Home IT News Instinct and Curiosity Combine Properly with Expertise

Instinct and Curiosity Combine Properly with Expertise

Instinct and Curiosity Combine Properly with Expertise


An interview with Valeria Scribanti, a Technical Options Specialist with deal with cybersecurity.

Welcome to the Cisco Girls in Cybersecurity’s weblog collection, the place we spotlight the tales of the mentors who’ve impressed and advocated for the careers of these in our neighborhood. This collection seeks to indicate the significance of allyship, connection, and the way completely different the journeys could be right into a profession in cybersecurity.

Interviewer Intro:

Valeria and I met quickly after I joined Cisco in 2021. We’re each a part of the “Swiss Cybersecurity Girls” group, which is an inside on-line group for girls in cybersecurity primarily based in Switzerland. Over time, Valeria and I stayed in contact, scheduling a digital espresso or sending one another fascinating articles. Final yr we even received an opportunity to satisfy in particular person at Cisco Dwell in Amsterdam. The factor that strikes me about Valeria is her upbeat angle, vitality and tenacity. This interview is an opportunity for me to search out out extra about Valeria’s path into cybersecurity and her secret to staying constructive in an business with an inclination to deal with the darkish aspect of affairs.


  • What impressed you to pursue a profession in cybersecurity? 

I’ve at all times been very excited by know-how from a curiosity perspective, regardless that rising up I didn’t see myself as a really nerdy particular person. I’m a millennial, so I grew up in an surroundings the place know-how was not all that current. I nonetheless bear in mind the primary time I noticed an iPod; it actually fascinated me as a tool, and I instantaneously needed to search out out all about its workings. Later, when my father purchased his first laptop computer and he was programming in Visible Studio at residence at some point, I caught my first glimpse of code and that received me hooked. From there I understood that know-how is what I needed to do, and I made a decision to enroll first in a bachelors engineering program at Politecnico di Torino after which proceed with the double diploma grasp’s program between the Politecnico di Torino and the Hamburg College of Expertise (TUHH).

So, it was actually about instinct and curiosity which led me to decide on know-how as a occupation. Properly, that and the truth that I used to be taking part in lots of Nintendo with my brother.

  • What was your first foot within the door – the place did you begin? 

My research in Italy laid the inspiration for my later work in cybersecurity. As a pupil within the Computer systems and Communication Community Engineering program, I received to play with lots of Cisco know-how, studying switching and routing. But, as an entire, the college program was relatively theoretical and analysis oriented. It was not till I went to Germany for the alternate program that I took a terrific course on cybersecurity with a professor from the business. I used to be fascinated with the matters he lined on this class – buffer overflow, SQL injections, cross-site scripting. Occasions have modified these days, however again then such a course was not a normal a part of the college curriculum. The subject felt so new and tremendous thrilling to me that I made a decision to contemplate cybersecurity as a doable path after commencement.

I landed my first job quickly after ending my grasp’s diploma. The college helped us discover a place so for me it was a extremely clean transition. The job market again then provided loopy variety of alternatives, not like the present scenario.

  • How do you know what position precisely you need to go for?

By doing the interviews I truly received to know extra in regards to the completely different roles, what day-to-day actions they contain and what trajectory I might observe if I had been to hitch.

  • How has your profession developed since your preliminary begin? 

My first position was a Community and Safety Engineer at a system integrator firm in Italy. I nonetheless bear in mind the interview with them. We began off with some straightforward to reply questions, comparable to “what’s a firewall?”. The subsequent questions, nonetheless, had been matters which had been completely new to me again then, comparable to what an IPS (intrusion prevention system) and defense-in-depth and so on. Trying again, I believe that the interviewers posed these inquiries to hone my urge for food for the subject and exhibit that they had been coping with cutting-edge know-how. Through the interview they defined the rules of these safety merchandise and confirmed me what the position would entail.

As a customer-facing engineer there, I set to work with lots of Cisco know-how, in addition to different distributors. The very best a part of this position was the chance to do hands-on work with actual initiatives and actual accountability. As a junior engineer, I felt each scared and motivated to be on web site with clients and do issues dwell, however that is how I discovered tons about safety structure design, implementation and configuration of various safety merchandise comparable to firewalls, IPS, WAF, anti-virus, and so on.

Sooner or later I set to work with the Cisco Safe Community Analytics (previously Stealthwatch) group on a challenge. By speaking with them I found different varieties of roles inside cybersecurity. The work of a safety gross sales engineer, who’s chargeable for creating and designing proof of worth (POV) for safety merchandise, actually clicked with me and I joined Cisco in 2018. That’s how I moved from the extra technically oriented operations into a job with a mixture of exhausting and comfortable expertise.

One of many issues that I really love in regards to the TSS position is that I get to work with world clients and as a part of a world group, work together with completely different cultures and put into apply the a number of languages that I communicate. I noticed the truth that I additionally get pleasure from working carefully with clients, listening to their wants and being a trusted advisor, somebody that clients can depend on all through the entire course of.

  • What’s the one factor you would like you had identified at first of your cybersecurity profession? 

I made lots of decisions for my profession primarily based on a intestine feeling. My instinct served me nicely however wanting again, I might have used some extra steering and knowledge to determine which path I ought to take. There are such a lot of completely different paths that exist on the market and it’s price exploring them earlier than deciding on a specific profession.

How to do this? A technique is to hitch cybersecurity communities which can be close to you and discover out extra about these completely different roles. Speak to professionals who’re already within the discipline and hearken to their perspective.

  • What’s your single most necessary piece of recommendation to individuals contemplating a profession in cybersecurity? 

Hang around with individuals who like cybersecurity – you’ll study rather a lot!

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