Cloud Computing

Instinct and Curiosity Combine Properly with Know-how

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

Welcome to the Cisco Girls in Cybersecurity’s weblog sequence, the place we spotlight the tales of the mentors who’ve impressed and advocated for the careers of these in our neighborhood. This sequence seeks to point out the significance of allyship, connection, and the way totally different the journeys may 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 inner on-line group for ladies in cybersecurity based mostly in Switzerland. Through the years, Valeria and I stayed in contact, scheduling a digital espresso or sending one another fascinating articles. Final 12 months we even received an opportunity to satisfy in individual at Cisco Dwell in Amsterdam. The factor that strikes me about Valeria is her upbeat perspective, power 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 optimistic in an trade with an inclination to deal with the darkish facet of affairs.


  • What impressed you to pursue a profession in cybersecurity? 

I’ve all the time been very interested by know-how from a curiosity perspective, although rising up I didn’t see myself as a really nerdy individual. I’m a millennial, so I grew up in an setting 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 wished 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 dwelling someday, I caught my first glimpse of code and that received me hooked. From there I understood that know-how is what I wished 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 Know-how (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 scholar 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 slightly theoretical and analysis oriented. It was not till I went to Germany for the change program that I took an important course on cybersecurity with a professor from the trade. 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 any such course was not a typical 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 potential 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 very clean transition. The job market again then provided loopy variety of alternatives, in contrast to the present state of affairs.

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

By doing the interviews I truly received to know extra in regards to the totally different roles, what day-to-day actions they contain and what trajectory I might comply with if I have been to affix.

  • How has your profession developed since your preliminary begin? 

My first function 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 simple to reply questions, reminiscent of “what’s a firewall?”. The following questions, nevertheless, have been matters which have been completely new to me again then, reminiscent of what an IPS (intrusion prevention system) and defense-in-depth and so on. Wanting again, I feel that the interviewers posed these inquiries to hone my urge for food for the subject and show that they have been coping with cutting-edge know-how. In the course of the interview they defined the rules of these safety merchandise and confirmed me what the function would entail.

As a customer-facing engineer there, I set to work with lots of Cisco know-how, in addition to different distributors. One of the best a part of this function was the chance to do hands-on work with actual initiatives and actual duty. As a junior engineer, I felt each scared and motivated to be on website with prospects and do issues reside, however that is how I realized tons about safety structure design, implementation and configuration of various safety merchandise reminiscent of firewalls, IPS, WAF, anti-virus, and so on.

In some unspecified time in the future I set to work with the Cisco Safe Community Analytics (previously Stealthwatch) staff on a undertaking. By speaking with them I found different sorts of roles inside cybersecurity. The work of a safety gross sales engineer, who’s answerable 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 laborious and delicate expertise.

One of many issues that I actually love in regards to the TSS function is that I get to work with international prospects and as a part of a world staff, work together with totally different cultures and put into follow the a number of languages that I converse. I spotted the truth that I additionally get pleasure from working carefully with prospects, listening to their wants and being a trusted advisor, somebody that prospects can depend on all through the entire course of.

  • What’s the one factor you want you had recognized firstly of your cybersecurity profession? 

I made lots of selections for my profession based mostly on a intestine feeling. My instinct served me effectively however wanting again, I might have used some extra steerage and knowledge to resolve which path I ought to take. There are such a lot of totally 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 method is to affix cybersecurity communities which can be close to you and discover out extra about these totally different roles. Discuss to professionals who’re already within the area and take heed to their perspective.

  • What’s your single most vital 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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