Women in Security Panel at HouSecCon

Join our panel of security leaders on the lunch stage from 11:45 – 1:00 pm at HouSecCon v8.

Fresh Perspectives – Addressing the Cybersecurity Opportunity Gap: How to build confidence, community, and transformation for leaders in technology.

This panel is being generously sponsored by Splunk, a technology that turns machine data into answers with the leading platform to tackle the toughest IT, IoT and security challenges.

The purpose of this panel is to provide fresh perspectives to the debate around the impact of the talent gap on national security. Leaders in energy, technology, and managed services will share solutions to closing the opportunity gap by confronting the barriers faced by people of diverse backgrounds, genders, and ways of thinking. The panelists will evaluate the options we have as an industry and individuals to open doors, elevate confidence levels, and grow the community of professionals to address new/emerging threats to our economic security. The examination method will include candid conversations around how the participants overcame many obstacles to success in critical infrastructure, security technology, and consulting. As leaders in their fields, the panelists will provide valuable insight for those interested in security careers. They will also propose solutions that existing practitioners can use to help their orgs recruit underestimated talent and earn those referral bonuses. Finally, the panel will challenge the industry to follow HouSecCon’s lead on inclusiveness being a part of the fabric of the conference instead of an afterthought.

Note that we will be in the hotel lobby after the con to network with women who were not able to get tickets because they sell out every year!

Meet The Team:

Keirsten Brager {pronounced Kear-sten (like ear) Bray-zure} (co-moderator) is a Security Technology Lead at Entergy, a major power utility company servicing almost 3 million customers. She is also the author of the upcoming book Secure The InfoSec Bag: Six Figure Career Guide for Women in Security.

She produced this digital book to help newbies strategically plan their careers. It was also written to help established professionals diversify their income, fire their bosses if they are in a toxic environment, and provide guidance on taking their careers to the next level.

The key objectives of this project include uncovering multiple income sources, building labs and online portfolios, detecting back doors into roles, and positioning yourself for optimal success. The book will also equip established career professionals with resources to guide those who seek them out for mentoring relationships or just looking for advice.  Secure The InfoSec Bag is being launched during our panel at HouSecCon and will be available for sale on this website April 4th.

Keirsten is on a mission to help women secure the 2-3 million open security roles that are projected to go unfilled by 2022. She also wants to help women secure at least 50% of the $100 million that HackerOne plans to pay out by 2020. She was recently named one of Dark Reading’s top women in security who are changing the game. The Dark Reading profile does a better job explaining her professional and educational background than she ever could. It also illustrates that she is practicing what she preaches about multiple income streams, so she is well positioned to teach these strategies to other women.

She doesn’t have any free time because she is also writing a physical book to be released later this summer. However, she loves sharing knowledge on this blog, cooking New Orleans food and spending time with her family. She is also madly in love with Paul Brager. 

Jessica Valentine Patterson (co-moderator) is a believer, cybersecurity professional, yoga teacher, and transformation agent.

She successfully inspired a movement, AlphaG[IRL]Code, with a global vision to create confidence, collaboration, and connection for people through merging mindfulness and business leadership principles. Her legacy is to leave people inspired, powerful, and owning their unique abilities to contribute to the world.

Jessica Valentine began her career as a cybersecurity professional through a New-Hire Sales Program at Check Point Software. Throughout her 4 years at Check Point, she held a variety of roles as the Client Services Manager managing client assets then as the Territory Development Manager focusing on on-boarding channel partners, educating clients on emerging technologies, and accelerating community engagement through her leadership in the Houston Infragard chapter.

She successfully built a community for Houston Women in Cybersecurity, Own I.T. In 2016. As an entry-level professional she found it challenging to find female mentors in the industry and struggled with feeling like she belonged in a male-dominated field. She was given the feedback to temper her energy and personality and found herself in a toxic environment feeling disempowered by other females in the industry. Thankfully she shifted her pain into her passion after being told that she was not confident speaking about cybersecurity.

This spurred her to face her fears through Own I.T., speak monthly at conferences such as HouSecCon, Houston ISSA, and Cyber Houston. Knowing that she was ready to move to Austin and be a greater contribution to the industry, she received an amazing job opportunity with Optiv, the largest pure-play Security Solutions Integrator in North America, as a Client Manager impacting change to Fortune 50 clients.

Jessica expanded Own I.T to Austin in October 2017. Due to a legal challenge in January 2018, she chose to powerfully close and complete Own I.T.  It was through this journey that she discovered her purpose of creating community, legacy, leadership, and elevating conversations to shift perspective and develop a path for the next generation of business leaders in cybersecurity.

She believes in creating a future where people cultivate their power and commit to being up to something bigger than themselves.

In 2018, she is focused on infinite possibilities. Jessica envisions building an interactive digital community for AlphaG[IRL]Code and teaching power vinyasa yoga classes in Austin. When she is not being an Alpha G[IRL], she enjoys spending time with friends, exploring new cities, and playing with her labradoodle puppy, Zoey.

Tonya Drummonds (panelist) manages the Enterprise Information & Security Governance area in Dell’s Security & Resiliency organization which creates the requirements for and awareness of Policies, Standards, Procedures and Controls.  Tonya was an enterprise data management strategist while leading the global data classification program for over 8 years, ensuring that all structured and unstructured data is identified, classified for sensitivity and protected adequately.  As a member of Dell’s Privacy Steering Committee, she leads several initiatives tied to the collection, use, confidentiality and governance of data.  Her expertise covers security awareness programs, data owner accountability projects, data mapping and minimization which tie to GDPR readiness efforts.

Tonya has held several positions in Security, Cybersecurity and Information Technology organizations in her near 20 year career at Dell. She has contributed to the company’s focus on data security and has worked diligently to create a security culture that readily supports privacy and data governance programs.

Erica Connor (panelist) has been in the IT industry for nearly 20 years. Starting as a help desk analyst for Shell Oil in 1998, she transitioned into her first security role at Enron where she focused on access control. Erica worked in many industries such as energy, oil & gas, healthcare, human resources and insurance where she held many roles that advanced her career. Erica recently left her role as Manager of Technology Security at Cheniere Energy, to join a new company in the Oil & Gas Services industry. In her new role as Director of IT Security she will focus on Cyber Security Strategy and building the security program and team from scratch. Her skills in communication have allowed her to bring inter-departmental groups together so ideas can be shared, goals can be met and teams learn to work together as one. Erica is very passionate about customer service and her career in Cyber Security. She devotes her spare time to volunteer work serving her community and by speaking at yearly STEM events where she informs young girls about Cyber Security and opens their minds to opportunities for women in this field. Erica enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.  She loves the beach, gardening, hiking mountain trails and nature photography.

Nicole Powell (panelist) is a Systems Engineer at Palo Alto Networks for Major Accounts in the Houston, TX area. After spending nearly a decade working in, building, and managing Security Operations Centers in various capacities and assisting companies with increasing their network security posture, Nicole has learned some of the most important cyber security strategies.

Nicole has experience managing and directing enterprise IT security initiatives in various industries including Department of Defense, retail and energy/natural resources. Her knowledge spans across computer network defense designs, information security process and assurance strategies, security operations, and cloud security. When not knee deep in end-to-end enterprise security, Nicole is very passionate in various areas of diversity and inclusion to increase the number of minorities in STEM fields.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, a Master of Science in Computer/Electrical Engineer, and a Master of Science in Technical Program Management. She also holds a PMP and is an active member of FBI Infragard’s Houston chapter.

Mae Siggins (panelist) is a Security Engineer at SolarWinds. She holds a degree in Information Security and Digital Forensics and is an Associate of ISC(2). Mae is passionate about paving the way to help more women enter the field of cybersecurity, and hopes to use her story to inspire others.

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