Meet Our Defenders


Defending against sophisticated cyber threats takes more than technology. It takes people. People with skills and innate qualities to outpace today’s evolving threat landscape. Qualities we call “defender DNA.”

Katelyn Dartnell | Cyber Intel Analyst

What drives you to be a Defender?

I have always had an interest in cybersecurity, and it drew my attention from a young age when I watched TV crime shows. I was particularly drawn to how the characters would solve problems through their computer forensics and hacking skills. However, I thought being a hacker was one of those impossible to achieve careers and just Hollywood magic.

It was not until I was studying at university that I realized that penetration testing was the career path I wanted. I started researching courses in my free time to learn what was involved in cyber and penetration testing, and although it is nothing like the movies, I still find the work to be very interesting and rewarding.

What is your strongest defender DNA quality?

I am persistent, thorough, and strive to perform with excellence to ensure clients receive the best possible outcome. As a member of the Red Team, I enjoy working to protect our clients from threats through an offensive approach helping them to improve their security posture.

How do you prove you have defender DNA?

My parents always encouraged me to read. I think it instilled in me a passion for learning which I draw upon when I am reading about new attack vectors and techniques. I want to ensure I always have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge to support my work and support our clients with a high level of expertise.

How does your defender DNA benefit Leidos clients?

All networks have flaws which may not be known. My defender DNA assists clients to improve their security posture through using my skills to demonstrate the threat present in their network. Although I have only been a ‘defender’ for just over a year, I look forward to what the future holds in the critical and ever challenging cybersecurity arena.