Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Security

How to Land Yourself in A Dream Career in Cybersecurity

Last week I had the wonderful honor of being a presenter in the Cisco Networking Academy Find Yourself in The Future Series. To date this series has attracted over 9000 live attendees, which is testament to the extremely high levels of interest in technology careers in this region as well as the extraordinary efforts of the APAC marketing team. One figure blew me away in particular: 70% of attendees are interested in pursuing careers in cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is an incredibly exciting field. It draws in some of the most talented technologists and brainiacs and in many ways cybersecurity is similar to a game of chess. It’s about anticipating and staying ahead of your opponent. It’s also about learning to think like the bad guys except that he patterns are anything but predictable and then doing good. And, that feeling of contributing to the good of humankind is intensely gratifying.

Cybersecurity is such a diverse field and it intersects with just about every area of technology and even behavioral sciences. And, it’s this intersection that will enable students to pursue their dream careers in cybersecurity. Imagine a career in cybersecurity that intersects with medicine. Today people could die from hackers sending fatal doses to hospital drug pumps and you might have a vision for solving this life-threatening problem. In my work one of my goals is to provide our chidren a safe, digital playground. This combines my interest for education with privacy and digital safety.

On last week’s presentation I suggested students take the following steps to achieving their dream careers. And, it’s these very steps that have been major enablers in my career too.

  1. Find an area of cyber security that is particularly compelling and exciting to you. Or find the intersection of cybersecurity with another field and think of ways that you could change or influence the industry.
  2. Research that area on the web and learn as much as you can about it.
  3. Explore possibilities of being an intern in an organization that is pursuing innovative directions that coincide with your interests.
  4. Find a mentor. Mentors both help you grow your career as well as help you navigate a workplace. If you can find a way to help the person who is mentoring you, for example, research a new area, then you become very valuable to your mentor too.
  5. Finally, think about your career in a series of phases. What you might start out doing may be very different to what you do in 20 years from now. So think about companies that allow you to evolve and career paths that are flexible.

We live in an increasingly insecure digital world. The upside is that that cybersecurity will continue to be a much sought after skillset in the workforce. And, if I can help you pursue your dream career in cybersecurity, please reach out to me and if you missed the session you can view the recording on YouTube.

Tags: , ,

So You Want to be a Network Engineer. Here’s Where You Should Start!

First lets talk about what a Network Engineer is. According to The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing. Retrieved April 27, 2015, from Dictionary.com website a Network Engineer is:

“A high-level LAN /WAN technician who plans, implements and supports network solutions between multiple platforms. A network engineer installs and maintains local area network hardware and software, and troubleshoots network usage and computer peripherals.”

Network Engineers can wear many different hats. I believe the more “Traditional” Network Engineers mainly work on devices such as Routers, Switches, Firewalls, Wireless Access Points and Controllers, Load Balancers, Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems as well as some server maintenance involving virtualization and network management software. Next we should discuss the overview of the differences between Network Engineering and Administration. Keep in mind I am just talking from an industry general view/standpoint. Some companies may not differ between the 2 titles. Engineers and Admins tend to share a lot of responsibility when it comes to maintaining and troubleshooting a network. The dividing line seems to be in the design/installation area with the bulk of this work generally being done by the more “experienced” engineers. Admins usually fall under the NOC (Network Operations Center) which in large companies/agencies is usually staffed 24x7x365. I have also seen the difference broken down into tiers when it comes to troubleshooting escalation. Network Admins usually fall in the Tier 1-2 range with Engineers being considered Tier 3. Read More »

Tags: , , , , ,

An Engineer’s Thoughts on Work/Life Balance

Several months ago I became so busy with work that I subconsciously compiled a script that auto-executed every time someone asked any question vaguely resembling, “How have you been?”.  I didn’t have time to think of a human answer, so without hesitation, the canned response “busy” would sound from my lips.

Work Life Balance2Often times we get so busy with work we become robotic, and even worse – we forget to live.  The funny thing is, by the time we realize it, rather than making some significant change, we just keep working to distract ourselves from the uncomfortable truth.  As we strive to stay current with the evolution of technologies, certifications and the world around us, we quickly become overwhelmed, placing our wellbeing and sense of self at risk.  We have a thousand things going on at work, two thousand things to catch up on, a hundred books to read, tests to take, projects to complete, deadlines to meet, and, oh yeah, an entirely separate life to live with family and loved ones, plus housework, hobbies and so on, all with a phone screen glued to our eyes, constantly checking email and social media.  It’s quite an amazing feat to take on such a loaded life and remain happy. Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Working Mother Magazine Recognizes Cisco and Ileana Rivera

We are extremely proud to announce that Cisco has been recognized by Working Mother magazine’s prestigious 2013 100 Best Companies list.  For five consecutive years we have appeared on this sought-after list,  and this year we’re extremely proud to announce that Ileana Rivera, Senior Director at Cisco and IT Regional leader for Latin America, has been named as Working Mother of the Year in the same publication.

Ileana is responsible for managing all IT related client interactions for the Product Sales and Services Sales organizations and to the overall user community in Latin America.  Her main areas of responsibility include: User Experience support, Service Capability enablement, IT leadership, and Customer Engagements across Latin America. Ileana has more than 13 years of experience in the life science/medical device industry, and has been with Cisco for the last 5 years.

On the topic of being a working mother, Ileana says, “Being a working mother is the art of multitasking! Your mind is always running faster than your actions, you are always Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Back to School: Transforming the Classroom with IoE

With students and teachers heading back to school, I’ve been thinking about when attended high school and college. For me, collaboration meant getting together with study groups, phone calls for homework help and office hours with teachers. For my two children – one a college junior and one college freshman – I have seen streaming video, text messages and online sessions with educators thousands of miles away turn our kitchen table into a classroom with a simple click of a button.Back to School

Beyond convenience and the overwhelming coolness factor of being able to connect virtually with teachers and classmates, I often wonder how technology will impact education and careers in the long run. Collaboration software is pervasive on many campuses, transforming the learning process, academic research and the relationship between students and instructors. With the advent of BYOD and mobile technology, collaboration is even becoming more accessible.  Will the integration of collaboration in their education translate into career skills?

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,