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Principal consultant and pen tester at Secureworks, Eric Escobar, shares his career path translating his childhood favorite Legos to civil engineering and pivoting to cybersecurity. Eric was always headed toward engineering and got both his bachelor and master degrees in civil engineering. Upon breaking into a network with a friend, he was bitten by the cybersecurity bug. Making the switch to the red team and basically becoming a bankrobber for hire, Eric tests the security of many companies' networks. He feels that curiosity is an essential trait for cybersecurity and collaboration is key as no one person knows everything. He advises those interested in cybersecurity to just start. We thank Eric for sharing his story with us.
Chief security officer and chief information officer at Relativity, Amanda Fennell shares her story from archeology to cybersecurity. She shares the path that lead her towards becoming an archeologist and how it turned out not being exactly what she expected. She then shares how she got into the cyber business and how her past has impacted what she's doing now. She describes how she would like to be remembered in the cyber world, she says "I do hope that I left things better than I found them, not just the security of a product or a company, but I believe strongly that every person has a little cyber warrior inside of them." We thank Amanda for sharing her story.
Chief security strategist from Analyst1, Jon DiMaggio shares his story on how he grew to become a part of the cybersecurity world. He describes different jobs that paved the way to the knowledge he has in the industry right now, and he even shares about an experience that led him to a path that split and which decision he would make, would be crucial in his career. He explains which way he ended up going and how a critical part of his career helped to determine that path. He says "there's two paths when you have that happen, you can either let it defeat you, or you know, you come back swinging." We thank Jon for sharing his story.
Operational technology cybersecurity strategist from Nozomi Networks, Danielle Jablanski shares her story of building a target map to end up where she is today. She shares how she started in college and how different paths in life got her to be on the target of success where she is today. She says " you build out that kind of target of where you want to be, and understand that getting to that point might mean doing things you don't enjoy for a number of years, but figuring that out is another way to get to that target without having like a clear bullseye" She goes on to explain how this target map is helping her to create real change and ultimately makes an impact. We thank Danielle for sharing her story.
Co-founder and CTO of Virsec, Satya Gupta shares his story of how he has over 25 years of expertise in embedded systems, network security and systems architecture. He also talks about how a colleague of his told him something that resinated with him, he said " that was really a remarkable statement that I heard from that person. You rise to the point where you can actually contribute." He also discusses how he got into the startup atmosphere and how different scenarios in his life helped to lead him to the successful man he has become in the cyber community. We thank Satya for sharing his story.
Founder and general partner of Rain Capital, Chenxi shares her story and how she conquered and got over the obstacle of fear to reach her goals in life. " I realized a lot of times my obstacle is my own fear rather than a real obstacle" Wang states, she also shares her story of breaking glass ceilings as a female founder and working in the field of cybersecurity. She hopes to be remembered for being a kind person and developing her own venture fund, as she shares her story to the top, she states what she does and how she got to be where she is today. We thank Chenxi for sharing her story.
Chief intelligence officer at Intel 471, Michael shares his story where he started as an actor and quickly changed over to intelligence and what the transition was like for him. Michael grew up wanting to be an actor and even was able to land some acting jobs, after going into the Marine Corps he decided to leave acting behind and start a new path in his journey. He says looking for a purpose really helped to shape him, saying "looking back on it, I feel like my life purpose has really been all about kind of this relentless pursuit of justice" and how the risks in his life has helped to right the wrongs of the world. We thank Michael for sharing his story.
Risk Management and Privacy Knowledge Leader at A-LIGN, Arti Lalwani shares her story from finance to risk management and how she made the transition. Arti started her career in finance after graduating with a finance degree. Quickly learning the field was not for her, she decided to dip her toes into the tech world. She credits her mentors for helping her and said "they were able to push me up and get me there faster than I even thought." Arti says that she would like to be a part, and hopes to be apart, of the change where women are supporting women in the field. We thank Arti for sharing her story.
Chief Security Strategist and VP of Global Threat Intelligence at FortiGuard Labs, Derek Manky, shares his story from programmer to cybersecurity and how it all came together. Derek started his career teaching programming because he had such a passion for it. When he joined Fortinet, Derek said putting where it "really started putting the rubber to the road and connecting my previous experience with programming and debugging and knowledge of operating systems and all that with real-world applications." Derek advises that it doesn't need to be complicated getting into the cybersecurity field and that there are many avenues to enter the field. He hopes to have made a real dent, or "hopefully a crater" in cyber crime when he ends his career. We thank Derek for sharing his story with us.
Cybersecurity Associate Consultant at BARR Advisory, Kristin Strand, shares her journey from the military to teaching and now to cybersecurity. Kristin shares how she'd wanted to be a teacher since she was young. She joined the Army to help pay for college and throughout her career has taken advantage of programs to help her move on to her next challenge. From teaching, Kristin decided to transition to IT and came to cybersecurity through a Department of Labor program. She's also currently training to be a drill sergeant. Kristin advises you stand firm to your goals and know what you want. It will come around. We thank Kristin for sharing her story with us.
Founder and CTO of ShiftLeft, Chetan Conikee shares his story from computer science to founding his own company. When choosing a career, Chetan notes that "the liking and doing has to matter and be in conjunction with each other." Explaining the parallels in his home country of India and where he studied his for his masters in the US, Chetan stresses the need to find someone who inspires you to follow and learn from. On being an entrepreneur, he says, "The entrepreneurial mindset is a sum total of many sufferings that lead to success." Chethan advises you take time out to write narratives so that you are remembered and so that others following a similar path may learn from you. We thank Chetan for sharing his story with us.
Principal in PricewaterhouseCoopers Cyber Risk and Regulatory Practice, Sloane Menkes, shares her story of how non-linear math helped to shape her life and career. Sloane credits a high school classmate for inspiring her mantra "What is the 2%?" that she employs when she feels like things are shutting down. She talks about her experiences in calculus class at the US AIr Force Academy that helped to enlighten her and inform the intuitive problem solving skill or way of thinking that she'd been employing in her life. She joined Office of Special Investigations and working with Howard Schmidt is where Sloane first started to get interested in cybersecurity. She shares what she loves about the consulting role is that the environment is constantly changing, and she offers some advice for women interested in cybersecurity. We thank Sloane for sharing her story with us.
Senior security engineer with the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute and the Institute for Assured Autonomy, Joe Carrigan, shares what he calls his life mistake and what spurred him to finally choose a career in technology. Throughout his life, Joe had interest in technology, he even worked at the computer lab in college, but never set his sights on that for a career. A conversation with a stranger guided him in that direction and he's been there ever since. As co-host of the CyberWire's Hacking Humans, Joe sees some heartbreaking results of scams and feels education of the public will help to prevent these. Joe reminds us to build our networks as they include people we can always go back to either when searching for a position or looking to fill one on our teams. We thank Joe for sharing his story with us.
CEO and Founder of KeyCaliber, Roselle Safran, takes us on her circuitous career journey from startup to White House and back to startup again. With a degree in civil engineering, Roselle veered off into a more technical role at a startup and she says "caught the startup bug." After convincing a hiring manager that she could learn on the job, she transitioned to computer forensics and started on the path of cybersecurity. Roselle worked in government for the Department of Homeland Security and then to the Executive Office of the President leading all of the security operations. She jumped back into the world of startups and has stayed there. Roselle tells people interested in a career in cybersecurity to just apply. Learn as much as you can and go for it. We thank Roselle for sharing her story with us.
CEO and Chief Human Hacker at Social-Engineer, Chris Hadnagy, went from phone phreaker to social engineering authority with many things in between. In college, Chris took phone phreaking to a new level and recreated Cap'n Crunch whistle sound with a computer, strung a bunch of modems together, and inadvertently took down 75% of Sarasota County's phone system. His foray into social engineering came after a slew of non-tech jobs. Chris advises us maybe not to read his first book, but to read a lot to help educate yourself and to get yourself out there and prove yourself. We thank Chris sharing his story with us.
Advisory CISO at Cisco, Helen Patton, shares that a combination of dumb luck, hard work and serendipity that got her to where she is today. Growing up in the country in Australia, Helen notes that computers were not really a thing. She happened into technology after moving to the US, as she was the only person in her office under 40. Of course she would be comfortable with computers and able to handle a database conversion, right? That launched her into a career that spanned supporting small nonprofits, working at one of the biggest banks on Wall Street while leading a global team, being the CISO of a major university, and now Advisory CISO at Cisco. Helen recently wrote a book, "Navigating the Cybersecurity Career Path," to help others know when it's time to move on from one role to another role as part of desire to give back to the community. We thank Helen for sharing her story with us.
COO and Co-Founder of Query. AI, Andrew Maloney, shares how the building blocks he learned in the military helped him get where he is today. Coming from a blue collar family with a minimal knowledge of computers, Andrew went into computer operations in the Air Force. While deployed to Oman just after the start of the Iraq War, Andrew said he got his break into security. That's where he learned the components that fit together in order to effectively secure an environment. Andrew's words of wisdom: You've got to keep pushing and you've got to believe in yourself and never sell yourself short. We thank Andrew for sharing his story with us.
Social engineer and CEO of Hekate, Marina Ciavatta, shares her story of how people think her job is a la Mission Impossible coming from the ceiling with a rope and stealing stuff in the dead of the night. Marina does physical pentesting. Starting with an unused degree in journalism, Marina turned her talent for writing into a job as a content producer for a technology company and this appealed to her self-proclaimed nerdism. She fell in love with hacking and got into pentesting thanks to a friend. Marina recommends those interested in physical pentesting "try to find other social engineers to mingle. It's in the name. We are social creatures." We thank Marina for sharing her story with us.
Senior Vice President and Executive in Residence with Rapid7 and Chairman for Cyversity, Julian Waits, grew up in the era of the Justice League and Superman and it shaped his career. Julian always wanted to do something where he could find a way to help society to basically help others. Starting out as a Baptist minister with aspirations of being a professional musician, Julian found it more practical to take some technology classes and practice his saxophone when he had time. His first tech job was at Texaco where he worked on early networks and moved into systems engineering at Compaq. Julian notes his ADD made coding less attractive than talking with others to solve problems and Compaq provided him with opportunities to pivot. Searching out diversity, Julian moved to DC, and had his first taste of startups. He now describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. We thank Julian for sharing his story with us.
Head of Cyber Governance with Red Sift, Dr. Rois Ni Thuama shares the circuitous route of her career into cyber governance. She notes the route "looks really clean, but actually it was a bit more Jeremy Bearimy." While at Trinity College, Rois was moved to be part of history unfolding in South Africa and pause her studies. While there, she began making music videos and wildlife documentaries. Upon her return to London, Rois started working in corporate governance and risk at a music technology startup. This ignited her enthusiasm for startups. She now works in a company with several coworkers from that tech startup doing cyber governance. Rois advises law students of many ways into the industry including doing coding, learning risk management, and understanding privacy legislation, and then "just get into the game." We thank Rois for sharing her story.
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