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Kyla  Guru

Kyla Guru

Founder/CEO of Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education and GirlCon Conferences, Gen Z Cybersecurity Leader & Social Entrepreneur

Biography

At 18 years old, Kyla Guru brings to the stage her unique tales of a teenage security supergirl. Fusing together her experiences as a first-generation American teenager, her powerful insights from starting two grassroots nonprofit organizations, and her perceptive visions for building a secure future for her generation and the next, Kyla Guru shares an unmatched energy with every audience, and brings a spirited gumption to everything she does. Read More >

After her hometown experienced a cyberattack in which hundreds of social security numbers of local teachers were stolen and exposed, Kyla began studying the science of cyber-insecurity. Soon, she discovered one fact she could not ignore: nearly 90% of cyber-issues are caused by human error. Galvanized to meet an unmet need, at 14, Kyla became the Founder and CEO of Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education (BNBCE). Now, BNBCE is an international 501(c)(3) that creates and distributes curriculum to classrooms and fosters partnerships with school districts, corporations, and educational platforms to empower cybersecurity training/awareness for vulnerable populations. Thus far, BNBCE has partnered with corporations like IBM, Verizon Media, and Facebook, training over 16,000 students internationally, and bringing on eight national fellows to spread BNBCE’s mission nationwide.

One year into founding Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity Education, Kyla recognized the lack of diverse representation within classrooms, conferences, and board rooms, and soon became the cofounder of GirlCon Conference, Chicago’s premiere tech conference that unites 700+ industry professionals and students annually to discuss bridging the gender gap in technology.

Kyla has championed her message of cybersecurity resilience on national and international stages including TEDxChicago, NIST’s NICE Conference, CyberSat, RSAC-USA, and RSAC Singapore 2019, as the youngest speaker to walk across security's largest stage. For her work, Kyla has been honored as Crain Chicago’s Top 50 in Tech, a John F. Kennedy Medal of Honor Recipient, a 2018 Global Teen Leader, a 2019 Harvard Book Prize Award winner, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Women Fighting Cybercrime. Kyla is also an undergraduate student at Stanford University pursuing Computer Science and International Relations, and has gained experience across cybersecurity domains including Threat Intelligence, Offensive Security, Consulting, and Security Risk and Compliance. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Hacking a Solution to Global Cybercrime | Kyla Guru | TEDxChicago

Tales of a Teenage Security Supergirl

RSA-APJ Speech

Speech Topics

Protecting Yourself Online in an Era of Cyber-Insecurity

Kyla will teach about protecting yourself online in an era of "Cyber-Insecurity,” giving tips and resources to navigate personal cybersecurity and privacy in the face of the advancing cybersecurity threat landscape. Kyla has spoken to parents about the best practices to protect children online and can speak about threat actors, their motivations, and how vulnerable demographics are targeted not only based on age, but also based on gender and race. In this, for parents, she will share tips on how to start the conversation about your child’s online safety rules and digital citizenship at the dinner table.

Engaging Generation Z & Generation Alpha in Cybersecurity & Privacy: Shifting Media, Building Programs & Increasing Retention in Security

Kyla uses her unique perspective of going through the education system to talk about what she sees for the future of cybersecurity education for youth, and, of course, strategies on how your organization can make radical change in securing the pipeline and our future. For educators, Kyla will share a “toolkit” for sparking interdisciplinary conversation about cybersecurity and privacy in your classroom, and fostering the ongoing culture of ethics and accountability that comes with the conversation. Kyla will focus on why cybersecurity is such a high-impact area and how “gen-zennials” are well fit to meet future cybersecurity workforce needs.

It’s Not a Pipeline Problem: Bridging the Gender Gap in Technology Through Inclusion & Diversity Initiatives

As the cofounder of Chicago’s largest youth Women in Technology conference, Kyla can share critical insights from her leadership of GirlCon Chicago with educators, administrators, and parents in a panel-type forum, roundtable discussion, or individual speech. From here, she will help the audience unpack what is needed to increase retention of young women not only in technology and STEM, but also in cybersecurity.

Mobilizing Generation Z in Changemaking & Social Entrepreneurship

Kyla can speak to student groups, educators, or professionals about engaging with students from Generation Z and the priorities and motives of the generation. For students, Kyla uses classroom narratives and studies to redefine what privacy and cybersecurity means to young people today: thus, we can begin to unlock more engagement and attention in classrooms. Kyla can also share her story of social entrepreneurship beginning at age 14, and her unique perspective on societal leadership.