An InfoSec Life | A Conversation With Vandana Verma

A Conversation with Vandana Verma.jpg

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By Marco Ciappelli

All right, ladies and gentlemen, it finally happened: Vandana Verma is my distinguished guest on this An InfoSec Life Podcast.

For those of you that haven't had the pleasure to meet her in person—Sean and I had this honor in Las Vegas this year—let me tell you, she is as nice as she sounds. In my opinion, there is nothing more valuable to add to someone's professionalism and skills than a big heart. It helps to make them a role model and an inspiration for any just entering—or that are about to enter—their career in the InfoSec community.

We like to highlight the fact that, one of the main reasons why we go to conferences, is to see old friends, make new ones, and meet with people that we had the pleasure to host on our podcasts. Even with all this technology that is surrounding and connecting us globally, we're still human, and we need that magic that only an 'in-person' moment can carry.

Another thing that we sure need as humans are good stories. Sometimes we need to tell some; other times we need to hear them. This is what we do on our publication: we offer a platform, a few virtual chairs, and a make-believe warm fire to those who wish to share their stories with us and others. Our audience seems to be enjoying this, and so are we.

In An InfoSec Life, we like to start the stories right from the beginning; makes sense, right? Because of it, most of the time, the first chapters on this column are about someone’s curiosity, passion for technology, and interest for this industry which inspired and drove them to choose cybersecurity as a career.

This time it is no different. Vandana goes back to her past, remembering the moments and the people that made a difference in her career and her life, which, more often than not, are very much inevitably intertwined in this industry.

It is a story told with excitement and passion. It is a story that reflects Vandana’s experience and the values that she, now, wants to give back to the community. 

We also spoke about many other things:

  • Her experience in the AppSec community.

  • The dream that came true when this year she was a speaker and a trainer at Black Hat, Defcon, and Diana Initiative.

  • Her nomination to several industry awards and her wining experience in one of those: the Women's Society Of Cyberjutsu Award.

  • The importance of diversity, minorities, and cultural differences for succeeding in this profession, and the never-ending battle against cybercrime. 

As we often do, we closed the story with what gives her nightmares and what gives her hope and motivation to get up in the morning and be the best she can be as a cybersecurity professional.

Moreover, talking about that, Vandana is a keynote in Washington DC at the Global AppSec event this September, AND she put in her nomination for OWASP Global Board this year. In that role, she wants to be able to contribute more to this community and the whole society.

I cannot think of a better person to do this. So if you are an active OWASP Member, maybe you want to think about it and give her your vote. I would if I could.

However, you do not have to be believe me, judge for yourself; start by listening to this podcast.