Updated: Mar 21, 2022
Our new venture, Inspiring Journeys in Cybersecurity, is an attempt to showcase our member's journeys in the domain. We will continue to bring more inspiring journeys in the future.
Meghan Jacquot loves learning on both professional and personal fronts. Currently working on further specializing in cloud security within the Cyber Threat Intelligence, she aspires to travel to all the continents someday.
Tell us about your journey in Cybersecurity, your ups and downs, and your accomplishments.
First, I didn’t start out in cybersecurity. I had always loved technology and grew up with it around me. Professionally, I was a STEM educator of 17-18-year-olds. I also did IT Tech work for the schools. I kept getting drawn to work involving tech and about 4-5 years ago, I decided to switch into the industry.
It was a hard decision as a teacher, as teaching is my passion. Once I decided to switch, I had to narrow down my focus. Technology is a huge field and within it, cybersecurity is also a varied domain. I decided to go back to the basics and worked on a second bachelor’s degree in computers, network administration, and cybersecurity. I was doing this while working full-time and volunteering. It was a lot of work, a few sleepless nights, and quite a bit of fun. The hard work paid off with my first full-time role in cybersecurity as a CTI Analyst at Recorded Future.
What drove you to Cybersecurity?
I love technology and I love to help others. I also have a family history in intelligence, where my grandfather was a career military on the intel side of things, which fascinated me.
One thing you wish to change about the Cybersecurity domain?
I really want everyone to know that it takes all kinds of people and skills to make our industry and the world strong. If you want to be in cybersecurity then go for it. There are some gatekeepers who will always pester you with labels, ‘‘you have to do this to make it in cybersecurity’’. But it is not the reality. Cybersecurity is a broad and vast field. We can be stronger together with an amalgamation of experiences, thoughts, and backgrounds.
Do you think communities play a role in uplifting someone in this domain or does one need to play solo?
Community is such an important and significant part of my joy in cybersecurity. I think we learn so much from each other (almost 100% of the time). So being part of an uplifting community is good practice for work.
Have you done anything in the Cybersecurity domain that has enriched the diversity and inclusion scenario? If yes, mention it briefly.
Yes, I helped coordinate participation in the Diversity talk that was hosted by Professor Rege. I also donate to BlackGirlsHack and mentor a variety of people-women, BIPOC, veterans, and people who are an intersection of all three. Diversity, inclusion, equity, and belonging are very important to me.
One challenge, according to you, that women face in the cybersecurity domain. How did you overcome it?
Women are almost 25% of the industry, which means that there can be times when one is the sole woman in the role. For example, image searching for the word “hacker” almost always results in dark hooded images of men and rarely women. Representation is still a challenge for women. Another challenge is not being taken seriously in one’s field of expertise.
How has your experience been with the Breaking Barriers Women In Cybersecurity Foundation?
I truly cherish this Foundation and group. I look forward to our meetings, learning from others, the kindness and the motivation that is consistently shared on our various platforms.
Interviewed and edited by Dr. Sana Fatima
(Sana is an advisory board member of the BBWIC Foundation. A dental surgeon, a writer, and a full-time editor in a publishing house, Sana is a cybersecurity enthusiast herself.