Season 1 - Episode 35

Fareedah Shaheed – From Tech Curious to Information Security

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About

Fareedah, a lifelong learner, was always interested in technology and grew up reading her father’s Cisco books. His influence led her to the field of information security where she stepped up and is always tackling new challenges.

BIO

Fareedah Shaheed was born in Maryland but spent most of her childhood outside of the US. She returned to the States in 2013 and attended the Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC), where she majored in Cybersecurity.

Her experiences with different cultures and the tech field led her to combine her interest in psychology with cybersecurity and thus, her passion for security awareness was born.

In 2018, she founded Sekuva with the mission to educate and support small business owners and families with understanding how to secure their sensitive information.

She currently works as a Security Control Analyst at a financial firm in Maryland.

Notes:

  • Currently works with Security Awareness and Threat Intelligence.
  • Must break down concepts for both executives and associates.
  • Saw that there was a lack of cyber-security awareness for “regular” people, especially with parents.
  • Got thrown into leading “lunch & learn” events and experienced imposter syndrome due to her lack of her experience.
  • Her lack of experience became a benefit to the audience as they were able to relate!
  • Father was in tech. Changed her major in college based on his advice.
  • Wanted to teach but didn’t want to be a teacher.
  • Read 2000 books since childhood.
  • Fareedah had really good role models growing up.

Quotes:

  • “I vowed never to have anything to do with math whatsoever.”
  • “I was a broker, I did an internship, I did teaching… and through all of that I realized I didn’t really want anything but tech."
  • “Whatever your parents’ field is that kind of is in the back of your head, whether it’s a yes or no.”
  • “Let me do it. Let me try this out.”
  • “Cybersecurity is new, it’s upcoming. I really believe that your skills would be good for cyber. There’s not a lot of women there. Especially not a lot Muslim women there, who look like you."
  • “I remember just lying awake at night just thinking about how does WiFi work.”
  • "Instead of guards we have guides" [21:12]
  • “You have to do it afraid, you can’t wait for the perfect moment.” [25:35]

Links:

Whodunnit?

Ayman Elsawah produced this episode

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