@WomenCyberjutsu converses with Twitter Queens @InfoSecSherpa @infosystir

Yesterday, July 19th 2018 , Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC)hosted their monthly Career Conversations. The guests this time were Amanda Berlin and Tracy Maleeff, also known as “Twitter Queens.”

For those of you who don’t know what these conversations entail, it’s essentially a casual dialogue to cover topics like what made the guests decide on IT or Cyber Security, what were some of their work/life challenges, and what skills and education do they see as essential to success? These webinars are aimed for people from all sorts of background – an experienced professional or just about to enter or even just thinking about entering.

Like other conversations, this started out with Jessica Gulick, VP of WSC, introducing the objective and the guests. She dived right in to ask about how Amanda started in Cybersecurity. Now, though, I religiously follow Amanda on twitter I didn’t that she obtained her degree in computer support while being a full-time mom! That kind of time & energy management is on a whole another level. She transitioned into Healthcare IT and security aspects like lease privilege access just became part of her role. She recently published a book Defensive Security Handbook: Best Practices for Securing Infrastructure. Tracy, on the other hand, thought she would never obtain higher than an associates in Liberal Arts. But she went onto getting her Bachelors in History and then even a Masters in Library and information Science. What connected about her journey to me was that after working for a few years in a law firm library, she was getting restless. I resonated with that because there are times in my own position where I’m just like “What’s next?” How can I grow and learn more. Her inquisitiveness and connections led her to attend every meetup, conference and class she could to truly find out what she loved about IT. She joked on the webinar that when she attended a WSC class, “they (WSC) had me at port scanning.” Now after completing a year as a SOC Analyst, there is no looking back!

Here are a few takeaways that I got from the conversation:

  • If you want to get more hands-on experience, do a CTF. Want to get better at CTS? Do more! There are many resources available online for free.
  • Good sources of information: DarkReading, Sans, Myonlinesecurity.co.uk
  • Personal branding really plays a roll in the cybersecurity professional life. It’s eyeopening how many people are welcoming and open in the community.

I completely and whole heartedly agree with the last statement. As a transplant from the life sciences field, I wouldn’t be where I’m today (wherever that may be) without the openness and willingness of the community to “lift while climbing.” Special shout out to BSidesSD, DefConNOC, WSC, WISP, and all the attendees & volunteers that invest their time in such efforts.

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