What do you do on a day to day basis?
– soc analyst (currently unemployed) also a post graduate student in Psychology looking at human behaviour and cyber security. Want to specialise in human threat intelligence, social engineering and counter terrorism/fighting toxic content online.
What attracted you to information security?
always been interested in computers since I was little and always been very curious by nature – I have a knack for ending up in places/situations I shouldn’t be in and being able to essentially “blag” my way out of a sticky situation or get into somewhere I shouldn’t be. Going into computer security seemed like an obvious choice for me as I am a firm believer of infosec as a social science with a technical element, not a technical area with a social sciences element.
Do you have a degree and/or certifications? Do you think that they are necessary to work in information security?
BSc (Hons) Cyber Security
MSc (conversion) Psychology – soon to graduate
studying towards GIAC threat intel courses
– find they help but they are not the be all and end all – sometimes you can have all the degrees/certs in the world and still be shit at your job, or have none of them and be ace at it as 99% of the battle is about your willingness to learn.
What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
– not being taken seriously for being a woman
– being told repeatedly that I am not technical enough, yet I have a technical CV
– turned down for jobs repeatedly due to it being a bit of a “bro club”
honestly I am still trying to overcome these but each day I am on step closer to hitting my goals and smashing them
How do you achieve a work life balance to avoid burnout?
As someone who’s struggled with MH problems and burning out a couple of times, I have now learnt my triggers, and to find balance. As I am usually sat on my butt for up to 12 hours a day when working (on shift) I find walking to and from work helps a lot, and going running on my dinner break (thank god for showers at the office I used to work at) and also if I have had a pretty shitty day, calling a friend on the walk home and having a mega bitch. Also I find kickboxing, swimming and yoga really helps too and reading something that is non infosec related and putting down my tech helps too 🙂
What is some advice that you would like provide to girls participating in STEM?
don’t be afriad to get involved. Show up, get involved, and so what if you make mistakes?! It’s learning from the mistakes that makes you good at what you do. And don’t beat yourself up if you find you’re not “technical enough” – there are plenty of tech jobs where you don’t have to be sitting in a dark room, writing lines of code and drinking energy drinks until you black out.
What resources do you recommend for women who are interested in breaking into your specialty area?
podcasts – going to tweet a few of my favourites soon
Twitter infosec – get involved in the woman in stem/tech/cyber intititives
Find your local hack spaces, confrences, etc
DON’T be scared to ask stupid questions – as honestly, there is no such thing as a stupid question.