An InfoSec Life | A Conversation With Magda Chelly

An Infosec Life Magda Chelly Cover.jpeg

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By Marco Ciappelli

Welcome to a new episode of An InfoSec Life.

Unless this is the first ITSPmagazine Chronicle you read and the first podcast you hear, you probably know that our conversations ALWAYS take place at the intersection of Technology, Cybersecurity, and Society. 

Instinctively we may think that such clearly-defined 'location' can only exist in one place—inside our head, of course. Truth is, once we humble ourselves and consider that our culture and point of view is just one of the many possible and plausible ones—one of the many reality that surrounds us—then an entirely new mesmerizing world will manifest right in front of our eyes.

While the concept of Technology and CyberSecurity can be considered universal—even if they may present themselves at different stages—the 'Society' piece is the variable that allows this three-way intersection to exist simultaneously in many places that are all somehow different from one another; and yet, all perfectly normal.

Once societies and their own cultures are seen and accepted as the main roads at the intersection of many others, the world around us become not only easier to understand, accept and improve, but it automatically makes our life a better and most certainly a much more enriching experience.

I went quite philosophical with this intro because I naturally tend to consider the same phenomena from different perspectives, and because the conversation I had with my guest sparked my desire to bring together these thoughts on the subject.

It is finally time to present the guest on this podcast.

For ITSPmagazine's An InfoSec Life column I had the pleasure to talk with a talented and experienced CyberSecurity professional, an Hacker, a CISO, a 'CyberFeminist' whom, with great passion, supports and promotes women’s and other minorities’ involvement in the InfoSec Community. She is also a business person that makes cultural differences—she speaks seven languages—a key point of her understanding and promotion of cybersecurity model in enterprises and in our everyday life.

We spoke about:

  • Her life and how she got involved in Cybersecurity.

  • How her passion for technology, infosecurity, and diversity drives both her business and everyday life.

  • How technology and people are both of fundamental importance for developing effective cybersecurity programs.

  • The fundamental importance of taking into consideration cultural differences when implementing the right security controls—especially when it comes to insider threats.

  • What works in a country is not necessarily going to work in another, and the complexity of the Asian cultural and economic landscape is a perfect example of that. 

  • The importance of diversity, inclusion, and unconscious biases and the necessity of more role models that can inspire minorities and women to be part of this industry. 

  • The initiative she supports and manages, such as the Women of Security chapter in Singapore and, as part of that, the event that she is organizing: the first capture the flag (CTF) for women event that will take place on the 13th of July 2019.

I truly enjoyed this conversation and I am looking forward to many more; starting with the one we will have in Singapore in a few days when Sean and I will cover RSA Conference APJ 2019.

Stay tuned for all that related content that is coming to ITSPmagazine as pre-coverage and from the event.

But go ahead, you made it here___ it is time to enjoy this podcast.