Women in CyberSecurity at Cyber Threat Defense

Today we are celebrating a beautiful day for all the women everywhere, The International Women’s Day in 2022. We wanted to explore more about being a female and working in Cyber Security, a male dominating field. We sat down and talk with Veronica (Senior Cybersecurity Engineer) and Renata (junior Cybersecurity Engineer) from our office in Cluj.

What’s your background? What did you study in school?

Veronica: I am a cyber security engineer, specialized in web & mobile penetration testing and detection engineering, creating Splunk rules for a SIEM solution that detects attacking patterns in real-time. In high school, I studied Informatics & Math and continued on the same path the Faculty of Automation and Computer Science in Cluj Napoca and master program: Information and Computing System Security (SISC).

Renata: I am a cyber security engineer who creates rules for tactics, techniques, and procedures commonly used by threat actors. I studied at the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications, and Information Technology at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca. Having a specialization in Telecommunications and Information Technology. I am currently studying a Cyber Security Master Program in Information and Computing System Security at the Faculty of Automation and Computer Science.

How did you become interested in cybersecurity?

Veronica: Since the beginning, my goal was to find the right engineer field that suits me the best, so I tried everything: different programming languages such as python, java, C, C#, javascript, HTML, CSS, .NET, automation engineering and finally I got accepted for a 3 months hands-on course in cyber security. That was the time when I discovered how amazing the field is, being so dynamic and challenging, the exact characteristics I was looking for. 

Renata: I became interested in cybersecurity during my third year of the faculty when I learned about switching and routing systems, or internet protocols. The following steps were pretty clear, I started to learn about phishing and I made my bachelor’s degree paper about this field. Later I discovered that there is an endless ocean of knowledge, it is a path you can never get bored of and this fascinates me.

What has your experience been in cybersecurity/engineering, a male-dominated industry?              

Veronica: I didn’t feel like I belonged in the male-dominated world of engineering but it can be intimidating, sometimes. I was the only girl on my team when I first started working at Cyber Threat Defense, but fortunately, my colleagues were so friendly and we learned together from the beginning and helped each other, especially when we prepared for the OSCP certification.

Renata: I get this question a lot but all I can say is that it is not an easy field, it requires a lot of dedication and curiosity. I am lucky to say that in the CT Defense team, I was welcomed starting the first day, the team was supportive, friendly, respectful and I have a lot to learn from them. I hope more women are becoming interested in the Cyber Security field because it is no such thing as a male industry, it is just something that women haven’t conquered yet.              

What’s a message you have for young women that are interested in cybersecurity?

Veronica: “Find your passion and I’ll never work a day!” It sounds like a cliche but it’s so true! Go find your passion and if that is cyber security, go for it without hesitating. Cyber Security is challenging, a lot to learn, and a lot to practice, but nothing is too hard when you are passionate about it! Trust yourself, be curious and surround yourself with people that inspire you. The sky is (not) the limit!

Renata: I know some of the women out there feel the need to work harder to prove their technical acumen and worth than some of the men but keep in mind you are strong and just as capable as any other person. With enough work and dedication, you will always get what you want. Sometimes it can be overwhelming but as long as you love what you are doing you are on the right path.
I hope all women will get on the right path, that they won’t settle for less than they deserve and that they will always be enjoying not just the destination but also the road.

We are welcoming all the skilled and passionate women in cybersecurity, apply for our jobs here.

Our last article talks about the fascinating world of Automotive CyberSecurity, read it here.

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