SecurityBrief New Zealand logo
New Zealand's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Interview: A chat with SolarWinds' Destiny Bertucci and how she discovered IT security

By Sara Barker
Fri 9 Mar 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

International Women’s Day may have passed, but there’s no reason why society shouldn’t keep up that recognition every day of the year. SolarWinds ‘head geek’ Destiny Bertucci is a woman in security, visiting Australia as part of Cisco Live.

We caught up with her to discuss the changing nature of cybersecurity, the skills shortage and how women are represented not only in security but in the wider IT world.

What exactly is a ‘head geek’? Bertucci explains that it’s about sharing technical knowledge and encouraging discussion in an area of expertise with the wold. Her expertise lies in security, networking, and monitoring areas.

“United, the SolarWinds Head Geeks bring over 120 collective years of real-world expertise and renowned industry credentials to provide the IT pro community with perspectives, advice, and discussion on the latest trends and challenges in technology.”

Medicine or IT? The 50/50 choice

What’s the difference between IT and a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)? They may sound like different crazy fields, but they are quite alike, Bertucci explains.

When she was considering her career, it was a 50/50 shot of even thinking about IT. She started as an LPN but found she wasn’t cut out for the emotional attachment to patients.

“I would literally cry coming home and work extra hours to check on people and it was a stressful nightmare at 18 years old.”

From then, it was either a choice of medicine or technology.

“I jumped straight into the Security +, CCNA, and A+ courses at the local vocational school and never looked back. The Networking element kept me engaged and the security has always sparked an excitement within me. “

And the similarity between IT and health? Bertucci explains:

“The human body is a great network if you think about it.  From a security standpoint prescriptions to optimise or protect the body is interesting and at the same time, hard to stay on top of with mutated viruses and new bacteria that can be introduced.”

The security skills shortage

As the security industry knows, there is a skills shortage across the globe. Training programmes and industry partnerships are bridging the gap, but ultimately it’s down to the people to see security as an attractive career.

“I don’t know how you could not be attracted to security! I feel like a lot of people think about security as a hindrance and need to understand it is actually a great way to have standardisation and growth within an organisation. It is constantly changing. My focus currently is on user education.”

It’s not just about technical skillsets, Bertucci explains.

“All kinds of personality types can work in security. We need outgoing people to help bridge the gap between departments and open conversations. Security needs people with different skill sets: people that love to read and find answers, like researchers. Developers are also needed to help create new ways to block threats and help protect data in every sector.”

She believes that while not everyone is a people person, security needs a dose of charisma and personable interactions, particularly when driving security policies to all levels within organisations.

 “The main point is that it’s not just a silo where you’re sitting at your desk paranoid and never trusting anyone again. There are ample opportunities and areas within the security field that can really talk to people’s inner passions and bring out some really great talent.”

Women in security (and IT)

When it comes to women and men in IT, people are focusing too hard on trying to explain why women are excelling in IT, which has produced a number of myths, Bertucci explains.

“I’ve had conversations where some people try to tell me how creative women are and that they offer more ‘thinking out of the box’ types of solutions. However, history shows men are just the same.

“We’ve been excelling for years in these areas but at low numbers and it has taken great women to be exceptional to even be allowed to work in some fields, but it has opened the door and broken the enticing glass ceilings.

“In reality I work in a company that is filled with women in many roles. Conferences are starting to blend more and that makes me very excited.”

Women are at the top of their fields in malware and pentesting without a doubt, Bertucci says. While she can’t speak for other women, she finds the industry fascinating.

“I love the sense of being in control and finding any issues and solving them. That is my passion. I’m the person that cannot leave puzzles unfinished and have the ability to stay up for hours to complete them once started. Security is ever changing and I think that is why my personality type works well within this field.  It’s a constant dance and I’m no longer being led, I’m leading my partners around.”

She believes there’s nothing preventing women from entering IT – and the stigma is now going away, particularly with more encouragement to get girls into STEM programmes.

“There is a TON of maths and sciences in the medical fields that women are vastly within currently. I believe the options for IT are being seen as a level playing field so women are walking through those doors without wondering as they used to do.

“The enigma of what the ‘IT world’ is, is now gone as technology is all around us and in our hands daily. Without thinking about it we are all in technology and feel comfortable with it.”

Security is not just an IT issue any more – it’s a business issue. As organisations start to understand that and invest in their technology users, the more they are protecting people from malicious intent.

So for those in IT, or those who know of people interested in the field, Bertucci has sage advice:

“JUMP in! There is a spot waiting for you in IT within every field. Security is fantastic if you like to troubleshoot and have an eye for detail for compliance. There are so many options to continue to build your skills and get into the field. I would definitely recommend doing certifications alongside any university IT degrees you do or want to do. The hands-on experience and testing will be great to have.”

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Phishing
Vishing attacks reach all time high - Agari and PhishLabs
"Hybrid vishing campaigns continue to generate stunning numbers, representing 26.1% of total share in volume so far in 2022."
Story image
Cybersecurity
 Asia Pacific plagued by sophisticated bad bots - report
The three most common bot attacks were account takeover, content or price scraping, and scalping to obtain limited-availability items.
Story image
Data Protection
Information management capabilities to meet privacy requirements
Organisations with customers or operations across more than one country face a spate of new and proposed privacy and data protection laws.
Story image
Ransomware
CERT NZ releases first Cyber Security Insights for 2022
CERT NZ has released Quarter One: Cyber Security Insights 2022, which offers an overview of reports about cybersecurity incidents affecting New Zealanders.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC organisations fail to disclose ransomware breaches
85% of organisations in APAC were breached by ransomware at least once in the past five years, but only 28% publicly disclosed the incident.
Story image
Apricorn
Data backup plans inadequate, data still at risk - study
The Apricorn 2022 Global IT Security Survey revealed that while the majority organisations have data backup plans in place, data for many are at risk.
Story image
Migration
Let’s clear the cloud visibility haze with app awareness
Increasingly, organisations are heading for the cloud, initiating new born-in-the-cloud architectures and migrating existing applications via ‘lift and shift’ or refactoring.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
Gartner reveals top three tech trends for banks this year
Gartner says generative artificial intelligence, autonomic systems and privacy-enhancing computation are gaining traction in banking and investment services.
Story image
Kubernetes
Sysdig unveils new Kubernetes troubleshooting and cloud innovations
Sysdig has introduced two new innovations that look to help bolster cloud services and simplify Kubernetes troubleshooting.
Darktrace
Threat actors are exploiting weaknesses in interconnected IT/OT ecosystems. Darktrace illuminates your entire business and takes targeted action to stop emerging attacks.
Link image
Booster
Booster Innovation Fund. A fund of Kiwi ingenuity – for Kiwi investors.
Link image
Story image
ChildFund
ChildFund launches new campaign to protect children online
ChildFund says WEB Safe & Wise aims to protect children from sexual exploitation and abuse online while also empowering them to become digitally savvy. 
Story image
Cybersecurity
BlackBerry offers Kaspersky replacement cybersecurity for the channel
BlackBerry advises that users of Kaspersky software in Australia and New Zealand undertake a rigorous risk analysis of their current security posture.
Story image
Ransomware
APAC ranks third-highest region targeted by ransomware
Asia Pacific has ranked the third-highest region globally to be targeted by ransomware, according to cybersecurity firm Group-IB.
Story image
Remote Working
Successful digital transformation in the hybrid work era is about embracing shifting goalposts
As organisations embraced remote working, many discovered they lacked the infrastructure needed to support history’s first global load test of remote work capabilities.
Story image
Data Protection
Barracuda launches new capabilities for API Protection
"Every business needs this type of critical protection against API vulnerabilities and automated bot attacks," Barracuda says.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
NCSC advisory highlights poor security configurations
The GCSB's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has released a cyber security advisory identifying commonly exploited controls and practices.
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implementations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Cyber attacks
Devastating cyber attacks expected to hit energy sector
Energy executives anticipate life, property, and environment-compromising cyber attacks on the sector within the next two years.
Story image
SaaS
Maintaining secure systems with expectations of flexible work
Most office workers feel they've proved they can work successfully from home, and as much as employers try, things aren't going back to the way they were anytime soon.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Cybersecurity prompts upgrade for 1.3 billion electricity meters
ABI Research finds Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and cybersecurity concerns are prompting the upgrade of 1.3 billion electricity meters by 2027.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Amazon Web Services / AWS
RedShield leverages AWS to scale cybersecurity services
"Working with AWS gives RedShield the ability to mitigate significant application layer DDoS attacks, helping leaders adopt best practices and security architectures."
Story image
Surveillance
i-PRO releases smallest AI-based surveillance camera on the market
The new i-PRO mini network camera is now available, with a pocket-sized form factor and full AI analytics functionality.
Story image
Managed service provider
Barracuda MSP Day 2022 highlights MSP opportunities
Barracuda Networks has released a report showing global services-related MSP revenue is set to increase by more than a third in 2022 compared to 2021.
Story image
Customer experience
Gartner recognises Okta for abilities in Access Management
Okta has announced it has been recognised as a Customers' Choice for the fourth time in a row in the Gartner Peer Insights "Voice of the Customer" report.
Story image
Silver Peak
The path to an adaptive, modern network
Managing and securing the network looks different than it did just two years ago—especially given that most of these networks are made up of multi-generations of infrastructure stitched together over time.
Story image
Ransomware
Employees on the frontline of cyber defense - report
In the first quarter of 2022, employees found themselves more than ever at the frontline of cyber defense, according to a new report from Kroll. 
Story image
Ponemon Institute
Email revealed to be riskiest channel for data loss
More than half (60%) of organisations experienced data loss or exfiltration caused by an employee mistake on email in the last 12 months.
Story image
Training
Infosec unveils role-guided cybersecurity training roadmaps 
Infosec Skills Roles maps hands-on training and certifications to the 12 most in-demand cybersecurity roles to maximise training efficiency.
Story image
New Relic
New Relic launches vulnerability management platform
New Relic has introduced New Relic Vulnerability Management to help organisations find and address security risks faster and with greater precision.
Story image
Qualys
Qualys updates Cloud Platform solution with rapid remediation
The new update is designed to enable organisations to fix asset misconfigurations, patch OS and third-party applications, and deploy custom software.
Story image
Training
Trojan cyber attacks hitting SMBs harder than ever - Kaspersky
In 2022 the number of Trojan-PSW detections increased by almost a quarter compared to the same period in 2021 to reach 4,003,323.
Story image
Supply chain
Jetstack promotes better security with supply chain toolkit
The web-based resource is designed to help organisations evaluate and plan the crucial steps they need to establish effective software supply chain security.
Story image
Ransomware
Alarming surge in Conti Ransomware Group activity - report
A new report has identified a 7.6 per cent increase in the number of vulnerabilities tied to ransomware in Q1 2022.
Story image
Vectra AI
Understanding the weight on security leader’s shoulders, and how to shift it
Millions of dollars of government funding and internal budgets are being funnelled into cybersecurity to build resilience against sophisticated threats, indicating how serious this issue has become.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Noname Security partners with Netpoleon to target API issues
Specialist API security firm Noname Security has appointed Netpoleon as its distributor in Australia and New Zealand.
Story image
SaaS
Rubrik Security Cloud marks 'next frontier' in cybersecurity
"The next frontier in cybersecurity pairs the investments in infrastructure security with data security giving companies security from the point of data."
Story image
Microsoft
PwC NZ unveils new Cloud Security Operations Center
PwC New Zealand has unveiled its new Cloud Security Operations Center for the entire Microsoft technology stack.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Comcast to use ThreatQuotient for cybersecurity operations
Comcast, the parent company of NBC Universal and SKY Group, has chosen ThreatQ Platform and ThreatQ Investigations to meet their cybersecurity needs.
Story image
Cybersecurity
More than 40% of banks worried about cloud security - report
Publicis Sapient's new report finds security and the lack of cloud skills and internal understanding of business benefits are big obstacles for banks moving to the cloud.
Story image
Microsoft
Global cybersecurity insurance market worth $11.5b this year
Future Market Insights finds the cybersecurity insurance market is expected to reach USD$11.5 billion in 2022, growing to $61.2 billion in 10 years.