Hacker Valley Red Episode 2 - Rachel Tobac

On this episode of Hacker Valley Studio, hosts Ron and Chris speak with Rachel Tobac, CEO of SocialProof Security and Chair of the Women in Security and Privacy Board. Their conversation covers everything from neuroscience to spearfishing and human’s place in cyber security.


Rachel is a human hacker, also known as a social engineer, and she begins the episode by explaining her background in social engineering and experience in the non profit space. She credits her success in the field to her background in neuroscience and behavioral psychology as well as training in improv. Her husband works in cyber security and encouraged her into the space even though she was nervous at first because she didn’t know how to code.


Rachel explains that she still does not know how to code, her most important skills in social engineering are the ability to persuade and improv. When working with companies, Rachel helps client facing employees to help confirm people are who they say they are. She sits down with them to go through processes that help her close the loopholes that allow hackers to mine information. Humans are the first line of defense, so they have to have their guard up. From there, keeping the organization up  to date on the latest trends in cyber security and how hackers find their way in is key to getting the correct tools to prevent hacks.


As the episode ends, Rachel shares her next steps are working with hospitals to prevent ransomware and phishing attacks. She’s also turning her attention toward the election and educating people on what the 2020 Presidential election will look like and the time it may take to announce the winner. While she does not currently think elections can be done entirely from home, she considers it a goal for the future.



1:59 - Rachel Tobac and today’s episode of Hacker Valley Red is introduced.

8:50 - What are the skills needed to become a social engineer?

10:51 - Rachel leads Ron and Chris through an improv exercise.

13:59 - Rachel shares where she thinks technology is headed.

20:20 - Rachel shares the scariest part of social engineering hacks.

25:29 - Rachel’s key takeaways.

34:11 - Rachel is looking toward 2020 election security.



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Follow Rachel Tobac on Twitter

Learn more about the season sponsor, RiskIQ


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Chris Cochran

Chris Cochran

Cybersecurity is not technology centric, in my opinion. It is human centric. I am driven by my duty to not only protect people, but enlist and inspire the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.

Ronald Eddings

Ronald Eddings

The pursuit of knowledge always leads to something, so be open to whatever that is. It could be becoming the best, but it’s going to lead something and it’s most likely going to be a positive impact on your life.

Allan Alford

Allan Alford

It's not enough to be knowledgeable and skilled. Without passion you might as well be doing something else. Surround yourself with people who are passionate about what they do and the rest will come together.

CJ Howard

CJ Howard

Learning and listening allows you to access new perspectives and frames of mind. I believe that information is meant to be shared generously, but understanding without compassion is like a map without a legend.

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