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Bringing Together Cyber Security Mentors & Mentees During a Global Pandemic

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Both the pandemic and subsequent lock down influenced my determination to find a community of Cyber Security focused people (professionals and students alike). My goals included growing my network, building my confidence, gaining a sense of cyber community (there is none local to me) and sharing in knowledge exchange. I also hoped to inspire newcomers who are starting their Cyber Security journey.

Not knowing how to start, I attended a couple of “How to Network” webinars. I quickly realized that LinkedIn has become one of the main medias for connecting with Cyber Security focused people. I revamped my profile following the advice given in the webinars and searched LinkedIn for groups to join.

I have been a member of Women In Cyber Security (WiCYS) for a few years. The WiCYS LinkedIn group was the first that I joined. This is where I discovered the Mentor & Mentee Women in Cybersecurity group. The group was created by Noureen Njoroge, during the pandemic. Her goal was to bring together seasoned Cyber Security professionals as well as those new to Cyber Security. The group is not limited to women. All are welcome, from anywhere in the world. I have met people from England, Canada, Africa and Australia during the group sessions. I have even connected with a few cyber security students who live in my area.

The group meets virtually, two Saturdays a month. Typically there are one or two cyber security presentations, followed by open discussion. Mentors and mentees connect via the chat and sharing their LinkedIn profiles.

Noureen has created a fantastic website: Cybersecurity Mentoring Hub. The site is brimming with resources and lists available mentors. Many of the presentation slides for the sessions are posted to the website.

I have found these sessions and the group to be very valuable. I have learned about Sock Puppets (OSINT) and Forensics. I had little knowledge of these topics prior to the presentations. My network of Cyber Security professionals has grown and I have the sense of community that I've been looking to build.

As a result of the pandemic, many of us have been siloed. Those who have always worked alongside their peers now have to adjust to working from home. This group helps us to break out of our silos for a little while. It facilitates knowledge sharing and learning. If you are interested in attending a session, please join the LinkedIn group or watch for updates on the Cybersecurity Mentoring Hub.

About the author: Elaine Harrison-Neukirch is a Network security Engineer and aspires to educate many people about Cyber Security and Cyber Hygiene.

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