A seasoned leader in cyber security in military and civilian sectors, Karl Heimer has been working to protect the country from threats for decades – often before the public even knew a threat existed.
In 2011 Heimer joined Battelle, a leading science and technology non-profit, to apply his expertise in national security and counter intelligence to the automotive market. He now leads a team that develops products to prevent, detect and protect vehicles from cyber attacks.
Today’s vehicles have more computational power than most laptops and increasingly sophisticated communications systems that could be vulnerable to corruption, misuse or unauthorized access. Recognizing this growing threat and the need for experts, Heimer conceived and developed the first-of-its-kind CyberAuto Challenge, now in its third year. The five-day practicum-based camp for white hat “hackers”, students, engineers, scientists and government leaders addresses cybersecurity in automobiles and encourages students to pursue cyber automotive careers.
Heimer’s interest in computer science as a youth led to a decade-long stint in the U.S Army, where he served in communications and technical counter intelligence units. In 2000, he left the military and joined ACS, Inc., (later acquired by Lockheed Martin), and in 2005 he accepted a position with defense contractor Sparta as a division manager, leading a group that developed and tested secure communications products and provided custom security engineering services.
Drawing on his experiences in the public and private sectors, Heimer’s approach to product development balances the costs of development and production with the value for the customer. He is recognized for his focused approach to problem-solving, examining past exploits of security systems to solve problems of the future.
He lives in the Baltimore, Md., area.