One of the things we’ve been trying to do here at ISSA-UK is focus a bit more on our membership and what we do.  This month we are launching the first of our member spotlights.  Lauren joined ISSA-UK a bit over a year ago and was promptly swept away by the quality of our event and networking.  Indeed, it was networking at our event that helped Lauren make the connections that got her into the security industry!  Read on to see ISSA-UK from the eyes of one of our members and also meet Lauren. – Gabe

Name:  Lauren Chiesa

Occupation: Cybersecurity Consultant

Why did you join the ISSA:

I joined the ISSA after attending one of the Christmas chapter meetings. I was overwhelmed at how welcoming the members were to me as I was at that time only a student.

What benefit have you received from being a member:

My network of contacts rapidly expanded as ISSA members are great at networking and there is always a mix of new people.

Why would you renew:

The regular chapter events prove time and time again to be one of the best networking events in the industry. There’s special events throughout the year such as special InfoSec evening events and a full day conference on board HQS Wellington. I

What else would you like to see:

I have no suggestions for improvements at this point! I think ISSA are doing a great job at bringing their members together and keeping them up to date with what’s going on in the industry by putting together interesting and varied agendas.

What are your predictions for Information or Cyber Security for the foreseeable future:

I think it’s still going to take time for companies to recognise that security is as much about training your staff as it is getting your technology right and a lot more money needs to be spent than will be budgeted for. Training needs to be tailored to be effective and that’s expensive but it will make a big difference to a company’s security posture.

I also think we will also see more Social Media attacks – clicking on content and links is far too easy. Non-security folk will take a while to recognise that clicking links on Twitter and Instagram is no less of a threat than links in phishing emails.

I can’t not mention IoT – we’re going to struggle to get it right straight away as there are so many new challenges and problems that we’ll be faced with. As has been the case with the evolution of security, we’ll only learn what we need to do by failing first. However, the difference with IoT is that we need to be very careful how wrong we get it as the need to consider safety is critical.

What got you into the industry:

I was fascinated by a Cryptography module I studied as part of my undergraduate Maths degree but had chosen to pursue teaching instead. However, my interest in ciphers never faded so I set up an extra-curricular class to teach my students about it –  I ended up inspiring myself to quit teaching, get myself a Masters in Information Security and step into the world of Cyber.

What does the industry need?:

It needs to take chances on people that don’t know much about security but are curious. Our industry is fascinating, exciting and important – it’s easy to inspire the curious. We also need to transform our identity – try a Google image search on “Cyber Security” – that’s not what we should look like.

What advice would you give for someone to get into a role like yours:

Network. Go to as many Security events and conferences as you can manage and socialise. Listen to the problems, solutions, frustrations and curiosities of real cyber professionals – that’s how you’ll learn what’s really going on in the industry. Who knows – you might meet your future employer just like I did.

Tell us more about you outside of the industry:

I’m a bit of a security geek because I would state that “Cyber Security” is also a hobby of mine as I’ll spend my free time exploring areas that I don’t get to touch on at work. For example, doing malware traffic analysis exercises is my idea of a great Friday night. But “outside of the industry”, I’m a gym bunny, obsessed with travelling – I work to go on holiday and my favourite nights are dinner parties with friends.

Interested in doing your own member profile?  Reach out to Ryan King at [email protected]