Maytal Brooks-Kempler is the founder and CEO of “Helena Security” a consulting firm specializing in Security Awareness.
Maytal had a non-orthodox career: from the role of Security Analyst in the Israeli Army, to a business role as an Account Manager where she understood that she preferred the technical side and moved to be a Pre-sales Engineer and Security Architect. After a few years, in 2010 Maytal wanted a new challenge and moved to the consulting world.
In 2014 Maytal began delivering the CISSP training (as an authorized (ISC)2 instructor) and since then has delivered dozens of CISSP, HCISPP and CISO classes.
How did you achieve what you did?
There is no substitute for hard work. As a lecturer, I see a lot of young motivated individuals who ask me how they can find a high-ranking position, my response is always the same – Do the legwork… there are no shortcuts, learn, work, accumulate experience.
Throughout my career I always take the time to learn more, from the academic side (I hold a BA in Biology and Business administration and an MBA), to Security trainings (CCSE, CISSP, ISO27001 Auditor to name just a few of the courses I attended) and self-development courses. I have weekly time slots dedicated to learning and updating.
What were the main challenges
As a woman, I faced many challenges over the years. Many times, when I entered meetings with a salesman, people assumed that I was the saleswoman and he- the technical consultant.
Over the years, as I accumulated more experience, my self-confidence increased and I stopped apologizing for being a cyber woman!
Another challenge is balancing family and career. I have three amazing children and a supportive partner (He is an Electrical Engineer – so he has long days as well). Having children and wanting to spend time with them, is not something one should apologize for, however for me it was obviously a challenge in an environment with a majority of men.
I am continuously striving to enhance my high-performance capabilities and have people judge me by my actual work and no my hours of work.
How would you encourage women to join technology/cyber security?
The gender gap in the tech work is shocking. Only 25% of tech employees are woman, only 11% of the cyber industry!
It saddens me when I open a new course and in many cases, I’m the only woman in the room.
I’m here to tell young aspiring women – You can do it!
Cyber Security is a fascinating, challenging, changing, creative field that women have a lot to contribute to.
Franziska Bühler currently works as a Senior Systems Engineer in Switzerland.
Her main areas of responsibility are web server security and everything related to the access layer. In Switzerland, this typically includes authentication and web application firewalls.
She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science with a specialization in IT security. She is also a Certified OSSTMM Professional Security Tester (OPST), accredited by ISECOM (Institute for Security and Open Methodologies).