Stacy Dunn: My superpower and my kryptonite. [Engineer]
Stacy Dunn, a Senior Solutions Engineer from the SANS Institute sits down and shares what it is like to work through her own adversity to get to be where she is today. Stacy shares some of her experiences as a woman with ADHD working in an IT career and explains her tips for other neurodiverse people in the field. After working in a wide array of positions in different fields, she wanted to go back to school to get her degree in management information systems and information assurance. Eventually she started working her way up the ladder, and became a very successful woman in the IT world. She shares her struggles with ADHD as she was making the climb and says "It's both a superpower and kryptonite because I think something that is a fundamental misunderstanding of most people, and maybe even some people that do have ADHD, is that it's not just the aspect of not being able to focus, it's also an aspect of focusing too much." We thank Stacy for sharing her story with us.
Dawn Cappelli: Becoming the cyber fairy godmother. [OT]
Dawn Cappelli, OT CERT Director at Dragos, sits down to share what she has learned after her 25+ year career in the industry. She recalls wanting to have been a rockstar when she grew up, now she refers to herself as the fairy godmother of security. She shares some of the amazing things she got to work on throughout her career, including working with the Secret Service when the Olympics came to Salt Lake City, Utah in 2002. She shares how she was able to rise through the ranks to get to where she is now. Dawn talks about how she wasn't ready to retire quite yet because she loved the industry so much, saying "I retired, but I knew I still loved security. I have this passion for protection and so Dragos came along and they offered me this role of Director of OT CERT. I feel like I'm the security fairy godmother." She shares words of wisdom for all trying to get into the industry, saying that you need to always take the risk like she did when she first started her career. We thank Dawn for sharing her story with us.
Steve Benton: Mixing like a DJ. [VP]
Steve Benton, Vice President at Anomali Threat Research & GM Belfast, sits down to share his story as a cybersecurity expert with a surplus of strategic leadership experience across cyber and physical security rooted in substantial operational directorship and accountability. Steve shares his beginnings, where he wanted to grow up to be a rockstar, slowly moving into the world of tech with his first ever computer and falling in love with it. After graduating from Queens University with a degree in information technology, he joined British Telecommunications or BT, where he got to put his new found skills to use. Steve mentions how his job is kind of like being a DJ almost and says " a typical day for me is looking at the intelligence that we're bringing in, mixing it as it were to think of a slight, like DJs with a set of headphones on creating the right kind of mixes of intelligence for our clients." We thank Steve for sharing his story with us.
Shelley Ma: The mystery behind cybersecurity. [Response Lead]
Shelley Ma, Incident Response Lead at Coalition sits down to share her story, starting all the way back when she was a kid and fell in love with playing the game "Neopets" that ended up paving the way for her future in cybersecurity. After starting this journey, she shares how she became intrigued with crime and mystery shows, which ultimately spawned an interest in forensic science. She ended up signing up for an internship program that she was able to get into, which she says was a pivotal change for her that provided her the chance to begin her career. She shares the advice that if anyone is looking to get into this career, she highly recommends looking into the career before beginning. Following some advise given to her by a professor and mentor, she says that telling the truth helps her deal with adversity in the workplace. Shelley says "In our industry, there are so many opportunities for our opinions and testimonies to be coerced and swayed. I refuse to do that and every time I come back to what my professor said, if you don't want to spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulders, just simply tell the truth." We thank Shelley for sharing her story with us.
Perry Carpenter: Turning composition into computing. [Strategy]
Perry Carpenter, Chief Evangelist and Strategy Officer at KnowBe4 and host of the 8th Layer Insights podcast, sits down to share his story trying different paths, before ultimately switching over to the cyber industry. After trying to go down the paths of music and law and finding neither were what he wanted to do, he decided to take an internship to get more into computer programming. That led him to getting his first job. After his first job, he moved onto other big name companies like Walmart, Alltel, and Gartner, and landing finally with KnowBe4. He compares his work to working with music, when he initially wanted to begin making music early in his career. He says "I think for me, when it was the kind of the connection between music and computing is that whenever you're kind of joining things together or at a, a musical scale to make chords, or whenever you're adding different, um, instruments and octaves together or timbers together to get some kind of bigger result." We thank Perry for sharing his story.