Recognizing National Cybersecurity Month: Part 1

-

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, which started in 2004 and raises awareness about the importance of cybersecurity to ensure people have the resources to be safer and more secure online.

At AvePoint, security is top of mind and many teams here contribute to our cybersecurity mission. In this two-part series, we’re introducing colleagues who help build an environment of trust for our workplace, customers, and investors. Read on to learn how they got involved in cybersecurity, their recommendations to those who are interested in the field, and what a day-in-the-life looks like within their roles!

Meet Dana Simberkoff, Chief Risk, Privacy and Information Security Officer, Remote

How long have you worked at AvePoint? 9 ½ years

What led you to a career in cybersecurity? What did you study in school? In law school, I worked for a criminal defense attorney and always thought I’d practice law. When the opportunity to work for a software company emerged, I had no idea it would lead to the cybersecurity career I’ve built. At the time, I did see the potential to take the skills I’d learned in law school and apply them in a different discipline – and that excited me.

I have a B.A. in Psychology from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Suffolk University Law School. I am also a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP) from the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), and I hold a Certificate in cybersecurity from Harvard University. I really got started in cybersecurity when the software company was tapped to work on privacy programs for our corporate and public sector customers in addition to operations security projects for our U.S. Department of Defense customers. I was asked to research and become the subject matter expert in DoD OpSec requirements, which were early precursors to the cybersecurity landscape we see today.

Recommendations for students who want to get into the cybersecurity field? Naval Admiral William McRaven distilled a piece of advice I’ve heard throughout my career in a powerful commencement speech at the University of Texas in 2014. He said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” And he was absolutely right. I truly believe the key to professional success is discipline. You have to master and take pride in the small, incremental steps along your professional journey, because they are the building blocks to real success.

Building and maintaining a strong network of peers within the security industry is vital. It doesn’t only accelerate your career with new opportunities but constant communication with industry peers and mentors also lets you learn from their experiences – both the good and the bad. I would also remind aspiring leaders that we all have an opportunity to rise, though it may not be fair or equal. With that in mind, it’s important to prove your value and worth every single day. Make sure you are not only an asset in your own mind but in the minds of your managers, your organization, and your peers.

What does your workday look like at AvePoint? I often describe my job as “cat herding,” but in fact leading the Privacy, Security, and Risk Team at AvePoint is both a pleasure and an honor. Without a doubt, helping build an environment of trust for AvePoint employees, customers, and investors is the most important aspect of my job. We hold ourselves to the highest standard when it comes to data protection, privacy, and security – and I work hard to ensure all key stakeholders know and can feel our commitment. I value the ongoing privacy and security contributions my team and I make every day and believe the best is yet to come.


Meet George Wang, Chief Architect, Jersey City

How long have you worked at AvePoint? 15 years

What led you to a career in cybersecurity? What did you study in school? I started in this field while working with our Compliance Guardian product and again in supporting our ISO certification. My major in school was Electrical Engineering.

Recommendations for students who want to get into the cybersecurity field? Interest is the best teacher. Start within your day-to-day life, home network, computers, IOT, etc. Then expand the horizon gradually.

What does your workday look like at AvePoint? I review and discuss product architecture and design, and operational procedures. I assist our pre-sales, post-sales, and legal teams with technical questions.


Nalindrani Malimage, Information Security and Privacy Analyst, Remote

How long have you been at AvePoint? 8 months

What led you to a career in cybersecurity? What did you study in school? I graduated with an M.S. In Information Assurance/Computer Security in May 2020. I like coding, analytics, problem solving, technology, and automation. Before switching to cybersecurity, I completed an entire management accounting qualification and have worked as a territory manager at a Fortune 500 company. Switching to cybersecurity has been the most satisfying journey in my life because I get to dive in problems for hours until I solve them.

Recommendations for students who want to get into the cybersecurity field? Some nights are long. Passion will drive results more than the money!

What does your workday look like at AvePoint? I help in every area of the business whenever it’s required and love every person I work with. My core responsibilities include sales enablement, cybersecurity awareness, and training. My passion area includes threat hunting and defensive security.


Meet Jay Kiley, Assistant General Counsel, Richmond

How long have you been at AvePoint? 3 years

What led you to a career in cybersecurity? What did you study in school? In-house legal work within cloud computing and SaaS often requires at least a basic understanding of global privacy laws and the regulations that are often guided and shaped with cybersecurity and information security in mind. My interest in privacy law largely fuels my interest in cybersecurity. In graduate school I studied many areas of law, and my concentration was in Intellectual Property Law.

Recommendations for students who want to get into the cybersecurity field? The International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) has many free and paid resources available, and various membership tiers. Check out their resources and look into attaining one of their industry-leading certifications.

What does your workday look like at AvePoint? For me, each day’s workload is different, but what’s constant is that effectively completing that work requires collaboration and agility. I thoroughly enjoy that.


Meet Wei Chen, CTO, Jersey City

How long have you worked at AvePoint? 14 years

What led you to a career in cybersecurity? Cybersecurity and computer science have always been interests of mine. What did you study in school? Economics

Recommendations for students who want to get into the cybersecurity field? You may not find your area of focus at the beginning, so try to find your interest first. Study adjacent subjects like Computer Science or Information Management to see if that’s your passion.

What does your workday look like at AvePoint? I have a global role so it’s long days for me. I like the fact that I can get to know people across our offices and also get into/do different things in other parts of our business as well.


Alex Varvel, IT Administrator, Richmond

How long have you worked at AvePoint? 6 months

What led you to a career in cybersecurity? What did you study in school? I had a knack for breaking things. I have my bachelor’s degree in IT with several industry certs and I’m working on the CEH.

Recommendations for students who want to get into the cybersecurity field? Learn basic programming. I see lots of people trying to transition into security or sysadmin positions that struggle without an understanding of the tools they’ll use.

What does your workday look like at AvePoint? A wide variety of end-user support, provisioning new devices, reviewing and reconciling vulnerability scans, RFIs, internal audits, meetings with vendors, and more.

Next week we’ll introduce even more team members who are involved in our cybersecurity efforts at AvePoint. Stay tuned!

Share this article

Recent posts

Popular categories

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Recent comments