Press Release

Laughton Joins Coalfire’s Growing Ranks Of Top Women Cyber Executives

October 28, 2020

IT Security Leader Named VP, FedRAMP Assurance Services

WESTMINSTER, CO – October 28, 2020 – Coalfire, a provider of cybersecurity advisory and assessment services, today announced the promotion of Karen Laughton to vice president, FedRAMP assurance services (Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program). Laughton will lead the security industry’s most-experienced assessor and cloud advisory teams in building FedRAMP-compliant environments, guiding clients through government standards transitions, and achieving rapid ATO (Authority to Operate) certification.

“Karen’s expertise in NIST and FedRAMP along with top-notch management skills, ability to drive culture, and customer service is the perfect combination for her to lead the FedRAMP team,” said Adam Shnider, EVP commercial services, Coalfire. “She has been essential in making Coalfire a leader in NIST and FedRAMP services and has earned the Vice President position through her dedication to our customers, her team and her vision going forward. Karen will be a key player in achieving Coalfire’s mission to successfully serve our clients in the federal government’s evolving cloud transformation focus, and to continue as the market leader in FedRAMP assessment and advisory services.”

Laughton’s team will help commercial organizations navigate FedRAMP compliance, as well as meet requirements within the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), Department of Defense (DoD) Cloud Computing Security Requirements (SRG), National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-171 (NIST SP 800-171), and CMMC (Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification).

Laughton brings 17 years’ experience in IT security and compliance consulting to her new role and joins Coalfire’s growing cadre of women cybersecurity leaders. Coalfire has a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion across the organization. Through the company’s employee-centered culture and its RISE (Recruit, Influence, Support, Educate) employee resource group, Coalfire has steadily increased the number of women on its technical teams and at the officer and board levels, and the company remains above the industry average for women employees. Recently named board members and advisors include Mary Griggs, Anna Cotton, and Dr. Homaira Akbari.

“I’m looking forward to partnering with public and private sector organizations to develop programs that align their business, compliance and security objectives as they shift toward cloud adoption,” said Laughton, who holds a BS degree from Virginia Tech and a variety of cybersecurity industry certifications. “My passion is helping our clients find the most cost-effective path to achieving and maintaining compliance, while improving their overall security posture and ultimately lowering risk to their organization.”

About Coalfire

Coalfire is the trusted cybersecurity advisor that helps private and public sector organizations avert threats, close gaps and effectively manage risk. By providing independent and tailored advice, assessments, technical testing and cyber engineering services, we help clients develop scalable programs that improve their security posture, achieve their business objectives and fuel their continued success. Coalfire has been a cybersecurity thought leader for nearly 20 years and has offices throughout the United States and Europe. For more information, visit


For media inquiries:
Mike Gallo
(212) 239-8594