October 25, 2022
by Hacker Valley Studio
Larci Robertson, Sales Engineer at Cyberreason and Board President of Women of Security, brings her expertise and experience in cyber threat analysis, community building, and networking to the pod this week. Larci talks about her time in the Navy, her desire for female friends, and how the combination of those two things led to her joining Women of Security (WoSec). In this episode, Larci walks through the importance of women-led cyber spaces and how mentoring gives back to the community in a ripple effect.
[00:00] Searching for friendship in Women of Security spaces
[06:56] Diving into the Dallas cyber community with WoSec
[14:00] Finding mission-focused purpose in threat intelligence analysis
[17:57] Transitioning from the military into security and technology
[24:10] Encouraging women to stay motivated in the cyber industry
Thank you to our sponsor Axonius for bringing this episode to life!
The Axonius solution correlates asset data from existing solutions to provide an always up-to-date inventory, uncover gaps, and automate action — giving IT and security teams the confidence to control complexity. Learn more at axonius.com/hackervalley
How did you get introduced to Women of Security?
After leaving the Navy and moving to Dallas, Larci struggled to find community amongst other women in tech. She worried the women she knew outside of the industry wouldn’t understand her unique struggles, but the women she was meeting in cyber felt few and far between. Reaching out to Women of Security felt like an encounter with destiny, which inspired Larci to start her own WoSec chapter in Plano and find her voice as a community leader.
“I wanted to find those women and get more women into security, but also have somebody to hang out with that was in the same industry, same page, we're all kind of going at the same pulse of what we've got going on in our lives.”
What are the challenges for women transitioning into the technology field, whether they're coming from the military or from another industry?
As a woman in threat defense analysis, Larci understands the hurdles and complications that come with transitioning into the field. Originally gaining her security experience in the Navy, Larci explains that she, along with many women she meets in the industry, undermine their past experiences and doubt their full potential. This often leads to less job applications from women when positions open up, perpetuating the gap for women in tech.
“I want to tell women, and I do tell them all the time, don't look at that job title. Read through the actual like, what they want you to do, and maybe you understand it in a different way. Don't worry about that stuff. Let them tell you you're not qualified, don't do it to yourself.”
What comes to the top of your mind about the power of community when thinking about WoSec?
Community inspired Larci to be a part of WoSec, but it also left a lasting impact on her friends and her family. Not only has Larci witnessed many female friends achieve career heights they never dreamed possible, she’s also seen Women of Security inspire her own daughter. Initially believing her job was “too technical,” Larci’s daughter now better understands her own potential to succeed in cyber and tech, which has given her so much confidence in her future.
“I'm seeing people get their first jobs in cybersecurity, and it's really exciting. And then, they'll turn around and help somebody else. I feel like that's happening a lot more. I see it because my group is doing it, I think we're all emulating each other in that way.”
For any women listening right now, what would be that piece of advice that you have for them to keep them energized while they're in the field?
Money is a motivator for many individuals transitioning into the cyber industry. While Larci understands why she meets many women looking to make more money in cyber, she also encourages those women— and anyone else listening to this week’s show— to find a purpose and passion for their work. Money motivation doesn’t last forever, and Larci wants to build a community of women who understand and enjoy their purpose in tech.
“I feel like no matter what you do, if you have purpose in what you're doing, you're going to stay and you're going to have that drive. On top of that, you gotta have fun with this. If you're not having fun at what you're doing every day, I think you're doing it wrong.”
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