Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Cybersecurity: Are We There Now and Where Do We Need to Be in 5 Years?

Friday, October 5, 2012
Being that I am interested in all things related to the Network Security field, attending this session was a must for me!  This forum included some very accomplished women who have proven to be leaders in their areas of expertise.  This session was moderated by Minerva Rodriguez (Raytheon) and included panelists, Meg Layton (Symantec), Carrie Gates (CA Labs), and Michelle Guel  (Cisco).
This session set out to answer the questions:
           Are we there yet in the area of cybersecurity?
           Where do we need to be in five years?
The panelists discussed their educational backgrounds and work experience that has led them to the world of cybersecurity.
I really gained a lot of insight about this field.  I was especially drawn in by these women.  The whole session was very conversational.  It was as if you were just sitting around talking with some of your friends.   These women were very down to earth and were very approachable.
Some things that I took away from the panelists was that in this field no two people will tell you the same thing about cybersecurity.  Also, that  you will either be a Builder, Breaker, or Defender. I thought this was a unique way of looking at the Security area.  Also, cybersecurity is a term that is now becoming popular; however Information Security is what it's widely known as.  In addition, these ladies also provided great career advice as far as stating that you should never stay in one area too long.  It's best to be well rounded in this field because it's ever changing. 

One speaker stated, "There's always something new to learn, always someone who knows more than you but you can learn from."  Also, something that I was already aware of was reinforced; certain certifications such as a Certified Information Systems Specialist (CISSP) are needed for most areas in the security industries. 

This session proved to be very valuable for me and I was glad that I was able to attend!

Grace Hopper Career Fair

Time To Network!
 Friday, October 5, 2012

Next Stop, Grace Hopper Career Fair!  This was an excellent networking opportunity.  I was able to provide my resume and contact information to various companies.  It was great to see that social networking plays a huge role in the hiring process for many companies.  Many of the companies had facebook pages or had their own apps that I could provide them contact information right there on the spot!  It was excellent!

Moreover, I am very interested in furthering my education, so it was great to see that various educational institutions were represented as well.  One in particular, GA Tech was present and I was able to speak with representatives in regards to their Network Security and Information Assurance programs.  I also learned that they now offer Distance Learning for one of the Programs.  I was ecstatic about that!

RockIT Science and Systers Celebration

Friday, October 5, 2012
Let's Celebrate!

I had the pleasure of attending the RockIt Science and Systers Celebration at the Maryland Science Center at Baltimore Harbor sponsored by Google, Microsoft, and RSA.  This center was amazing!  There were plenty of exhibits to see as well as many inspirational speakers.  Many of these women were my peers, but had so many encouraging and positive words!  It was great to hear their stories and accomplishments as they continue on their career paths. 

 In addition to the speakers, guests were able to let their hair down and enjoy great music and sample delicious gourmet desserts.  Also, as a bonus, Google and Microsoft had great giveaways as tokens for attending.  I'll have to say the desserts, the t-shirts,and new friends I met were the highlights of this event!

All in all, while this event proved to be uplifting, it did allow for all these wonderful women some time to relax and have fun!

Grace Hopper, I Have Arrived!!

Friday, October 5, 2012
Wow!  I finally have made it to the Baltimore Convention Center.  I was just so excited to be at this conference! When I first stepped foot inside the convention center I saw some very welcoming and motivating signs!  This made me feel very appreciated and proud to be in attendance!
As I went to check in I was given my own name tag and conference bag for items I may pick up along the way. 

As I walked around the center it was refreshing to see so many women who share the same interests as myself as well as how diverse this group of women were!

Securing our Borders-Are We There Yet?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Since I currently work in the Network Security field, attending this session was of great interest to me.  This session included panelists Seniha Esen Yuksel (University of Florida), Pamela Arya (A-T Solutions), Laura McLay (Virginia Commonwealth University), Susan A. Wilson (Northrup Grumman Information Systems), and moderator Wendy Rannenberg (GlobalCerts, LLC).
The main objective of this session was to discuss where we are as computer scientists in securing U.S. borders.  Specifically, the panelists presented information on alternative homeland security methods, algorithms used for data collection, and the implementation of better strategies to secure our borders that will be seamless in today's society.
I was most impressed with panelist Laura McLay from Virginia Commonwealth University. Not only was it a pleasure to see a woman so poised and knowledgeable, but very young as well.  Ms. McLay presented her research that she had done with TSA for Security Checkpoints at airports across the country.  Specifically, she spoke of LAX, one of the busiest airports and targets.  McLay has conducted research on large scale game theoretic optimization, behavioral models, etc.  Her research and ideas were very interesting as well as left a lot of room for further research.  Hint, Hint as she stated, "My work could be used for future dissertation/thesis works."  In addition to her excellent presentation, she also offered a lot of encouraging words.  The most important thing that I took away was that we are underrepresented in this field as women but not to be discouraged and that we must keep working hard and moving forward to show our counterparts that we are a force to be reckoned with!
Overall, I truly enjoyed this session because I was able to see another facet of the Security field.  This has further confirmed that  this is the industry where I want to further my career!