When Julie Krueger graduated from college 35 years ago, only five percent of her electrical engineering class were women. Today, that number has improved, but not nearly enough. In this month’s blog series, Krueger encourages women to persist no matter what.
How long have you been at JCB and what is your role?
Julie Krueger: I’ve been with JCB for 17 years now and, for 13 of those, I’ve been involved with their cybersecurity work.
How did you get started in cybersecurity? What led you to that career choice?
Julie Krueger: My career choice in cybersecurity came in a little bit of a round-about direction. When I was in high school, I went to a society of women engineers coding class and I was hooked. So, then, in college I studied electrical engineering and just really enjoyed that. Coming out of college, I worked for Intel Corporation, designing and producing secure chips. From there, I went into the security of smart cards and other hardware, and then when JCB joined the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council, I studied for my Certified Information System Security Professionals test and that’s how I ended up getting into cybersecurity.
What do you see in the future for women in the cybersecurity industry?
Julie Krueger: The future for women in the cybersecurity industry is wide open. When I went to school, as a woman engineer, I was about five percent of my graduating class. It was pretty consistent across all the colleges at the time. I just read a statistic this week that said only 12% of information security professionals are women. I was just astounded that, after 35 years, we are not at a higher percentage. I just think it is a wide-open field for anyone who’s interested in forensics, cybersecurity or information systems security.
What advice would you give to young women who are interested in a career in cybersecurity?
Julie Krueger: My advice to women in the cybersecurity industry is to just be persistent. There are going to be times when you are going to be put down. There are going to be times when somebody says, “Oh, you couldn’t do this.” Just persist no matter what. And, sometimes, you might not have an exact path. It might not be clear. But, one job leads to the next job, which leads to the next job and so on. Just follow your passion.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy?
Julie Krueger: What I like about my job is working with a variety of different people and solving the problem at hand. So, if it’s a data breach for a company, I enjoy working with a forensic investigator, working with the vendors, working with the merchant to determine how it happened. The other thing I like is the global aspect of it. I’ve learned that, across the world, there are so many different models for how payments are made and how hackers attack things. There’s the challenge of putting all the pieces of the puzzle together and finding out what’s all behind it, what the hackers are after, what motivates them and what, most importantly, we can do about it.
What value does the Board of Advisors contribute for PCI SSC?
Julie Krueger: For JCB as a payment brand, I really appreciate the diversity of the stakeholders that are around the table on the Board of Advisors. We have merchants, we have acquirers, we have issuers, we have vendors and they all bring a unique perspective to how to keep data and the payments channel secure. With the input of all of them, I think PCI SSC can do a much better job to secure payment data around the world. I think it really helps with the PCI SSC mission of awareness, education and implementation globally for payment card systems that are out there today.