Good morning from Sturgis, SD! My wife and I made the trip this past week, and it’s truly been one of the best things we could have done for our mental health.
Mental health is just as important (if not more important) than physical health.
We came here (as did the other 250K other people), knowing and accepting the risk of contracting COVID. We’ve been preaching self-isolation after leaving here (for at least 14 days), and I know the people in my party will be doing so; however, we can’t speak for the others. It’s one thing to accept risk for yourself, it’s an entirely different thing to put others at risk who didn’t.
Anyway, I’ll write more about that later. On to episode 92 of the podcast! We have another INCREDIBLE guest with us this week as we begin to wrap up our Women in Security Series. Both Brad and I hope we’ve helped make our industry a little better in doing this.
Women in Security Series Quick Recap
Brad and I started the Women in Security Series in mid-June, and to be honest, we didn’t know what to expect. The purpose was to help people (including ourselves) learn more about the topic of women in the information security industry. Two guys like us are NOT experts on the topic, nor will we ever be able to articulate experiences as well as the women who live it. Why not learn by listening to women tell us about their experience and opinions?
No expectations and no plan.
Neither of us have ever done a series like this before, but we’ve both become pretty good an “winging it”. We didn’t know who would be interested in talking with us, but soon after we got started, we had many women volunteer their time to share with us. We were blown away by the graciousness of so many.
We started safe, with women we work with at FRSecure. We kicked things off in mid-June (episode 84) with FRSecure’s Chief Operating Officer, Renay Rutter, and let things sort of develop from there.
Seven weeks later (so far), and we’ve been privileged to have discussions with seven INCREDIBLE ladies with diverse backgrounds. We’ve had a Chief Operating Officer, a 35+ year information security veteran, a career-changer with a couple years’ experience, a non-profit CEO, a college-student studying cybersecurity, a veteran corporate Chief Information Security Officer (CISO), an expert practitioner who bridges the gap between K-12 and post-secondary cybersecurity, and a super cool HigherEd CISO on the show so far!
What started with no expectations and no plan turned into something really special. We’re grateful for the time we’ve spent with these women and we’re both MUCH better off for it.
Here’s our guest line up thus far:
- Episode 84 – Renay Rutter (an information security business/IT executive)
- Episode 85 – Lori Blair (a 35-year information security veteran)
- Episode 86 – Victoria Fogarty (relatively new to the industry)
- Episode 87 – Kristin Judge (founder and CEO of the Cybercrime Support Network, SC Media “Women in IT Security Influencer” in 2017, former Director of Government Affairs at the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), thought leader, and all-around amazing information security expert)
- Episode 88 – Andrea Hatcher (Senior majoring in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations at Pennsylvania State University)
- Episode 89 – Judy Hatchett (Information security corporate leader and expert formerly with Accenture, Best Buy, SUPERVALU, 3M, Fairview Health Services, and current VP, Information Security and CISO at Surescripts)
- Episode 90 – Amy McLaughlin (Information security leader and expert in education, having served with the State of Oregon, the Consortium for School Network (CoSN), Chemeketa Community College, and Oregon State University)
- Episode 91 – Theresa Semmens (Chief Information Security Officer at the Nevada System of Higher Education, former AVP/Chief Information Security Officer at the University of Miami, and former Chief Information Security Officer at North Dakota State University)
/not-yet-confirmed (information security executive in healthcare, CISO in higher education, or senior information security sales executive)
- Episode 92 – Lee Ann Villella (this show) (Senior Enterprise Security Sales Consultant at FRSecure, Program Director for the Minnesota Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association, and member of the Cyber Security Summit Advisory Board Committee)
- Episode 93 – TBD/not-yet-confirmed (not sure who to expect; expectations aren’t really our “thing”)
Seriously, this is an amazing lineup of information security professionals! These women represent our information security industry extremely well, and we’re honored to speak with them on our show!
Here’s what we’ve done so far…
Women in Security Series – Part One
We kicked off the Women in Security series on June 15th, and we couldn’t have chosen a better first guest! Renay Rutter, FRSecure’s COO, got the series started by sharing the experience, wisdom, and insight she’s gained over her 30+ year IT career. Renay expressed how important it has been for her to be strong throughout her career, and in her opinion, women need to be strong to survive in the information security industry. This was a great show!
If you missed this episode, you can catch up here; https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsecurity-episode-84-women-in-security-pt-1-renay-rutter/id1442520920?i=1000478037575
Thank you Renay!
Women in Security Series – Part Two
We kept things in the FRSecure family for week two, hosting Lori Blair. Lori is full of information security knowledge and wisdom! She started her career in the industry in 1985, working for the federal government. Over the next 35 years, she’s traveled the world helping organizations with their information security needs and held various leadership positions. She’s excelled everywhere she’s gone and even found time to raise children along the way! Today, Lori is a Senior Information Security Consultant at FRSecure, tackling difficult challenges and mentoring other women.
I have a TON of respect for Lori, and her opinions carry weight for me (and many others). It’s not just her experience that makes Lori amazing, she’s a wonderful, practical, and level-headed person who loves mentoring others. This is a can’t miss episode, go give a listen here; https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsecurity-episode-85-women-in-security-pt-2-lori-blair/id1442520920?i=1000479175255
Thank you Lori!
Women in Security Series – Part Three
We welcomed up and comer Victoria Fogarty to the show for Part Three. Victoria is an Associate Information Security Analyst at FRSecure, where she started her career in 2019. She possesses natural gifts for this industry, and her perspectives were fresh. She’s intelligent, relatable, and an excellent communicator. She did a great job explaining how she researched a career in information security while she was an Insurance Adjuster, a job she disliked. Her journey is pretty cool so far, and her future is VERY bright! She even shared a shocker (at least for Brad and me) in this episode. Definitely worth the listen!
If you missed episode 86, here it is; https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsecurity-episode-86-women-in-security-pt-3-victoria/id1442520920?i=1000480167348
Thank you Victoria!
Women in Security Series – Part Four
Kristin was our first non-FRSecure guest in the series. This was a great interview! Kristin shared how she got her introduction to information security while she was serving as an elected official (Washtenaw County Commissioner). She has an incredible journey so far, especially considering she has only been in the industry for a little more than 10 years.
She held some very exciting roles before founding the Cybercrime Support Network in late-2017. Her passion for helping people is inspiring, and we’re looking forward to making a difference in this industry together!
Learn about Kristin Judge, her journey, her opinions, and her work founding and running the Cybercrime Support Network in episode 87. If you missed it, go give it a listen; https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsecurity-episode-87-women-in-security-pt-4-kristin-judge/id1442520920?i=1000482892565
Truly an amazing person; we loved chatting with her!
Thank you Kristin!
Women in Security Series – Part Five
It was a pleasure having Andrea join us in this episode! She is a Senior at Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), majoring in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations. She is an avid listener to our show who contacted us through email about a question she had. She was shocked and VERY appreciative when we asked her to join us. We were pleasantly surprised by how well-spoken and determined she was.
Andrea has an incredible future ahead of her in the information security industry! Here’s her take on things in episode 88, WARNING: You’ll be impressed!
Thank you Andrea!
Women in Security Series – Part Six
Judy Hatchett is truly a top-notch, no nonsense information security leader. She’s the first woman on the show with the title Chief Information Security Officer and we were very grateful to spend some time with her. Judy’s path through the information security industry took her through big corporate America (Best Buy, 3M, etc.) before she decided to tackle some of the difficult challenges in healthcare. We first met Judy back when she was the CISO at Fairview, and now we cheer her on in her new role at Surescripts. You’re going to love her perspectives and opinions!
You can catch Part Six with Judy here!
Thank you Judy!
Women in Security Series – Part Seven
I was first introduced to her though my good friend (and co-worker) Ryan Cloutier. Together, they do great work at the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN), as well as deliver compelling talks at conferences and collaborate on cool projects. Ryan talked her up so much that I sort of thought he was full of it. Could this person be as good as he said she was? Really?!
Yes, yes she is! She’s the real deal and her name is Amy McLaughlin. Here’s some stuff about her:
- The Director of Information Services at Oregon State University
- Adjunct Faculty (Psychology) at Chemeketa Community College
- Cyber Security & Network Consultant & Project Lead at the Consortium of School Networking (CoSN)
- Home improvement expert (seems like it anyway)
- A wonderful person and friend to many!
Since we first met, I’ve gotten to know Amy pretty well through our frequent visits on the Daily inSANITY Checkin and I’ve grown to really appreciate her common sense approach to life (and information security).
Thank you Amy!
Women in Security Series – Part Eight
I’m a big fan of Theresa Semmens! She’s done great work everywhere she’s been and she’s a serious asset to our industry. She established the very respectable information security program at North Dakota State University (NDSU), played a pivotal role in starting the highly-successful North Dakota Cybersecurity Conference, did great things as CISO at the University of Miami, and now does wonderful things at the Nevada System of Higher Education.
Our conversation with Theresa Semmens was awesome! If you missed it, you should go give it a listen here; https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unsecurity-information-security-podcast/id1442520920?i=1000486972404. Great episode with some serious wisdom.
Thank you Theresa!
Women in Security Series – Part Nine
This brings us to today, and we welcome another favorite of mine, Lee Ann Villella! Lee Ann is FRSecure’s Senior Enterprise Security Sales Consultant, the Program Director for the Minnesota Chapter of the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA), and an active member of the Cyber Security Summit Advisory Board Committee.
Lee Ann brings so much more to our industry than people realize! She lives out FRSecure’s mission to “fix our broken industry” every day and sets the example for so many others.
You and I have all been hounded by sales people in our industry and sold stuff we don’t necessarily need. Not with Lee Ann! She is the epitome of what a sales person should be. She constantly has her finger on the pulse of information security, takes the time to deeply understand her customers, volunteers her time to help others, and is just all-around amazing!
We’re VERY excited to have Lee Ann on our show!
Let’s get to it!
I’m (Evan) leading the show this week, and these are my notes…
SHOW NOTES – Episode 92
Date: Monday, August 10th, 2020
Episode 91 Topics
- Introducing Our Special Guest: Lee Ann Villella
- Catching Up (as per usual)
- Women in Security
- Wrapping Up – Shout outs
[Evan] Hi there! Thanks for tuning into the UNSECURITY Podcast. I’m Evan Francen, my co-host is Mr. Brad Nigh, this is episode 92, and the date is August 10th, 2020. Brad, you here? Good morning!
[Brad] You know and love Brad! Brad will chime in here because he’s cool and stuff.
[Evan] So, you mighta heard, we’ve been doing this Women in Security Series. I don’t know about you Brad, but I wanted to do this series for two reasons; 1) I wanted to learn more about women’s perspectives and 2) I wanted to give women a voice, even if it’s a small one.
[Brad] Cue Brad.
[Evan] There are entire podcasts devoted to women in our industry, but I wanted to get it first hand. I have been blown away by the incredible women we’ve talked to! I’ve learned more than I could have asked for. We’re not done yet!
Today, we welcome another amazing lady. A HUGE welcome and a ton of gratitude to Lee Ann Villella for joining us today.
[Lee Ann] Cue Lee Ann.
[Evan] Lee Ann, did you know that you’re one of my favorites? So happy you’re here!
[Lee Ann] Cue Lee Ann again (maybe)
Quick discussion about last week, the weekend, or whatever else comes to mind.
- How are you guys?
- Tell me about your weekend quick.
- Anything in particular that you’re excited about?
[Evan] As is custom around here, before we jump in on our topic, we catchup. So, Brad, how was last week and this past weekend?
[Brad] Gives us the skinny…
[Evan] And Lee Ann? What have you been up to lately?
[Lee Ann] She tells it like it is…
[Evan] My turn, I guess. Highlight was/is the time @Sturgis. I’ll tell it like I lived it.
Women in Security, Part Nine
[Evan] We’re coming to an end of our Women in Security Series and it’s been an amazing experience. Eight weeks so far, and eight great discussions with wonderful ladies in our industry. If you’ve missed any of the episodes (84 through 91), I highly suggest you go back and listen to them. Lots of really good perspective.
All this brings us to now, episode 92 and part nine of our series. Again, we welcome one of our very own, Lee Ann Villella!
Some starter questions or things for us to think about…
Do we have a shortage of women in our industry? If so, what’s the big deal?
Open Discussion (~30 minutes)
- How did you get started in this field (information security)?
- Tell us how you got to where you’re at today.
- So, you’re a female selling information security services.
- Is this a male dominated area of our industry?
- Would you say you’re primarily interfacing with men or women?
- Would you say it’s an advantage or disadvantage to be a woman in your position?
- Have you experienced the “bro culture”? If so, can you share the experience with us?
- We hear a lot about various women’s issues in our industry, and one of those is we don’t have enough women working in our industry. What’s your take, do we have a shortage of women?
- How important is mentoring? Do you have a mentor?
- What can we do better in recruiting more people, and specifically more women in our industry?
- Do any other women’s issues come to mind?
- What can people do to help? How about Brad and I?
[Evan] Thank you Lee Ann. Your pragmatic approach and great communication skills make things easy to understand. Always good stuff to think more about.
How about some quick news stuff? Lee Ann, please stick around and feel free to share your thoughts when you feel like it.
[Evan] Alright, here’s some newsy things that I thought were interesting this past week:
- Hacker leaks passwords for 900+ enterprise VPN servers – https://www.zdnet.com/article/hacker-leaks-passwords-for-900-enterprise-vpn-servers/
- Intel is investigating a data breach after 20 GB of internal documents leak online –https://mspoweruser.com/intel-data-breach-20-gb-documents-leak-online/
- TikTok slams Trump executive order that effectively bans the app –https://www.cnet.com/news/tiktok-slams-trump-executive-order-that-effectively-bans-the-app/
Wrapping Up – Shout outs