Career Notes

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  • Aarti Borkar: Make your own choices. [Product}
  • Head of Product for IBM Security Aarti Borkar shares her journey which included going after her lifelong love of math rather than following in her parents' footsteps in the medical field. In following her passions, Aarti found herself studying computer engineering and computer science, and upon taking a pause from her studies, she found a niche working at IBM in a mix of databases and networking. In her current position, Aarti describes her favorite discussion topics very often involve being around the use of AI for converting security into predictive domains. Aarti reminds us that you should pause and see if you are on the right path. Staying on a path just because you started there can be a bad idea. And, we thank Aarti for sharing her story.


    Sunday, February 28, 2021
  • Billy Wilson: Translating language skills to technical skills. [HPC]
  • High Performance Computing Systems Administrator at Brigham Young University Billy Wilson tells his cybersecurity career story translating language skills to technical skills. According to Billy's employer, moving to a technical position at his alma mater occurred because Billy showed this potential and a thirst for learning. He is currently pursuing his master's degree from SANS Technology Institute for Information Security Engineering while working to secure BYU's data for their computationally-intensive research. Billy notes that not everyone has one overarching passion which gives him variety in his work. And, we thank Billy for sharing his story with us.


    Sunday, February 21, 2021
  • Dr. Jessica Barker: Cybersecurity has a huge people element to it. [Socio-technical]
  • Co-founder and socio-technical lead at Cygenta, Dr. Jessica Barker, shares her story from childhood career aspirations of becoming a farmer to her accidental pivot to working in cybersecurity. With a PhD in civic design, Jessica looked at the creation of social and civic places until she was approached by a cybersecurity consultancy interested in the human side of cybersecurity. She jumped in and the rest is history. Having experienced some negativity as a woman in cybersecurity, Jessica is a strong proponent of diversity in the field. She suggests that newcomers to the industry follow what interests them and jump in. And, we thank Jessica for sharing her story with us.


    Sunday, February 14, 2021
  • Jason Clark: Challenge the way things are done. [Strategy]
  • Chief strategy officer and chief security officer for Netskope, Jason Clark, shares his journey as he challenges the status quo and works to expand diversity in cybersecurity. Jason started his career by breaking the mold and heading to the Air Force rather than his family legacy of Army service. Following his military service, he became a CISO for the New York Times at age 26 and kept building from there. Jason advises, "You should always be seeking out jobs you're actually not qualified for. I think that's how you grow. If you know you could do the job, and you've got half the skills, go for it." Jason aspires to a legacy of increasing diversity in the cybersecurity industry and founded a non-profit to do just that. And, we thank Jason for sharing his story with us.


    Sunday, February 07, 2021
  • Kyla Guru: You are a key piece to our national security. [Education]
  • Founder and CEO of nonprofit Bits N' Bytes Cybersecurity Education and undergraduate student at Stanford University, Kyla Guru shares her journey from GenCyber Camp to becoming a cybersecurity thought leader. Seeing the need. for cybersecurity education in her own community spurred Kyla into action engaging our civilian population in understanding their role in the cybersecurity space. Kyla recommends putting yourself out there: taking courses, getting more knowledge, getting internships, meeting people and going to conferences. Kyla thinks her generation has an inquisitive mind and feels that is where advocacy and education come in with cybersecurity. She shares for any young person "thinking about maybe starting something in security, this is definitely the time to do so." And, we thank Kyla for sharing her story with us.


    Sunday, January 31, 2021
  • Ben Yelin: A detour could be a sliding door moment. [Policy]
  • Program Director for Public Policy and External Affairs at the University of Maryland's Center for Health and Homeland Security Ben Yelin shares his journey from political junkie to Fourth Amendment specialist. Several significant life defining political developments like the disputed 2000 election, 9/11, and the Iraqi war occurred during his formative years that shaped Ben's interest in public policy and his desire to pursue a degree in law. An opportunity to be a teaching assistant turned out to be one of those sliding door scenarios that led Ben to where he is now, a lawyer in the academic and consulting worlds specializing in cybersecurity and digital privacy issues. Through his work, Ben hopes to elevate the course of the debate on these very important issues. And, we thank Ben for sharing his story with us.


    Sunday, January 24, 2021
  • Ann Johnson: Trying to make the world safer. [Business Development]
  • Microsoft's Corporate Vice President of Cybersecurity Business Development Ann Johnson brings us on her career journey from aspiring lawyer to cybersecurity executive. After pivoting from studying law, Ann started working with computers and found she had a deep technical aptitude for technology and started earning certifications landing in cybersecurity because she found an interest in PKI. At Microsoft, Ann says she solves some of the hardest problems every day. She recommends getting a mentor and finding your area of expertise. She leaves us with three dimensions she hopes to be her legacy: 1. diversity in more than just gender, 2. bringing a human aspect to the industry, and 3. being empathetic to the user experience. We thank Ann for sharing her story with us.


    Sunday, January 17, 2021
  • Tom Gorup: Fail fast and fail forward. [Operations]
  • Vice President of Security and Support Operations of Alert Logic Tom Gorup shares how his career path led him from tactics learned in Army infantry using machine guns and claymores to cybersecurity replacing the artillery with antivirus and firewalls. Tom built a security automation solution called the Grunt (in recollection of his role in the Army) that automated firewall blocks. He credits his experience in battle-planning for his expertise in applying strategic thinking to work in cybersecurity, noting that communication is key in both scenarios. Tom advises that those looking into a new career shouldn't shy away from failure as failure is just another opportunity to learn. We thank Tom for sharing his story with us.


    Sunday, January 10, 2021

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