Ashley Sayre was always driven to make a difference and deeply passionate about safety and security. As an African American woman, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in a field that would allow her to use her skills and knowledge to help others and keep them safe from harm. After much consideration and research, she finally entered the world of cybersecurity, a complex and constantly evolving field that requires constant adaptation and growth to stay ahead of emerging cyber threats.
With the increasing number of cyber-attacks and data breaches, it is becoming increasingly important to have a workforce with the necessary skills and knowledge to combat these threats effectively. Ashley was aware of this and determined to become an expert in the field. She dedicated herself to learning everything she could about cybersecurity, constantly reading, studying, and attending workshops and conferences.
Ashley’s journey to becoming an Associate Cybersecurity Analyst has been challenging, but she never gave up on her dreams. She told CyberWarrior that she decided on this path because “growing up, safety and security were always kind of like come and go, so she really focused on security.” As a start, she began her career working within banks. “In banks, you learn a lot about physical security, what to look for, and how to keep others safe. And with that, I started becoming passionate about wanting to teach others what to look for and how to keep themselves safe,” she said.
Ashley has persevered and pushed through, driven by her determination to make a difference in the world. Her journey to becoming an Associate Cybersecurity Analyst inspires anyone looking to break into the industry. Ashley’s story reminds you that you can achieve great things if you are passionate about something.
Getting Started in Cybersecurity
While working at the bank, Ashley saw much fraud within the industry, so she took her enthusiasm for security and wanted to transfer it to more skills and keep developing as a professional. And that’s where the cybersecurity portion came into play.
Ashley’s pathway from working around the edges of cybersecurity to becoming an Analyst began by enrolling in Cyberwarrior Academy’s Bootcamp. This was the first step towards achieving her dream of becoming a cybersecurity professional. During the bootcamp, Ashley was exposed to various topics, such as vulnerability management and incident response.
The bootcamp was intense and challenging, requiring a great deal of time and effort. Ashley worked full-time, had a three-month-old to care for, and still had to attend classes. However, she was determined to succeed and pushed herself to stay up late every day to keep up with the work. Her dedication paid off when she completed the bootcamp, and she started her journey as a cybersecurity professional.
Completing the bootcamp was a significant accomplishment for Ashley, but it was just the beginning. With a solid foundation, Ashley was able to start building her career and expanding her knowledge in the field. She took on new challenges, developed her skills, and worked hard to make a difference in cybersecurity.
Breaking into the Industry
As an African American woman in a field often dominated by white men, Ashley was initially nervous about her chances of finding a job. She thought it would be highly challenging, “I was very nervous about it. I didn’t think that I was going to get a job. I thought that I was gonna be looking for a long period of time,” she said.
Despite the odds against her, her passion and determination kept her going, and she could succeed even when she was not a majority in cybersecurity. “People just saw how much I wanted to, you know, put in the effort and how much I wanted to learn, and how much I wanted to make a difference in the world,” she said.
She put in long hours of hard work, reading, studying, and attending workshops and conferences to expand her knowledge. Her dedication and passion paid off when she landed an Associate Cybersecurity Analyst job.
The Journey So Far
Ashley is proud of what she has achieved in her career and never forgets the journey that took her there. Her journey was a rollercoaster of emotions, with moments of doubt and uncertainty, but she never gave up. She persevered and stayed focused on her goals; today, she is reaping the rewards of her hard work.
As an Associate Cybersecurity Analyst, she does a lot of vulnerability management, which means she is responsible for identifying, tracking, and communicating threats and vulnerabilities that may impact her company. Beyond that, she’s making a real difference in the world by using her skills and knowledge to help keep people safe from cyber threats, and she takes great pride in this work.
Cybersecurity is a career that meets Ashley’s expectations of being both challenging and enjoyable, and she is grateful for the opportunity to do what she loves every day. To this day, she is committed to being the best professional and knows the journey never truly ends. There will always be new threats to overcome, and Ashley is ready to take them on.
Ashley’s career path in cybersecurity is an inspiration to others who are considering a career in this field. “To the women out there that could possibly be doubting themselves or don’t know which direction to take to try to break into the industry. I just want them to know that they can do it. It is possible. Don’t be afraid. Even if you’re trying to find a job, and it takes about four, five, or six months, don’t give up because it’s all worth it.”
Her words are a testament to the power of perseverance and hard work and demonstrate what can be achieved with passion and dedication. However, Ashley is just one woman entering the cybersecurity field. This industry still has a long way to go in promoting diversity and inclusiveness. She recognizes that she is a trailblazer in the industry and is dedicated to making a difference for others.
Women’s History Month
By bringing new perspectives and experiences to the table, individuals like Ashley can help the industry better understand and address the complex and evolving threats that it faces. This, in turn, can lead to more effective solutions and better outcomes for everyone.
If you’re interested in learning about the challenges and opportunities women face in cybersecurity, mark your calendars for March 30th at 12 noon. The event “Challenges and Opportunities: Role Models for Women in Cybersecurity” will bring together experts in the field to discuss how women can succeed in this male-dominated industry.
Don’t miss out on this informative and empowering event!