May 13, 2019

Izzy - Random and Unplanned: From Annuities to ISO!

Ismaelle Vixsama (aka Izzy) has a knack for finding strategic flaws and speaking up about them. Doing so helped her get her first full-time job as well as have repercussions for defensive egos. Her whole career is a war story.


Ismaelle Vixsama (aka Izzy) has a knack for finding strategic flaws and speaking up about them. Doing so helped her get her first full-time job as well as have repercussions for defensive egos. Her whole career is a war story.

BIO:

Izzy is an ISMS manager with 7 years of experience. She has worked in FinTech, Government, and Security R&D. Her work has allowed her to work on several mainstream products and services with some of the most well-recognized brands.

Notes:

  • Creates a security program around a company's information systems
  • Played the CISO role initially, very CISO like role
  • First role in security was in Risk
  • Izzy comes from a very traditional Haitian back
  • Izzy came up with benefits at her job for an opportunity to learn something new and be in a non-toxic environment
  • First heard/learned about hacking at 15 from an AOL chat with a "hacker"
  • At 23, she decided to speak up in a meeting to provide feedback, which led to her being hired full-time

Quotes:

  • "[By] the time I was 22 years old, the pay wasn't that great but for me. It was amazing because I was doing something I hated. I had benefits at my previous job, but this company was giving me an opportunity to learn something new. To me, that was so exciting."
  • "He looked at my resume and he said, 'I realize you have no cybersecurity experience.' By starting the conversation like that, it took some pressure off of my shoulders." [10:00]
  • "I was so nervous that he was going to drill into me about all these topics I had no clue about."
  • "I didn't even [know] I had sisters."
  • "Everyone just kinda wrote me off." [16:20]
  • "Who is the audience, what do we want to say here?" [21:13]
  • Worst comment ever: "We have to really train you on your critical thinking skills." [22:45]
  • "A good idea is a good idea, regardless of who it came from."
  • "My whole career is a war story." [32:05]

Links

Getting Into Infosec:

Follow Ayman on Twitter

Breaking IN: A Practical Guide to Starting a Career in Information Security