A tech career empowers

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

In the lead-up to the next RightBrains TechTalk which takes place on 25 March, we caught up with special guest speaker Jenny Gershkovich, the Head of the Security Operations Centre at ABN Amro Bank. With twelve years of experience in Cyber Security, she is an industry expert and leads the team responsible for cyber incident detection and response within the ABN Amro CISO department.

Curiosity leads to success

“When I graduated, the field of cyber security was still a relatively unknown but fast developing field. The topics of cyber security started to make headlines more and more frequently.” Jenny’s attention and curiosity were quickly captured by this dynamic field which requires creativity and plenty of ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking.

Her first position as a Cyber Security Consultant for Deloitte Israel started a career trajectory where Jenny would climb the ranks and fast establish herself as a specialist within the field: after two years she was promoted to team lead. Two years later she moved to Amsterdam where she worked an additional two years at Deloitte as a Senior Consultant in Cyber Risk Services before joining ABN Amro as a central team member within their cyber security department. Her last role was leading the Vendor Security Services team. In this role she designed and implemented a scalable third party security risk management program to address the risks if a third party was compromised.

Self-development sparks energy and determination

Since discovering the field, Jenny fell in love and immersed herself into the intricacies involved in cyber security: “It’s a field in which you continuously learn, because it evolves so rapidly. You constantly need to keep up, because it’s a never-ending story that changes all the time.” And this not only relates to new developments in technology, but also to the sophistication of cyber-attacks: “All new technologies bring new opportunities – and this is the same for attackers. It’s like a game or a continuous race towards gaining more knowledge and developing your capabilities. The fact that you have to keep moving and developing yourself gives me a very high level of energy and determination.”

Commitment, transparency and shared responsibility

Valuing self-improvement over progression in leadership roles has been a key element in Jenny’s professional development since starting her career as a consultant 12 years ago: “My career was always about entering new environments, being open and adjusting my goals to succeed and improve these environments,” she explains. Jenny also applies this in her mentoring strategy within her team, where the fast pace of changing realities often means that goals set in the beginning of the year are no longer relevant: “Although looking back at what you wrote down provides a good reflection moment where you can see where you started and what you have achieved, in today’s times it is more important to be able to adjust yourself and your goals towards what is happening around you, to observe your environment and to adapt.”

Over the years cyber security has grown into a multidisciplinary field involving a widening range of issues in technology and operations, but also communications, regulation and social aspects. “I believe the success of cyber security teams in the years to come will be crucially dependent on their ability to act as powerful, inclusive and versatile groups of individuals with a combined multidisciplinary outlook, solid expertise in key areas and a strong sense of commitment, transparency and shared responsibility,” she explains.

Tech is a rewarding career

Jenny views cyber security as one of the hottest industries today, but in spite of its growth, there is still insufficient female representation within the industry. This is a lost opportunity not only for the industry at large, but also for women professionals who could have been greatly empowered by entering a career in technology and cyber security: “As a lucrative and interesting field, cyber security can offer women a very rewarding and successful career, while also creating stability and financial independence.”

Transformation of the industry will take the effort of strong women and organisations such as RightBrains to join forces and create the necessary impact: “It gives a lot of strength when you have a large group of women that can inspire, especially in the technology field, especially in cyber security in which we are such a minority, to have this support and mentoring system. This kind of platform can help achieve better equality in society and better chances for women to be part of it.”

Join us for the RightBrains TechTalk on 25 March where Jenny will be joined by Dana Spataru, Partner Cyber Security at Deloitte, to discuss security trends and how we can keep data secure and prevent ourselves from cyber-attacks. 

Be sure to sign up to the RightBrains platform where you can meet Jenny and other inspirational women in Technology. Sign up here!