Class Notes

Hackers Beware

Heather Bellini ’91

Heather Bellini ’91 is bullish on cybersecurity. “This is a field that only continues to grow,” she says. And she would know. As a technology investments expert, Bellini keeps an eye on the full scope of the tech industry. Named a “Top 100 Influential Woman in Finance” by Barron’s, and a “Top Ten Woman in Finance” by GlobalNewswire, this Goldman Sachs partner is now leaping into a new venture as CFO of cybersecurity startup, Deep Instinct.

“Cybersecurity is a great area for start-ups,” she says. “The attack vectors are constantly shifting, and we keep applying new band-aids — one on top of the other — to keep up.”

Hackers stay ahead of the latest security measures. More devices are connecting to corporate networks all the time, exposing vulnerabilities — especially from devices like cell phones or laptops that are often owned by employees, but must still be connected through company networks.

Artificial Intelligence is part of the answer

Deep learning, artificial intelligence’s ability to self-learn and adjust as it processes new experiences, is the next generation of cybersecurity. And that’s not good for hackers: AI algorithms can now use that capability to learn as hackers test systems, and to incorporate those lessons into stronger defenses.

Bellini’s bet on Deep Instinct takes into account the startup is the first company to apply deep learning to cybersecurity tech. They develop defensive security algorithms and prediction models based on work by a team of mathematicians, data scientists, and deep learning experts.

Technology investment advice from an expert

With 20 years of experience in technology investments, Bellini knows how to find a good investment. In addition to disruptors in trending fields like cybersecurity, look for predictable revenue streams, consistent execution of core strategies, and take into account a long-term view of the stock.

Published January 2021