We interviewed Lorna Trayan, an Associate Partner at IBM Security Services in IBM Middle East and Africa to tell us about her interesting experiences in her Security career.
I work where I feel that I have contributed something positive by the end of my work day.
From graduation to IBM, what has your career journey been like?
As soon as I graduated as a Communications and Electronics Engineer, I had a craving to learn network technologies and proceed to complete my Masters degree thinking that I’ll specialise in this area. But I quickly switched to network security when I realized how interesting and sought after this specialization would be. Upon completion, I joined the Academic fraternity and started teaching at an IT Institute in Cairo, Egypt. One year in, I heard about a competition where the winners had the opportunity of 3 months full-time Security training. Guess what? I was 1 of 40 lucky winners and following the training, I was fortunate to be offered a job by the competition sponsors, Internet Security Systems (ISS).
Through IBM’s acquisition of ISS, I joined IBM and since then I have been working in the different IBM Security business units. Through all the ups and the downs, I never thought to change my specialisation and thoroughly enjoy the space that I am in – Cybersecurity Assessment and Response services.
How does your role in Security make an impact?
In my line of work, there are two sets of people that I impact.
First set are my colleagues (whether in security or outside of security). I take great pleasure and pride to talk about security and how security can help clients protect themselves. The second set are the IBM clients. When operating as a trusted advisor and consultant, I am able to facilitate engagements and solutions with our clients that allow for better and secure networks, servers and ensuring that their most critical and confidential data is handled with care.
What makes a career in Security interesting and fulfilling?
Security is one of those specializations that never gets old! There is always something new to learn, whether it be a new update that has come out or new malware that’s propagating or new hacks popping up or some new data leakage incident that has taken place. In my role, I have to keep myself updated, which mandates me to do an enormous amount of reading and self studying. With all this new information and security breaches every day, there are no dull days in this field!
How do you keep yourself relevant in this role?
In any role, one must remain open and agile when it comes to your career to maintain relevance.
The IBM world is enormous. Every day I hear of a new opportunity to grow, to team up with other colleagues, to contribute to projects and to be part of technical communities. I am currently the co-chair of the MEPT TEC community (MEPT TEC is an AoT Affiliate in Middle East, Pakistan and Turkey). During the years, I have even been involved in technical projects that didn’t even have security aspects in them. This is the best thing in IBM, you can follow your interests, passions and drive your career in the direction you want.
I have to say that I’ve been very lucky with the team members that I’ve worked over the years in IBM. The security people are a bunch of very skilled and very professional individuals. It’s always a pleasure for me when I have to work in a team to get something done.
My IBM journey in three words:
Diverse, Possibilities, Invigorating.
What would be your one piece of career advice for aspiring Security Professionals?
To become a true security professional, it takes years. But don’t be discouraged. Everything (and everyone) starts with the first step. Decide what will be your first step (whether it’s a certain training, or job shadowing) and make it happen!
You should know one thing about a career in Security, it will never be boring!
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