Dr. Anne Lee ’17 is a leader in cybersecurity, helping to defend the United States from cyberthreats. Her innovative work in the field recently earned her the designation of Cyber Architect of the Decade by the International Association of Top Professionals. But she wasn’t always on this path.
After leaving a U.S. Department of Defense post earlier in her career, she pursued a PhD in Management from Walden while in the Air Force. Her dissertation chair was the one to suggest she consider risk management in cloud computing, because it was “the latest, greatest technology that requires attention,” she says.
Lee pursued that path, and is now a Raytheon Technologies engineering fellow who has several patents pending for her innovations, and is internationally recognized for her efforts to protect both government assets and consumer devices.
Lee’s work is more crucial than ever. The Department of Defense registers more than 1,000 cyberattacks every day. She points to the 2020 SolarWinds incident—during which hackers used routine software updates to unleash a nationwide cyberattack—as a key wakeup call. “You want to do prevention up front. Not once they hacked it,” she says.
Along these lines, Lee also develops tools to protect consumers and cloud infrastructure. She has utilized artificial intelligence techniques to create groundbreaking encryption and decryption devices, and more recently, designed new security protections for consumers who use multiple devices—such as smartphones, tablets, computers, and smart TVs—that connect to Wi-Fi. She has also created sensors to install on cloud-computing systems to predict attacks or hacks and expose vulnerabilities.
Ultimately, Lee is grateful for a career that gives her the opportunity to shield Americans from ongoing and evolving threats, both on the battlefield and at home. “I’m really proud of serving the country,” she says.