Dr. Merz is a Senior Research Scientist at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). She holds a Doctorate and Masters in Computer Science, with a concentration in Information Assurance from Colorado Technical University, and a Bachelor of Science in Information Management from the University of Maryland.
Dr. Merz has 17+ years of cybersecurity experience in the areas of systems and cybersecurity engineering, research, cybersecurity testing (Blue/Red Team testing), and management. In her roles as a Fully Qualified Navy Validator, and an Information Systems Security Engineer on behalf of the National Security Agency, Dr. Merz focused on vulnerability testing, and the design of mitigations for enterprise architectures.
In addition to security engineering and vulnerability testing, Dr. Merz spent several years in the area of cyber incident response. These activities included incident response to Advanced Persistent Threats (APT) on ICS/SCADA for the Navy.
From 2014 onward, her specific area of research became the study of APT’s and the life cycle thereof. These studies included responses to such threats, such as the development of cyber resilient tactics, techniques and procedures, as well as first responder detection techniques. For 2 years, Dr. Merz conducted research in the area of software-enabled devices (System of Systems), Zero Day vulnerabilities relative to software-enabled devices, and the development of resiliency tactics, techniques and procedures for software-enabled devices. While conducting applied research on APT’s and specifically Zero-Day attacks, Dr. Merz included Behavioral INFOSEC into her research areas.
Podcasts / Webinars
This presentation provides an overview of two quantitative studies conducted at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in 2017. These studies were designed to explore psychological and contextual variables that influence users confronted with cybersecurity challenges and their propensity to comply with policies under those conditions. From these studies, a new, cross-disciplinary approach towards assessing cybersecurity risk began to emerge. Ultimately, these efforts could lead to the development of risk assessment instruments that provide a tailored approach towards understanding organizational risk.