses on her purpose to advance cyber security awareness, behaviour, and culture in organisations around the world.

The author of the bestseller Confident Cyber Security and co-author of Cybersecurity ABCs, she helps audiences around the world understand why people are the heart of cyber security.

When Jessica is not working, she loves learning and over the years she has taken classes in everything from horse riding to singing to circus skills. Born in the North East of England, she now lives in Las Vegas, USA, with her husband FC and their cat Bubble.

Speaker Videos

Never say "people are the weakest link" - here's why

What social proof has to do with cyber security messaging - RSA 2020 Keynote, Dr Jessica Barker

Why a culture of fear is bad for cyber security - RSA 2020 Keynote, Dr Jessica Barker

Speech Topics

Why Social Engineering is BS

Social engineering is involved in most 'hacks', with phishing the number one threat to organisations. In this keynote, Dr Jessica Barker explores the psychology, neuroscience and sociology of scams.

She explores the emotional bait that criminals use to manipulate us and the human biases that make us all vulnerable. Using real-world examples of phishing emails, messages and calls, Jessica walks through how criminals push the emotional buttons of their targets and get us to click before we think.

Participants leave with a greater awareness of how and why we are manipulated, helping them spot scams and be more vigilant against cyber crime.

Why Culture is Key to Cyber Security

Cyber security culture eats breaches for breakfast. In this session, Dr Jessica Barker explains what this really means: what actually is security culture and why is it so important?

Jessica makes cyber security culture real: it is not something intangible but rather something that we can define, understand, measure and influence. She explains why it is the foundation to an organisation's security posture.

Participants leave this session with a greater understanding not only of what culture is, but also how they can play a part in building a positive security culture. Jessica shares practical advice to help everyone stay safe online at home as well as at work.

How a Hack Works Demonstrating a Phishing Attack

Year on year, phishing attacks keep on growing. It is now the biggest online threat to organisations. This session brings the who, how and why of phishing to life.

Dr Jessica Barker explores how phishing attacks work, the human factors behind them and what we can do to mitigate against them.

Including a demonstration of a spear-phishing email attack (from the attacker and victim side), participants leave with an insight into the reality of cyber insecurity and both the human and technical elements at play. This session can be delivered in partnership with FC.

Cyber Security & the Psychology of Fear

For too long, the cybersecurity industry has attempted to use FUD to engage with the human element.

This engaging talk draws on extensive research in the sociology and psychology of fear, as well as real-world case studies. Dr Jessica Barker explains why we can't simply scare people into security, but how we can harness human bias to have a more positive impact on cybersecurity awareness, behaviour and culture.

Jessica presented a version of this talk as her popular keynote at RSA Conference 2020 in San Francisco.

Human & Artificial Intelligence: Social Engineering Now & Next

Social engineering is involved in most 'hacks', with phishing the number one threat to organizations. In this keynote, Dr Jessica Barker explores the psychology, neuroscience and sociology of scams.

Combining this with technological advances of recent years, this session uncovers how cyber criminals leverage AI to make their attacks more advanced and effective.

Exploring the role of AI in cyber crime now and looking ahead to the future, this jargon-free overview empowers everyone with an understanding of AI.