Izzy - Random and Unplanned: From Annuities to ISO!

Listen to the full episode here:

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.


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.


• ISMS - Information Systems Security Manager

• 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 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 decided to speak up in a meeting a provide feedback, which led to her being hired Full-Time.


• "At 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


• Izzy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Is_Vix

• Her story: - Her story is on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Is_Vix/status/1079218656138149889

• Izzy's BUsiness, VixCyber: https://vixcyber.co/

• NIST Cybersecurity Framework: https://www.nist.gov/cyberframework

• Intro Music: Cascadia by Trash80 - https://trash80.com/#/content/133/weeklybeats-2012-week5 (Released under Creative Commons)

• Outro Music: "Feather Duster" by Geographer: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcB_tnqYHwPzADwUdeppIIQ

Getting Into Infosec:

• Twitter: https://twitter.com/coffeewithayman

• YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg6gV_gdfc188HZdN8LUx4A

• Book: https://t.co/DDXxfVwpD7