search menu icon-carat-right cmu-wordmark

Steve Lipner


Steven B. Lipner is a pioneer in cybersecurity with almost 50 years’ experience as a general manager, engineering manager, and researcher. He retired in 2015 from Microsoft where he was the creator and long-time leader of Microsoft’s Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) team. While at Microsoft, Lipner also created initiatives to encourage industry adoption of secure development practices and the SDL, and served as a member and chair of the SAFECode board.


Lipner joined Microsoft in 1999 and was initially responsible for the Microsoft Security Response Center. In the aftermath of the major computer “worm” incidents of 2001, Lipner and his team formulated the strategy of “security pushes” that enabled Microsoft to make rapid improvements in the security of its software and to change the corporate culture to emphasize product security. The SDL is the product of these improvements.


At Mitretek Systems, Lipner served as the executive agent for the U.S. Government’s Infosec Research Council (IRC). At Trusted Information Systems (TIS), he led the Gauntlet Firewall business unit whose success was the basis for TIS’ 1996 Initial Public Offering. During his eleven years at Digital Equipment Corporation, Lipner led and made technical contributions to the development of numerous security products and to the operational security of Digital’s networks.


Throughout his career, Lipner has been a contributor to government and industry efforts to improve cybersecurity. He currently serves as the chair of the U.S. Government’s Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board (ISPAB). Lipner was one of the founding members of the board’s predecessor and is now serving his third term as a board member. He was elected in 2010 to the Information Systems Security Association Hall of Fame, in 2015 to the National Cybersecurity Hall of Fame and in 2017 as a Fellow of (ISC)2 and to the National Academy of Engineering. He holds an appointment as adjunct professor of computer science at the Institute for Software Research, School of Computer Science of Carnegie Mellon University and is named as co-inventor on twelve U.S. patents.

Publications by Steve Lipner