Eric O’Neill

Former FBI Operative. Expert in Cybersecurity




Specific topics

Cloud ComputingCybersecurityfuturistsecurity

Eric O'Neill is a lawyer, a consultant for security and a top speaker. In 2001, O'Neill assisted the FBI in capturing the most famous spy in the United States: Robert Hanssen; a noteworthy incident that prompted the celebrated "Breach" thriller, featuring Ryan Philippe as O'Neill. Today, Eric O'Neill has turned his focus towards data protection and cybersecurity while directing the leading research and security firm, Georgetown Group. He is also Carbon Black's National Security Strategist, the pioneer in next generation endpoint protection.

In his speeches, O'Neill discusses the existing security situation and the most urgent problems related to data protection, cybersecurity and social media. His topics revolve around how to avoid spying and attacks on the system; while critically analyzing the threat posed by global cyber crime. He also usually shares the intriguing story of how he helped catch Robert Hanssen, an FBI agent who sold American information to Russia. Although he didn't feel that he was ready to approach this vital assignment, O'Neill succeeded in establishing small goals, that helped him achieve his biggest objective: he shares this strategy in his conferences aiming to help people succeed through confidence, determination and task planning. O'Neill's talks are tailored to the concerns of the crowd and are very interactive, causing the main focus of the conversation to be driven by the audience.

A glimpse on O’Neills career

O'Neill started his FBI career as a ghost: an undercover agent specialized in surveillance tasks controlling foreign and U.S. nationals accused of terrorist activity and spying on both U.S. and international territories. Both the FBI and the CIA suspected Russian moles in the 1990s and initiated a plan to catch them. As a result, the biggest security violation in the history of the United States was at risk.

In 1994, the agent of the CIA was detained, while the agent of the FBI stood unidentified. In that investigation, O'Neill moved from military operative to undercover agent. The target of the operation was Robert Hanssen.

Under this case, O'Neill worked secretly within the Information Assurance Division of the FBI, a division intended to protect top secret information. O'Neill's mission was particular as he had little backup and support to catch Hanssen, he completed the investigation mainly by himself. O'Neil culminated his investigation in 2001 when he finally detained Hanssen. The extraordinary role of O'Neill in the Hanssen investigation is written in his book "Gray Day" and inspired the film "Breach."

O’Neill today

This investigation shifted his career focus to cybersecurity. This led him to direct The Georgetown Group in Washington D.C. A security consultancy specialized in counter-intelligence operations, economic spy investigations, malware penetrations, internal investigations, trusted insider catching and risk assessment of security. In addition, he is also Carbon Black's National Security Strategist, and the leader in endpoint protection for the next generation, where he provides insight and advice on strategic cyber security issues.

O'Neill's story is featured in most U.S. national media such as Chris Wallace, CNN, CSPAN's Washington Post, MTV, and Access Hollywood, 20/20, Nightline, and Fox News. He is also an honorary graduate of Auburn University and graduated with honors from The George Washington University Law School with his Juris Doctorate.

Conference topics
- Cyber Security
- How to prevent Data Hostage
- Gray Day: Leadership and Motivation
- Data as currency. How to protect it
- The Human Element in Security Failures
- Social Media: how to protect ourselves
- Global Cyber Security

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