"Shine to the world, and the world will shine back at you" and "Collaboration enhances performance and yields best practices."
I got into cyber – Originating from a foundation in emergency management, public safety, and law, my foray into cybersecurity was prompted by a realization: the burgeoning threat of cyber attacks posed a new frontier for emergency management to confront. Despite emergency management’s all-hazards approach, I felt ill-equipped to address this highly technical menace with potentially severe real-world consequences. Driven by my inherent public safety calling to assist others, I embarked on a mission to bridge this knowledge gap.
My exploration began with attending conferences, enrolling in courses, and devouring relevant literature. Leveraging my legal background, I pursued a Master of Science and Law in Cybersecurity Law. Concurrently, I crafted a Cybersecurity Plan for my jurisdiction and established a cybersecurity program. Complementing these efforts, I enhanced my technical acumen by earning a graduate certificate in cybersecurity technology.
Recognizing the synergy between my emergency management skills and the cybersecurity domain, I advocated fervently for the integration of these disciplines. I championed the breakdown of silos between IT and emergency management, urging mutual understanding and collaboration. After years of cultivating professional expertise on the emergency management side, I transitioned to the IT domain. My current focus revolves around fostering a holistic state-wide approach to cybersecurity in the State of Maryland.
For me, a positive cyber mindset is – A positive cybersecurity mindset recognizes that there is a diverse set of stakeholders that are necessary in this endeavor. Fostering collaboration, information sharing, and collectively devising solutions is valuable.
My top tip to those interested in transitioning to a career in cybersecurity is – My top tip is simple – be passionate. Discover the facet of the field that captivates you, whether it’s compliance, incident response, engineering, privacy, networking, or any other niche. Augment your interest with relevant certifications and practical experience, seizing opportunities such as internships and grants. Take the leap – the cybersecurity community needs you!
The quotes I live by are – Two guiding principles illuminate my professional path: “Shine to the world, and the world will shine back at you” and “Collaboration enhances performance and yields best practices.”
A favorite place of mine is – Other than snuggling with my three little munchkins, my happy place is anywhere with a beautiful view, where I can indulge in sports like horseback riding, rock climbing, zip-lining, ATV rides, white-water rafting, and the like 🙂