October 27, 2022

Bridging the Gap: Purple is the Future of Cybersecurity

by Hacker Valley Blue

Show Notes

In this episode, we’re joined by Maril Vernon. Maril is a purple team lead and co-host of the Cyber Queens Podcast. From a background in marketing, Maril’s natural curiosity and determination lead her to a new career in cybersecurity with the Air National Guard and beyond. She discovered that there isn't one job in the field, but many types to choose from. She landed her first job in cyber security by applying her soft skills and tenacity. Maril says never to be afraid to ask “stupid” questions. 


Timecode Guide: 

  • [3:21] Maril’s origin story
  • [7:27] Beating imposter syndrome
  •  [12:33] Curiosity of a pentester
  • [16:47] Red Vs Blue
  • [21:24] Purple works together
  • [41:46] Invest in people
  • [45:44] Maril’s hobbies
  • [52:10] Cyber Queens Podcast
  • [58:12] A piece of advice
  • [59:56] Where to find Maril


Sponsor Links: 

Thank you to our sponsors Axonius and PlexTrac for bringing this season of HVR to life! 

Life is complex. But it’s not about avoiding challenges or fearing failure. Just ask Simone Biles — the greatest gymnast of all time. Want to learn more about how Simone controls complexity? Watch her video at axonius.com/simone 

PlexTrac, the Proactive Cybersecurity Management Platform, brings red and blue teams together for better collaboration and communication. Check them out at plextrac.com/hackervalley 


Give the Rookie a Chance 

Maril explains that entry-level employees aren’t given the trust or space to grow. These employees are the future of the industry, and frankly, the older employees are burned out. When given the proper training and investment they can share the load and lift companies to higher places.

“I leaned in hard to those soft skills that I knew that I brought with me, in lieu of the technical skills I did not have. And for that company, that was enough, that got my foot in the door.”


Red and Blue are Fighting the Same Enemies

Red and Blue teams are often pitted against each other, but in reality, they are fighting the same war. Maril believes you should make small talk before you talk shop. Rapport, discourse, and transparency are key to creating workplace communication. 

Davin and Maril explore the relationship between Red teams and Blue teams, how they differ, and what possibilities happen when they work together as a purple team.

“One of the things purple teams are able to do is on the tangible side, it’s to definitively demonstrate proactive and reactive cyber resilience. If it's done properly you can actually say this is our quantified ability to sport and attack proactively or to reactively.”


Keep up with Hacker Valley on our website, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter

Follow Maril on Twitter and LinkedIn. Listen to Cyber Queens Podcast.

Follow Davin on LinkedIn.

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