DENVER, /PRNewswire/ — Just a decade before stepping on stage to receive the speaking industry’s most prestigious award, John Sileo thought he might be going to jail for crimes committed in his name by another person.
“An agent from the DA’s office showed up on my doorstep to tell me I was being investigated for the electronic theft of $300,000,” says Sileo, a cybersecurity keynote speaker and president of The Sileo Group, a cybersecurity think tank born from his experiences with the crime. “We lost nearly everything – my family’s 40-year-old business, our investments, my career and a whole lot of time and money.”
Sileo was an early victim of cybercrime, but in his case the theft was instigated by an insider who made illegal electronic bank transfers using Sileo’s identity. “Businesses that don’t pay attention eventually pay the price,” says Sileo from a keynote speech he delivered recently to the banking industry.
As the recent hacking of the DNC and the New York Times shows, cybersecurity is top of mind for every business in America. How they choose to respond directly affects their bottom line.
Spurred by the massive uptick in cybercrime, Sileo wrote his first of several books on the topic in 2005 and by 2006 was being asked to speak around the world on cybersecurity, data privacy and identity theft. Since then, Sileo has spoken at the Pentagon, on 60 Minutes, in USA Today and for satisfied clients ranging from Charles Schwab to Visa, Pfizer to Homeland Security. His latest book, Privacy Means Profit (John Wiley & Sons), explores the educational links between personal protection and securing data in the workplace. Sileo also hosts Sileo On Security (SOS), a series of video tips used for corporate training.
This summer, Sileo was asked to deliver a rare acceptance speech (see video) as he joined the ranks of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan and General Colin L. Powell in the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. This award honors professional speakers who have reached the top echelon of platform excellence. Joining John on stage were fellow inductees David Glickman, Jason Hewlett, Jane Jenkins Herlong and Linda Larsen.
“I’m so grateful for everyone who believed in me, who encouraged me to turn my hard-earned innocence into lemonade. I couldn’t have done it without the National Speakers Association, without my close friends and especially without my family behind me,” says Sileo, visibly holding back his emotions. “I’m the luckiest guy on earth.”
It’s that kind of positivity in the face of defeat that landed Sileo in the company of fewer than 300 speakers worldwide who have been inducted into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. Now that’s some pretty rewarding lemonade.