Gabrielle Botbol- Episode 27

Gabrielle Botbol

By Gabrielle Botbol

On today’s episode of The Route to Networking Podcast, we are joined by our host Kieran Waite, Head of Enterprise Security Canada and special guest, Offensive Security Advisor at Desjardins. During today’s episode, Kieran and Gabrielle discuss how to get your first job in cybersecurity, the importance of considering physical cybersecurity and the impact of AI on the attack landscape.

 Gabrielle’s background is far from the cybersecurity world she finds herself in now. She originally started in dramatic arts, but she had always grown up interested in technology, building her first website in high school. This natural interest led her to software development, but she was concerned with the security of her apps and found her way to cybersecurity.

Tasked with understanding this new world of technology, Gabrielle developed her self-learning plan, documenting her journey and growth in her blog Creating the programme, Gabrielle took direction from the cybersecurity university courses and job adverts to ensure her skills and development would be applicable in the future. She credits this learning programme for helping her get her first job in cybersecurity, which led her to her current role at Desjardins.

Exciting moments  

For Gabrielle, pen testing was the first part of cybersecurity that made her light up. The values associated with the role were close to her heart, cyber peace, and keeping citizens and businesses safe. Looking back on the most exciting career moments so far, Gabrielle shares how she completed her first physical pen test. This entailed spending the night in a dark building to secure her target. During the mission, Gabrielle tells us there was a moment when she was hiding in a corridor with nowhere to go, lights shining on her face and the night-time security guard walked past the door missing her completely.

Certs, degrees, and education!

Gabrielle's advice for those getting started in the industry is to build a blog. For her, she was able to get her first job in the industry without any certifications only her documented self-learning and development. Since then, Gabrielle has amassed several certifications. There are other ways to show your skills, through GitHub or a blog. They can be expensive or not always a good experience. 

Woman Hacker of the Year 2022 

In 2022 Gabrielle’s innovative approach to cybersecurity was recognised when she won the Woman Hacker of the Year. The Cybersecurity Woman of the Year awards, developed by Carmen Marsh serve as an opportunity to honour and highlight women’s contributions in the field enhancing the representation of females in these vital spaces. This accomplishment held special significance for Gabrielle as she received the award from Alissa Knight, a highly regarded figure and role model in the industry, making the moment truly unforgettable for her.

Hear more from Gabrielle on EP27 of the Security Vendor spin-off series of The Route to Networking Podcast- Available on Spotify and Apple now!