Cybersecurity Career Insights from Facebook Security Engineers

Posted by Kathleen Smith

cyber lockAs part of our support for the Women in Cybersecurity Conference, we interviewed key women security leaders on their careers and experience in the industry, including several Facebook cyber professionals.

Certifications: What Do You Recommend

“Certifications are helpful for getting your foot in the door, especially for IT positions, if you don’t have past internship/work experience. After that, certifications are not as useful. It is a common belief that being able to pass a test does not indicate your technical chops. Better than certifications are working on research papers, speaking at conferences, and engaging with the community to demonstrate your abilities.”

– Jackie Bow, Security Engineer

“Certifications are just a starting point and do not determine your ability to do a job. It only proves that you can pass the specific test and may have basic understanding of security concepts. Some companies use CISSP as a requisite, but the companies that are serious about security and that have a team of senior security professionals will not care about industry certifications. They put more weight on the candidate’s experience.”

– Alejandra Quevedo, Security Engineer

How Do You Keep Up with Technology

“Steal time. When commuting, I listen to podcasts. It becomes easy to make the time if you care about a particular topic and know it will impact your goals.”

– Betsy Bevilacqua, Security Risk Manager

“Leverage the community. Follow well known security professionals, blogs, and even conferences. Talk, read and stay engaged on what’s happening every day in terms of vulnerabilities, exploits, breaches, trends, etc. This is not a field where you can disconnect for long, something interesting (or frightening) is happening every day. Find your sources of information and follow religiously.”

– Alejandra Quevedo, Security Engineer

How Did You Transition to Management

“I started off my career in more technical roles but knew right away that I wanted to move into management because I had really good ideas and I realized early on that moving into leadership would allow me to implement them. I didn’t really have a good path to get there, so I found informal mentors who advised me to identify problems and solve them. Don’t wait for someone else to give you the permission to fix something. I took that advice, applied it, and ended up leading a PCI compliance project for a Fortune 500 company.”

– Betsy Bevilacqua, Security Risk Manager

How Much of Your Job is Truly Technical Versus Non-Technical

“My current job is mostly technical. However, having technical skills gives you a technical mindset which can be used in all aspects of your work even if you’re not writing code.”

– Eleni Gessiou, Security Engineer

“My job is mostly technical, but sometimes to complete a project I need to coordinate and follow up with another team. This requires organizational and project management skills. Thankfully, with my current team, people collaborate well and are eager to improve things around them regardless of whether it’s part of their core job.“

– Alejandra Quevedo, Security Engineer

WicysFor more information on the Women in Cybersecurity Conference, visit


This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 7:51 am

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