My Journey Into (ICT) Cybersecurity, Chapter 2

womencssociety
Posted April 18, 2019 from Canada
Women working in cybersecurity.
Woman working in cybersecurity.

After working with the RCMP for a while, I experienced more life changes.  My marriage ended, my mother passed away and I developed full-blown fibromyalgia as a result of a whiplash injury from a car accident all in the same year.  Many times I felt like Job and questioned why?  The saving grace was my precious child, my beautiful daughter who was depending on me for support.  I knew I needed to find a way to improve my circumstances.  So I stopped feeling sorry for myself, pulled up my socks, put on my boots and made a pact with myself to move forward. Through much prayer, physical therapy and sheer stubbornness I did just so.  

Three years later, I enrolled in a fast-track three-year computer science program. The path wasn't easy but I persevered, sometimes pulling all-nighters writing a java application or a server-side script for an assignment due the following day.  I've often wondered where I found the strength but somehow I managed to fight through the pain and move forward.  It was also during that time that the world changed for all of us. 

September 11, 2001, we were sitting in class and someone was on the internet watching a news report of the first twin tower exploding in New York City.  We huddled over a workstation watching in horror the live stream as the second tower exploded.  We were in shock and realized instantly, life would never be the same.  However, it was through these horrific events that I saw so many others experiencing much worse and it put things into a new perspective.  After all, I was working through the pain and making good grades and my future was bright.  

The year is now 2004 and I graduated with a 96% average and I am still proud of that accomplishment. I had five job offers even before I finished my final exam. 

Life was back on track and the world of ICT and security was again my future.  I accepted a new role working with an IT services provider, managing their datacenter and 200+ clients. 

The years following, I returned to school many times to take various related courses from digital forensics, ethical hacking, programming, risk management and the list goes on and on.  To sum it up, that's the life of most people in the ICT cybersecurity world.  You never stop learning and the moment you do, you fail to keep up with the industry and the latest and greatest threat and attack vectors out there. 

Sound challenging?  It is and it's the part that keeps me going.  The love of the work and knowing you're helping to secure organizational assets, systems and data.  I'd almost call it a noble profession; if you do it right!  However, this industry isn't always ethical nor fair.  I'll tell you more about that later on. 

This story was submitted in response to Girls in ICT Day.

Comments 8

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Jill Langhus
Apr 20
Apr 20

Hi Lisa,

Thanks so much for sharing Chapter 2 of your inspiring story. Your perseverance and accomplishments are very impressive:-) Looking forward to seeing more stories/posts from you.

Hope you're having a good day!

womencssociety
Apr 20
Apr 20

Hi Jill,

It so nice to receive your thoughts on my journey and to know you enjoyed reading.

I checked out your blog and your work is very impressive. You're a very talented designer!

Best,

Lisa

Jill Langhus
Apr 21
Apr 21

Hi Lisa,

Thank you very much for your kind words and feedback. I appreciate it.

Happy Easter:-)

womencssociety
Apr 30
Apr 30

Happy belated Easter and I hope you'll enjoy reading the last in this series, 'My Journey into (ICT) Cybersecurity, Chapter 3'!
Lisa

Jill Langhus
May 01
May 01

Thank you! Oh, yes, I'm sure I will:-)

Tamarack Verrall
May 07
May 07

Hi Lisa,
It is such a gift to read your continuing story knowing more about your journey, recognizing your strength to persevere through such profound difficulties and with breathtaking determined giant steps forward due to perseverance and your own strong spirit. You have continually cleared a path into a world that i can only imagine, and a world which works hard to put up roadblocks to strong, smart women like you. I am on the edge of my seat for more.

womencssociety
Jun 09
Jun 09

Hi Tam,
You are such a light and encouragement and I always look forward to hearing from you and enjoy your comments so much! Thank you for your kind words.
Lisa

Beth Lacey
Jun 18
Jun 18

What a wonderful success story!