Spotlight on Women in Cybersecurity

Women in Tech

Sucuri is committed to helping women develop their careers in technology. On International Women’s Day, Sucuri team members share their insights into working in cybersecurity.

Spotlight on Sucuri Women in Cybersecurity

We have asked some of the women who work at Sucuri 3 questions:

  1. What do you do at Sucuri?
  2. How did you decide to work with technology?
  3. What do you think the future looks like for women in cybersecurity?

Here are their answers:

IMAGE 1 - Kara Federow (Malware Remediation Team)

I work in Malware Remediation, primarily. Basically, if a website gets hacked, I’m one of the people that rolls up their sleeves and cleans it up.

I love technology. I find it so fascinating! All the different things it can do, all the ways that it can break and also be fixed.

We have a tough road ahead still, but not an impossible one, by far. The world is becoming more open, more accepting. People are remembering historical figures in the world of technology, and honoring them: Ada Lovelace, Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, Dorothy Vaughan, Katherine Johnson, Mary Jackson. So many women made so many contributions to the world of technology. As well, I think that we women are finally starting to break through the kind of old thinking that women should stay out of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields, and “leave it to the men”. I’ve found nothing but helpful and wonderful coworkers of all genders. I know that I’m lucky in a lot of ways, but that still speaks to the fact that women are being more accepted.

Yasmine Hassan (managed SSL Team)

At Sucuri, I work with the Easy SSL team. We install and configure SSL certificates on websites to load securely over HTTPS.

I have always had a strong interest in technology, ever since my computing classes in high school. This interest influenced my studies in college, as I started learning more about different aspects of technology such as cybersecurity, data analytics, and cloud computing.

The future for women in security looks bright. In society today, almost everyone is utilizing some form of technology in their everyday lives. In addition, the security industry is consistently growing every year. Therefore, I believe more women will become more interested and engage in more technology-driven careers.

Ramona Peres (Product Support Team)

I get to work on the most technically difficult client cases and I really enjoy the challenge.

Growing up, I had many interests along the way, but very few still resonate with my actual state of mind. I was always quite tech savvy and I got hooked from the first time I ever played a computer game Prehistorik. I’m pretty sure that was the moment when I really knew I’ll work in IT sooner or later.

The future definitely looks promising. The ‘tides are shifting’– more and more women are interested in this domain every year and why shouldn’t they ?

Millette San Jose (Malware Remediation Team)

As an Incident Responder under the Remediation Team, I mainly perform malware investigation and cleanups of our clients’ hacked and compromised websites.

I pursued a career in tech, as the learning never stops. Cybersecurity is a fascinating area where we have a chance to continually learn new skills and work to understand new technologies. It also brings fulfillment and impact knowing that you help protect people. You contribute to making the digital world a safer place for everyone.

I remember being the only woman on the team when I started at Sucuri. Apparently, this has mostly been the case whenever I join a SOC (Security Operations Center) team here in Australia. It’s amazing to see that we’re already growing in numbers. With the deficit of cybersecurity professionals today, there’s a massive opportunity that opens up for women who want to be engaged and make a difference in the field. This holds a promising future for women in cybersecurity.

Ashley Sand (Technical Support Team)

I’m a firewall analyst that provides logs, inspects configurations, and details regarding blocks triggered by our Intrusion Detection System (IDS). I handle issues and install SSLs on the firewall, plus an array of helpful details & tips regarding site functionality.

I’ve had an interest in internet technology since I was a child. My dad has been involved with tech for decades. When I was seven years old, he gifted me my first desktop computer. After high school, I decided to pursue a career in internet technology and have loved it ever since.

The future for women in security is tenacious and prosperous. As long as we continue to introduce and inspire more young women to pursue a field of internet security, this will lead to an exponential amount of growth and diversity that’s currently in high demand. Encouraging women to expand their knowledge and skillsets in tech and security provides fortitude and satisfaction that’s unlike anything else I’ve personally experienced.  I like to say it’s like riding a bike–intimidating at first, but when you start to find a pattern in a DDoS attack or fix a really challenging issue, you say to yourself, “Wow, I actually did that!” It’s such an exhilarating feeling!

Yael Campo (Software Deevelopment Team)

I’m a software development engineer. I work on developing automated processes for securing websites.

From a young age I’ve always liked puzzles, logic, math, and computers, so this field was a natural choice for me.

I think gender is, and should be, irrelevant. The future looks positive for all people in security.

Krystle Herbrandson (Go-to-Market Team)

As the Sr. Dir of the Go-to-Market for Sucuri, I lead the marketing, sales, and billing groups who support the Sucuri brand.

I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of different industries, but tech is the field I feel most at home. When my husband started working as a security analyst, I saw the culture and passion Sucuri embodied and had to be a part of it!

Groups like Code Like a Girl and Women in Technology are just some of the advocates out there working to shift the societal norms of women in tech and more specifically cybersecurity. With the exposure of STEM to students in schools across the globe, we have the opportunity to educate and foster a curiosity that with technology has no limits.

Celise Davison (Technical Chat Team)

I’ve been working with the Sucuri customers through chat and email to answer technical questions about all of the services we provide. Many people come in wanting to know how to set up the firewall or server-side scanner. I walk them through the set up and provide advice catering to all the different levels of technological understanding that our customers have.

When I originally signed onto Sucuri in a sales capacity, I quickly became more interested in learning the inner workings of websites. As I learned more,  I started working in the Product Support team in my current role.

In security and in the technological world, I believe denying the skills women possess would be a huge detriment to any company . Women have so much to provide in every level and position. I am confident there will be more women merging to the forefront and earning positions that largely only held by men.

Rianna MacLeod (Marketing Team)

I wear a lot of hats here at Sucuri but I spend a large chunk of my time writing educational security content. I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to collaborate with our brilliant researchers and analysts on blog articles, as well as larger pieces like our How to Clean a Hacked Website Guide and Hacked Website Trend Report.

Receiving my first computer at a very young age, I disturbed my mother with the amount of time I spent tying up the phone line under the glow of a CRT monitor. I was curious about technology and loved to goof around in MUDs and IRC, so I guess it was just a natural evolution.

There are loads of opportunities for women in this field and fantastic organizations like WISP (Women in Security and Privacy).  My advice for others would be to ask questions fearlessly and find a good mentor. There are a lot of extremely talented women (and men) in the field who would love to share their knowledge and expertise.

Star Simmons (Technical Support Team)

Website Security Supervisor. My primary focus is on the Easy SSL team, but I also do Chat support and have some product and remediation agents reporting to me.

I was out of college and bartending, but looking for a change. A few friends worked at GoDaddy which was how I got started. Within six months, I wanted to dig into issues and learn more about customers’ websites. I liked how they worked and moved to our hosting team. Later my interest peaked into the security side of things.

I definitely see a spot for women in technology. Women are starting to command roles in tech and are becoming more respected. There’s still an uphill battle that has to be fought. But everyone is becoming more aware that tech and security isn’t just for men. We’ve got an amazing female developer on our team and it’s great to see more women not only interested in these roles but also excelling at them.

Eve Land (Malware Remediation Team)

I un-hack websites on the Remediation Team.

I’m an Electrical Engineer, so working with technology was never a choice, it’s just part of who I am. I’ve been to many technical conferences. I’ve heard a lot of the *male* speakers talk about how they were the kid that took everything apart. From radios to VCRs–you name it. I wasn’t that kid. I was the kid that fixed things. When my dad was too busy, my mom came to me with the broken things.

There’s a lot of support these days for women in tech these days. As inclusion becomes more important, the opportunities for women are increasing. Gender should not be a barrier for anybody looking to learn more about security.

Nicole Luz (Managed SSL Certificates Team)

I install SSL certificates and configure sites to HTTPS.

When I was introduced to technology through taking support phone calls for GoDaddy, I found the technical calls where more interesting. Soon after, I slowly worked my way up into more technical positions.

The future of security is exciting to think about. As technology advances, more opportunities are opening for not only woman but everyone.

Claire Garrison (Managed SSL Certificates Team)

I install and configure SSL certificates.

I always found technology intriguing, but never thought of it as a foreseeable career path. Once GoDaddy hired me, I saw the opportunities and went from there.

The future for women in security looks promising. I hope to inspire young girls to strive for more then aspiring to be the next Instagram model. Strive to gain more knowledge, more leadership, more everything! We are strong and powerful and unstoppable when we work together. The future I see for all women is Bold, Beautiful and Brilliant.

Katherine Firtheringham - Malware Removal Team

I am a Website Security Analyst. I help clean websites from infections as well as make recommendations on how to further protect them.

When I was in my early teens, I was given a badly infected computer. For me it became a puzzle and I loved cleaning it up and making it my own. This got me interested in what more I could do with technology.

There has been great progress to help improve the gender gap we face, but it will take more time and hard work to lessen the struggle. I believe that we can lessen that gap, but we need to make it possible, show that women are accepted and are equal.

Thank You!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the brilliant women around the world who have been helping technology advance. If you are interested in website security content, subscribe to our blog feed today.

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