Welcome to Woman In Cyber Security

Shelley Westman, SVP, Alliances & Field Operations, Protegrity

by Magda CHELLY July 14, 2017

Shelley Westman, SVP, Alliances & Field Operations,  Protegrity

Shelley Westman, SVP, Alliances & Field Operations,  Protegrity

 Shelley

 

Shelley Westman is currently Senior Vice President, Alliances & Field Operations.  Shelley recently joined Protegrity after 18 years at IBM to help take Protegrity to the next level of growth.  Shelley has responsibility for alliances and field operations, which include pre-sales and post-sales support.

Prior to this, Shelley was Vice President Operations & Strategic Initiatives, IBM Security.  Shelley focused on overall operations as well as key transformational projects and strategic initiatives across IBM Security. As part of this role, Shelley also led the University Programs for IBM Security and was involved in several IBM boards and committees on hiring and skills.  Shelley was the founder of “WISE” - Women in Security Excelling, an IBM group devoted to advancing women in security.

In February 2016, Shelley was appointed to a 3-year term on the National Academies Board of Higher Education &Workforce.  Shelley is a 2016 Honoree of “40 over 40”; 40 women who are making an impact in their field.  Additionally, Shelley was named a 2016 Executive Women’s Forum Women of Influence Award in the category of Security Corporate Practitioner.

 

Why did you choose cyber-security ? • I got into cyber-security by accident really.  I was at IBM and had a series of progressing responsibilities and was promoted to VP and asked to lead the hardware cyber area.  I knew nothing about security and had to learn quickly!  Once I understood the area, I fell in love with it.  It is so fast paced and ever changing and you always need to think ahead.

 

What do you like the most in cyber-security ?  What I like the most is that the field is fast paced.  Hackers are well funded, organized and work together as teams. They are always coming up with new ways to get the data they want. You cannot be complacent in this field.  You must always think a step ahead and innovate.  There is no other area that is quite like cyber security.

 

What is the most exciting task in your daily activity ? •  Protegrity is unique in that it protects a client’s data (vs protecting a database or a network) and it’s very rewarding to roll out such great technology to help keep our clients safe.

 

Why would you encourage other women to choose cyber security for their career ?  

The statistics are shocking.  Women make up over 50% of college graduates but only 10% of cybersecurity professionals.  Women are choosing other career paths and this means that as an industry, we are leaving a lot of great talent on the table. Cybersecurity is an exciting field and we need the best and brightest talent that is available to stay a step ahead of the hackers and we can’t do this without getting more women into cyber.




Magda CHELLY
Magda CHELLY

Author

Magda Lilia Chelly, is the Managing Director of Responsible Cyber Pte. by day, and a cyber feminist hacker by night.



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