Life at Lehigh

Kenneth van Wyk began his Lehigh career majoring in Mechanical Engineering in 1981, where he focused on taking as many classes as possible in Lehigh's growing Computer Science department. After graduating in 1985, began working as a Senior Technical Consultant providing consultative support to faculty, researchers, and staff on the use of the University's computing resources, from large mainframe systems down to PCs. During this time, Van Wyk continued taking classes about Computer Engineering at Lehigh and in his free time, he helped give numerous training seminars on computing to the campus community.


Van Wyk's contribution to the world of IT security started early in his career. After a virus attack on computers at Lehigh University in 1988, Van Wyk developed the computer forum VIRUS-L, the first world-wide computer forum devoted solely to information about computer viruses. Within weeks of creating VIRUS-L (the L stood for 'Lehigh'), hundreds of users were already partaking in the email-based discussion forum. The forum quickly grew to about 100,000 subscribers around the world. VIRUS-L is considered to be one of the first steps that the global community took towards preventing and combatting computer hacking. VIRUS-L served as a platform to facilitate technical discussions about computer viruses and how to detect and stop them, and allowed for the quick dissemination of new information regarding viruses and virus protection.

Career in Cybersecurity

Upon graduating from Lehigh, Van Wyk began working at Carnegie Mellon's CERT Division of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), while working towards a second Masters Degree in Software Engineering. Van Wyk was the first employee hired to work for Carnegie Mellon's CERT department. While working with CERT, Van Wyk focused on tracking, researching and analyzing IT security vulnerabilities. Van Wyk quickly became one of the leading experts in the emerging field of computer emergency response.

CERT and the Department of Defense have worked intimately together since Carnegie Mellon's CERT's creation in 1988, and in 1993, Van Wyk began working with the United States Department of Defense directly as the Operations Chief, where he was in charge of 24/7 organization that responded to IT security incidents for the Department of Defense on a global scale.

In 1998, Van Wyk moved to the private sector working with such companies as SAIC, Para-Protect Services, Inc., Tekmark, Cigital, Inc., Outbreak Security LLC, and now currently works at his own company KrVW Associates, LLC., as both the President and Principal Consultant. Throughout this time Van Wyk has focused his work on penetration testing, software security, mobile application security, and web application security. While working with KrVW Associates, LLC., Van Wyk also attained Top Secret Clearance with the Department of Defense.

He has also recently worked as a Visiting Scientist at Carnegie Mellon University and writes a monthly column for Computerworld. Van Wyk is a member of Board of Directors for the non-profits FIRST and, Inc., where he has spent more than 10 years helping steer the organization. Recently, Van Wyk lead OWASP's iGoat project, a software tool designed to help iOS app developers learn how to write secure iOS code. Van Wyk has also authored several books on computer security such as Secure Coding: Principles and Practices and Incident Response and Enterprise Software Security: A Confluence of Disciplines.

Beverley, England
B.S. Mechanical Engineering
Notable Achievement: 
Cybersecurity expert and father of the 'VIRUS-L' forum