Happy Women’s History Month! And welcome to the fifth installment of the “Meet the Logician” blog series, where we highlight the people and users that form Anvilogic.
This month, we’re featuring Security Engineer Jackie Gonzalez. Before joining Anvilogic, Jackie dipped her toe into business and marketing but, after a few years, realized it wasn’t her calling. So she went back to school and pivoted to IT, where she naturally gravitated more toward cybersecurity and hasn’t looked back since. Now years later and armed with a Master's degree in cybersecurity, Jackie’s primary responsibility is to keep Anvilogic safe. Our conversation revealed what Jackie focuses on now, the importance of collaboration within the security community, and the advice she wishes to tell her younger self.
What brought you to Anvilogic?
It kind of happened by chance. I used to work with Kevin Gonzalez [Anvilogic’s Head of Security] at a previous company when I was a cybersecurity intern. He reached out to me about the position at Anvilogic, and we talked about what I wanted to do and learn. I knew I wanted to do more engineering work rather than analyst work, so this position aligned with that. I didn’t expect this opportunity to come through someone I used to work with, but here I am. It’s been over a year now, and I’ve grown and learned a lot.
Since you use the Anvilogic platform daily, how does it help make your job easier?
When I first started at Anvilogic, it was definitely challenging because I had never seen anything like the Anvilogic platform before. In previous roles, writing and deploying a detection was a huge process. Now, I can easily deploy a detection. What used to take me a week now takes a day at the most or just a few hours or minutes. The platform makes it really easy. It also allows me to investigate and hunt a lot easier than before. What’s really exciting is how much the platform is still changing with all the updates the product team pushes out. It’s making things even easier within just the year I’ve been here.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Part of my job has an analyst function, so I review and investigate the alerts from our detections. I’ll get support from the broader team if I need help on something a bit more serious. The other part of my job is deploying detection content for Anvilogic. I also monitor and try to improve our security maturity score within the Anvilogic platform. Aside from working in the platform, I manage and handle the security tools we implement that improve our overall security posture. I also conduct analysis and evaluations for new tools we bring in and present those findings to Kevin so he can make a decision and take it from there. I’ll work with our GRC Manager, Tracey Neal, on those evaluations as well. Since she does assessments for our customers, she’ll tell me what I need to look for when I do my analysis. Our team all works and communicates together.
We’re glad you’re a part of the broader team keeping the company safe! What other things are you interested in learning more about in your role?
What I like about working in security is that you never really know everything. There’s always something new to learn and so many different areas to grow into. I want to learn more about cloud infrastructure and the cloud in general. Things are always changing, so you have to keep up. Security’s definitely not boring.
What's one thing you would want the security community to know?
Ask for help and feedback. Being open to collaboration and different points of view in this field is very important. Not only can you potentially learn something new, but many times there are things that you might be missing or that you just don’t see that someone else can point out to you. This applies to building a strong security program, and even when you are investigating something — seeing things from a different perspective and asking different questions can make your security stronger all around.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t study business. I guess it’s never really a waste to learn anything, but I could’ve been in a different place today if I had just gone into technology and security sooner. But that’s life — we don’t always know what we want to do or what we like when we’re leaving high school. Things kind of naturally fall into place when you realize certain things.
What do you like to do to unwind from a typical workday?
I’m into health and fitness. I used to do CrossFit a lot, but now I do a lot of walking and yoga. I’m also really into holistic health and natural remedies, so I’m like the “healer” of my family. I have a big family — my mom is one of six children, and I have like 30 cousins — so I spend a lot of time with them. I’m also 20 minutes away from the beach, so I like to go there too.
What’s your favorite sound?
Silence. As I get older, I find myself getting distracted by music, so I can’t have anything on in the background if I need to work and concentrate on something. Other than that, I’m a big nature person, so I like the sound of the ocean.
This month is Women’s History Month, so I’d like to ask you a couple questions I’ve been asking women across Anvilogic… First, what’s your favorite woman-led podcast?
I have become a big fan of Sharon McMahon and her podcast “Here’s Where It Gets Interesting.” I am a huge history buff, and I love the topics she discusses that usually aren’t covered in our history books. She recently did a whole series about women and their impact on WWII.
And lastly, who is your biggest female inspiration and why?
I know a lot of people will probably say this, but I would have to say, my mom! No one has persevered in the face of difficulties like she has, and she has always been someone I can lean on no matter what.
Want to hear more from Jackie? Watch her talk about the importance of sequenced-based detections with Threat Detection Manager Eric Hines in this on-demand webinar.