What do you do on a day to day basis?
I typically am reviewing policies, providing some type of security advise to the DevOps team or putting out some type of fire in the form of a vendor questionnaire or a client questionnaire.
What attracted you to information security?
Honestly, I think I just fated to be in this field. I didn’t intend to be in the field but a recruiter found me and I was hired. What keeps me in InfoSec is the fact that I love what I do. I love solving problems, talking to various people and learning about different projects.
Do you have a degree and/or certifications? Do you think that they are necessary to work in information security?
I have a Master’s in Cybersecurity, ISO 27001 Lead Implementer and CISM. I think the certs are necessary for you to advance and sometimes for you to get in the door. The degree is not as important but you will be asked if you have a computer science background. I think it’s easier to have the degree and certs because the learning curve is shortened.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
I think my age and being a women have been challenges. Being in a male dominated room and fighting to have my voice heard. I also appear younger than my actual age, that causes a lot of people to think that I’m an intern. It’s a bit amusing when they see me and see that I’m actually the ISO managing the internal security of the entire company.
How do you achieve a work life balance to avoid burnout?
I typically don’t look at my work computer or my work phone after 5:30 pm. It’s well known that I don’t answer emails or calls unless it’s an incident or a disaster. It can wait until the morning. I also workout, I meditate and I like to decompress daily. I usually decompress by watching trash reality tv or anime. 🙂
What is some advice that you would like provide to girls participating in STEM?
I think you have to be strong but also keep the parts of you that make you, you. Be prepared for people to question what you say simply because it’s coming from you. Don’t internalize stressful situations and allow those things to change who you are. Take some you time, no job is worth your sanity or health.
What resources do you recommend for women who are interested in breaking into your specialty area?
I recommend Cybrary.it for learning. Cyberseek.org pathways for understanding the different cyber jobs and roles. It’s interactive and you can play with the different pathways. I also recommend you edx.org and Udemy.