The Security Podcast of Silicon Valley

Fredrick Lee, CSO of Gusto: Why authentic diversity is essential for epic security teams.

August 24, 2021

Fredrick Lee ("Flee"), the CSO of Gusto, joins for a thought-provoking, bold, and honest discussion on the importance of diversity when building engineering teams in general and security teams in particular.

Flee shares humble childhood stories growing up, attending a boarding school in the deep south where he helped teachers with the school's computers and discovered the hacker magazine 2600. He took inspiration from John Lee (aka, John Threat), the first Black Hacker Flee knew and one of the participants in the 90's "Great Hacker War." Flee learned a special appreciation for the purity of the challenging puzzles behind security problems, soaking in everything he could from a diverse community of outcasts, with computers acting as the great equalizer.

But also, what is it about diversity that produces resiliency in teams and products? Building diverse teams is the right thing to do socially, but is it also the correct thing to do technically? Absolutely, but why? Further, what roles do collaborations and open-source play in the security community? Finally, Flee describes some of the best days he's had as the CSO at Gusto, one of them going back to Gusto's internal response to George Floyd's murder.

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