Though she didn’t initially set out to prevent crime, when Lisa Conroy was first involved in data security breaches at her company, she became hooked. In this month’s blog series, Conroy explains how she discovered her true calling by accident.
How long have you been at WorldPay and what is your role?
Lisa Conroy: I’ve been with WorldPay for a total of 16 years. Most of those years had some aspect of cybersecurity involved. But, in my current role – in my current scope of responsibilities – it’s been three years.
How did you get started in cybersecurity? What led you to that career choice?
Lisa Conroy: I ended up in my current role somewhat by accident. I was originally hired to be a compliance analyst working on all different sorts of card-brand related programs, not necessarily cybersecurity-specific. Then, I got the opportunity to work on the merchant side of things, as it relates to PCI, and I was just so interested in all the changing aspects of it and started to get involved in data security breaches. I really started gravitating to it as I learned more about the opportunities and the excitement of cybersecurity. I started really seeing the value in it from a day-to-day perspective, trying to protect consumers and protect merchants and, in some instances, trying to prevent crime.
What do you see in the future for women in the cybersecurity industry?
Lisa Conroy: I think the opportunities are endless for women in cybersecurity right now. All the studies are showing how there are so many openings in cybersecurity and how women are so underrepresented. The industry, as a whole, is making a lot of good strides in that regard and I think it’s important to have more diversity in the field because inherently women approach things differently. They communicate differently than men and there is value to having those additional perspectives and insights. Hopefully we will start to see the percentages rise in terms of women representation in all cybersecurity roles, but especially in the senior roles. We need to see more and more women as chief security officers and founders of new security-related companies.
What advice would you give to young women who are interested in a career in cybersecurity?
Lisa Conroy: For young women who are interested in a career in cybersecurity, I would say reach out. Get involved. The industry itself is so supportive and welcoming and people are looking to lift up people who have these similar interests. There are so many groups out there, for women specifically, or just even local law enforcement chapters talking about cybersecurity. People are inclusive. Reach out and they’ll be there to support you. Obviously, education and training aspects are important but the people within the industry, if you reach out, will start to show you the path forward and support you in your career.
What aspects of your job do you enjoy?
Lisa Conroy: I like being able to work with all different people from different backgrounds. I mean we’re working with people from law enforcement, forensic investigators, attorneys, internal parties, external parties, IT people, small merchants, big merchants, everything under the sun and it’s something different every day. The industry is always changing. No two breach cases are alike. It’s just something different every day and technology will continue to change that. And so, it’s exciting to be a part of it.
What value do you get by serving on the Board of Advisors for PCI SSC?
Lisa Conroy: World Pay’s participation on the Board of Advisors has been great. It allows us to be the voice for our merchants and bring their struggle to the Council. It allows us to provide direct feedback onto the standard itself and help evolve the industry and the requirements.