Window Snyder

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Window Snyder
Window Snyder Web Summit 2017 cropped.jpg
Mwende Window Snyder

1975 (age 47–48)
OccupationSoftware security officer

Mwende Window Snyder (born 1975), better known as Window Snyder, is an American computer security expert.[1] She has been a top security officer at Square, Inc.,[2] Apple, Fastly, Intel and Mozilla Corporation. She was also a senior security strategist at Microsoft. She is co-author of Threat Modeling, a standard manual on application security.


Snyder is the daughter of an American father and a Kenyan-born mother, Wayua Muasa. She goes by her middle name Window; her first name is used only by family members. She graduated from Choate Rosemary Hall in 1993 and has served on their board.[3] While earning her undergraduate degree in computer science, she became interested in cryptography and crypto-analysis[4] and began actively working on the topic of cybersecurity with the Boston hacker community in the 1990s, building her own tools and getting familiar with multi-user systems.[5] She went by the nickname Rosie the Riveter in the hacker scene.[6]

She then pursued this career path as one of the first computer scientists to specialize in cybersecurity, and to proactively try to bridge the gap between corporations and the security researchers often termed 'hackers.'[4] Until 2002, Snyder was director of security architecture at @stake. Subsequently, she worked as a senior security strategist at Microsoft in the Security Engineering and Communications group. During this time, she was a contributor to the Security Design Lifecycle (SDL) and co-developed a new methodology for threat modeling software, as well as acting as security lead and signoff on Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Windows Server 2003.[4] She also created the Blue Hat Microsoft Hacker Conference, an event bringing together engineers at Microsoft and hackers for a dialogue about the security of Microsoft's software.[7] After leaving Microsoft in 2005, she worked as a principal, founder, and CTO at Matasano Security, a security services and product company later acquired by NCC Group.[8] She joined Mozilla in September 2006.[9][10]

On December 10, 2008, Snyder said that she would be leaving Mozilla Corporation at the end of the year.[11][better source needed] On March 1, 2010, Snyder began work at Apple Inc.[12]

In 2015, Snyder became chief security officer at content distribution network Fastly.[13]

Intel's Software and Services Group senior vice president and general manager, Doug Fisher, announced in July 2018 that Snyder would become the company's Platforms Security Division's chief security officer, vice president and general manager.[14][15] She has since left Intel and in May 2019 joined Square, Inc.[2]

On April 22, 2021, Snyder announced she had started a new company, Thistle Technologies, which describes itself as providing a "secure foundation for devices."[16]


  • Swiderski, Frank; Snyder, Window (2004), Threat Modeling; Microsoft professional, Microsoft Press, ISBN 0-7356-1991-3

Public appearances[edit]

Window Snyder has been appearing publicly to speak about challenges in computer security at several conferences and hackathons. In May 2017 Snyder spoke at Next Generation Threats, held by Techworld, IDG in Stockholm, Sweden.[17] Earlier in April Snyder was a keynote speaker at HITBSecConf, held by Hack in the Box in Amsterdam.[18] Later in November Snyder spoke at O'Reilly Security Conference.[19] In April 2018 she spoke at RSA Conference,[20] and in August 2018 Snyder was a keynote speaker at the Open Source Summit held by the Linux Foundation.[21]

She has talked about career paths of women in cybersecurity, as for example in a keynote at the Women in Tech Symposium on March 6, 2020 on the UC Berkeley campus.[22]


  1. ^ Rudolph, Laura C. (2014), "Kenyan Americans", in Riggs, Thomas (ed.), Gale Encyclopedia of Multicultural America, vol. 3 (3 ed.), Detroit, pp. 1–9
  2. ^ a b @window (June 3, 2019). "I started a new role at Square a couple weeks ago. Very excited to join the team!" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  3. ^ Swartz, Jon (June 17, 2008). "'Geek girl' helps keep Mozilla safe in scary times". USA Today.
  4. ^ a b c Grimes, Roger A. (2017). "46 - Profile: Window Snyder". Hacking the hacker : learn from the experts who take down hackers. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley. ISBN 978-1-119-39626-0. OCLC 983465946.
  5. ^ Rosenblatt, Seth (2016-07-06). "How one woman protects almost the whole Internet (Q&A)". The Parallax. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  6. ^ Menn, Joseph (2019). Cult of the Dead Cow: How the Original Hacking Supergroup Might Just Save the World. New York: Public Affairs. p. 49–50.
  7. ^ Evers, Joris. "Mozilla looks to Microsoft for security". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 23, 2017.
  8. ^ Brenner, Bill (2012-08-02). "NCC Group acquires Matasano Security". CSO Online. Retrieved 2020-06-10.
  9. ^ Mozilla taps former Microsoft executive for security strategy (Robert McMillan, Computerworld Security, September 6, 2006)
  10. ^ Welcome to Window Snyder! (schrep's blog, September 6, 2006) — Mozilla hiring announcement
  11. ^ "Leaving Mozilla".
  12. ^ "Ex-Mozilla Security Chief Takes Job at Apple". PCWorld. 2010-03-01. Retrieved 2021-02-21.
  13. ^ "Fastly Adds Key Enterprise Security Leadership" (Press release).
  14. ^ Jackson Higgins, Kelly (June 25, 2018). "Intel Names Window Snyder as Chief Software Security Officer". DarkReading.
  15. ^ Fisher, Doug. "The Cybersecurity Community Driving Insights into Security Solutions" (Press release).
  16. ^ @window (April 22, 2021). "I started a company, Thistle Technologies. @thistlesec" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  17. ^ Snyder, Window. "Next Generation Threats 2017". Techworld. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Snyder, Window. "HITBSecConf". Hack in the Box. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  19. ^ Snyder, Window. "O'Reilly Security Conference". O'Reilly. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  20. ^ Snyder, Window. "RSA Conference 2018". RSA Conference. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  21. ^ Snyder, Window. "Open Source Summit 2018". Linux Foundation. Linux Foundation. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  22. ^ "Cisco's Nather and Square's Snyder to keynote Women in Tech 2020". CITRIS and the Banatao Institute. 2020-01-21. Retrieved 2020-06-10.

External links[edit]