"Security Princess" is what it says on Parisa Tabriz's business card. Tabriz, who heads a division of hackers responsible for handling security threats in Google Chrome, wanted a title that was a bit more interesting than "Information Security Engineer" or "hired hacker."
And Tabriz's job is more than a bit interesting, to say the least. She and her team of hackers are paid to think like criminals and fix security threats quickly and silently. "There's a lot of similarities with the know-thy-enemy part of war," she says in a recent interview with Elle.
At 31, Tabriz is young and one of the few women in hacking circles. She never viewed her gender as an obstacle, though, stating that she might be "may be a little more pushy than the [female] stereotype." But Tabriz doesn't shy away from addressing the tech sector's gender disparity and where the field should be headed, telling Elle, "If you have ambitions to create technology for the whole world, you need to represent the whole world, and the whole world is not just white men."
Though "security princess" is an unusual title, Tabriz has some good company. The tech world is famously filled with nontraditional and quirky job titles. David Shing is the "Digital Prophet" at AOL where, according to his bio, he "spends most of his time watching the future take shape across the vast online landscape." Sheryl Connelly holds the title of "in-house Futurist" for Ford Motor Co., not just the more stuffy manager of global consumer trends and futuring. And Microsoft's Andrew Fryer settled on the title of "Technical Evangelist."