Marcela Denniston is the co-founder and President of Cyber Lantern, a Digital Lantern LLC. Commercial Cyber Security Solution focused on Extended Detection and Response (XDR) for the SMB, Local Government and Defense Industrial Base sectors.
As President of Cyber Lantern Marcela’s role is to build and foster a company that is driven to make security accessible and affordable for any business. Her 17 years of experience building and running operation centers drives her vision to develop a platform that makes complex cyber incidents simple to understand and remediate.
Marcela is a Brazilian-American, born in Sao Paulo. She moved to the New Jersey as a toddler, where her single mother raised her with the hopes of a better future. She began her career in cyber at the young age of 17, just after 9-11. Living only a few miles from New York City, Marcela saw both planes crash into the Twin Towers with her own eyes. The experience had a profound impact on her. When faced with her post high school options, she realized that her dreams of attending a well-renowned University were not within her budget. She decided instead to enlist in the Navy, where she spent the next 7 years of her life working in some of the most distinguished organization in the Department of Defense, including the National Security Agency and the Navy Cyber Defense Operations Center.
After leaving the Navy, Marcela continued her career in Cyber Security working with the Department of Defense on several projects focused on developing and implementing Big Data Platforms in support of our National Cyber Security initiatives. In 2013, she moved to the United Arab Emirates where she consulted with their national government on developing their cyber security threat operations center. Her experience has driven her to be sought out for several distinguished opportunities including advising foreign governments on cyber security issues and speaking engagements for the World Economic Forum.
Marcela has now lived in the Bay area for 6 years and has worked with many cyber security start-ups on product development & placement and technical sales implementations. In her experience, she noticed many companies failed to share her core values of honesty, respect, and inclusion.
“I got tired of hearing everyone make excuses for the racism, sexism, and sometimes blatant lack of ethical behavior. This is when I realized that if I wanted to work for a company that truly upheld these values, I was going to have to build it myself. This is why Digital Lantern is so important to me. From the beginning, the founders have laid the groundwork to make sure our team is diverse, supportive and always focused on doing the right thing.”
As a female in a mainly male-dominated field, Marcela has taken an active role in helping mentor and support efforts to get more females in STEM roles. She works with Ignite, supporting efforts to get more girls from low-income neighborhoods interested in STEM fields, and is member of the Latino Start-Up Alliance, Latinas in Tech and Girls Can Hack.
Marcela has an MBA in International Business from Hawaii Pacific University, which she completed while working, and raising her two daughters. In her free time, Marcela focuses on balancing her hectic life with yoga, meditation and integrating mindfulness in her day-to-day practices.
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