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Meet our employees: Women are the future of cyber security (part 1)

Cyber security is no longer a male-dominated industry. More and more women are entering this vital discipline that protects people and their data from cyber attackers. In part one of this two-part series, get to know some of the talented women working with cyber security at Visma.

For this article, we’ve interviewed women working with security development at Visma. In a future article, we’ll profile women working across a number of Visma’s security areas.

Cyber security is a fast-growing area, projected to be a USD 346 billion market by 2027. Visma’s security teams are hard at work, ensuring that our products and services meet the highest security standards while giving our customers the confidence to trust us with their data.

Alina, Iuliana, Mariana, Nicoleta, and Romina are five talented women working with cyber security development in various roles at Visma. We asked them how they got started, what their typical day looks like, what they enjoy most about their job, and their advice for others interested in working in the field.

Alina Nicula

Alina Nicula smiles at the camera.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

My name is Alina and I’m located in Timisoara, Romania. I’ve been working in Visma for more than 10 years. I started as a software developer for an on-premise solution, then advanced to a service architect position for an Azure cloud hosted service. Recently I joined the security department and I work as a lead security architect, responsible for the security self-assessment program to which all Visma services are expected to onboard. I enjoy writing code, so I am also contributing to the development of our internal Security tools and services.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I always start my day with a cup of coffee and a glass of water next to me. Then I look at the overview of the activities planned for that day. I’m trying to balance the time spent in meetings and the time spent on development activities.

What is your favorite part of working with security at Visma?

I am fascinated by the amount of information I learn everyday. We have a lot of highly skilled colleagues in the security department and following them and their work is allowing me to grow and expand my security knowledge.

I enjoy working with the different Visma teams at understanding their business needs and at guiding them at taking the best security decisions for their services.

Can you give one piece of advice to someone who’d like to work in security?

When evaluating the security posture of an application, never assume, always ask and verify.

Also read: Interview with Lead Security Researcher at Visma, Daniela Cruzes

Iuliana Minea

Iuliana Minea smiles at the camera.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Hello, my name is Iuliana and I’ve been a software developer for almost nine years in which I’ve had the opportunity to work in various domains and discover my passion for clean code. Last summer, I joined Visma which gave me the chance to work on the security domain.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I usually start my working day with a discussion with my mentor where we make a battle plan for our tasks. After that, every day looks different because things are in a continuous movement, we always have new integrations, investigations and requests that need to be tackled.You don’t get a chance to get bored.

What is your favorite part of working with security at Visma?

I like very much the good collaboration that we have within the team, we have a good balance between work and fun, everyone is there to help and support you. There is a high level of freedom, you can focus on what you like but also you have support to learn and try new things.

Can you give one piece of advice to someone who’d like to work in security?

Try with small steps and explore it. Security is a journey, not a goal.

Mariana Dias Falhusca Varajao

Mariana Dias Falhusca Varajao smiles at the camera.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Hello! My name is Mariana, and I’m from Portugal, but I work for the Romanian office in Sibiu. Long story short, I came to Romania to be a volunteer, and then stayed for the amazing country and its people. My professional life started as an intern learning C and C++ to become a developer, but shortly after, I discovered a passion for testing, so I became a Technical Quality Assurer. Security has always been something I’ve been afraid of moving into, but I am incredibly lucky to be now a part of the Security Development team — where testing meets security!

What does a typical workday look like for you?

My days start as any other IT person’s day starts — with coffee! We have fun daily meetings, and I do my daily test executions. Gotta keep an eye on those tests in case they need maintenance, as the software the team is developing is constantly changing with new features coming and improvements to existing features. When I am not checking the work my colleagues have done, I am looking for ways to improve my tests and provide more test coverage for the product.

What is your favorite part of working with security at Visma?

The community, the team, and the knowledge they share. My colleagues — either direct or indirect — are some of the best hackers, and they’re always willing to share how they got there, and how they do it — from live hacking sessions, to interesting podcasts full of information. Between the Security Conferences, and the Security Awareness programs, there is always something new to be learned.

Can you give one piece of advice to someone who’d like to work in security?

Don’t be afraid! Take it slow! Find which part of security you are passionate about and take it one step at a time! Security is an incredibly large domain — find a small part you enjoy and start from there. I started with OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) — enjoyable, and it emcompasses a lot of different security vulnerabilities. Great way to start!

Also read: Two Visma employees among Norway’s top 50 women in tech

Nicoleta Botosan

Nicoleta Botosan smiles at the camera.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

Hello! My name is Nicoleta and I currently work in the Security Development team. I am doing Infrastructure related work, both hands-on and research.

My background is in Infrastructure, and I’ve been a DevOps/IE for about 8 years now. I have chosen this path because I love the adrenaline that it brings when solving different kinds of problems or even incidents. Although I’ve been working mostly with AWS during my career,  now I decided to switch to Azure and to have more focus on Security. I am a firm believer that Security is super important nowadays and I feel extremely motivated knowing that my work contributes to making Visma Products secure and trustworthy.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

Well, IEs don’t have typical days, but usually, I start my morning with our daily meeting. Then I monitor a bit the services that are under “my umbrella”, and afterwards I start implementing the required changes. I am a big fan of Infrastructure as Code[IaC], and I’ve been working with many provisioning tools during my career. Now, together with my colleague Romina, I’ve started a research initiative that focuses on IaC scanning. We want to make sure that we catch vulnerabilities early in the process, even before resources are provisioned in the Cloud.

What is your favorite part of working with security at Visma?

Besides my love for Cloud and Security, I do love people. I really like that here at Security I have the opportunity to collaborate with so many wonderful individuals that have the same goal — to make Visma Products as secure as possible. I love chatting with people on tech subjects, delivering presentations and collaborating in general.

Can you give one piece of advice to someone who’d like to work in security?

Start now and see what you like to do. Security is a generous field and has a lot to offer. 🙂 

Romina Druta

Romina Druta smiles at the camera.

Tell us a little bit about your background.

My name is Romina and I have been working as an Infrastructure Engineer for Visma, since 2018. After I finished my studies I have been working as a system engineer mostly on cloud infrastructures in the medical, banking and finance fields. 

In my role at Visma, I am responsible for designing, administering and maintaining Cloud infrastructure and services hosted on it. 

Not long ago, thanks to my colleagues Monica and Nicoleta,  I have started to be more involved in security research projects and right now with their help, I am developing an astonishing curiosity for this field.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

A day of work for me is shared between a lot of multithreaded tasks. Sometimes I have to do more things in parallel and I need to manage my time as a resource and my capacity of focusing on what is critical before what is more important.

What makes my day at work is when I can help others increase their knowledge and when I am finding vulnerabilities or performance issues that need to be fixed.

What is your favorite part of working with security at Visma?

My favorite part is when we are working together and we have brainstorming sessions, or presentation sessions about what we have learned in the security field. I find that the focus on the research is what makes the field even more interesting. I did not know security is so vast and so complex at the same time. 

Also I like a lot the team members from the Security R&D team. They have passion for what they are doing and they are willing to help you when you need it.

Can you give one piece of advice to someone who’d like to work in security?

If you are curious about topics that have never crossed your mind, working in security will surprise you daily.

Want to learn more about the women of Visma?

Read about Visma’s women in tech

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