‘No Two Days Are the Same’: A Q&A with Laura Penhallow, New Fuel Board Member

Posted by Fuel HQ on Jul 18, 2019 9:27:04 AM

Thursday, July 17, 2019

Laura PenhallowLaura Penhallow is a security engineer at Jump Trading, LLC in the UK and a new member to the Fuel Board of Directors. She brings more than 15 years of experience in the security space to the table and specializes in both finance and telecom industries. She is passionate about security and always looking to continue learning.

We spoke with Laura to learn more about her background in cybersecurity, what sparked her to join Fuel, her passion for the industry and more.

Tell us about your career path — how long have you been in the industry, how did you get started, and what do you do now?

I've been in IT since 2001. I started at the very bottom at the help desk at a local internet service provider (ISP). After the help desk, I moved to work with the AS/400 team. The manager of that team also managed the UNIX team, and after I had my first taste of shell access, I was done with the AS/400 green screens forever! Not long after, that same manager also took over the security team and I volunteered to help out with their ISP customer requests and issues. 

I officially joined the security team at the start of 2003 and haven't looked back since. I'm currently a security engineer with a proprietary trading firm in London.

How long have you been a Fuel member? Can you tell us how you first joined?

I've been a Fuel member for about three years. I had just joined the firm where I'm at now and thought Fuel would be a great way to get up to speed with Palo Alto Networks Technologies, as well as provide me with some local networking opportunities.

"Try on a lot of security 'hats' before you choose a discipline. Even then, don't lock yourself into just one if you can."

What interests you about cybersecurity?

I was hooked from the first moment I was exposed to cybersecurity! The thing that appeals to me the most is that no two days are the same. Some days I'm investigating alerts, other days I'm writing a bit of policy or researching new trends and tools to help solve problems. Another strong point is that you're never done learning. The ceiling for knowledge in this field is limitless.

What’s your advice for those just starting out in the field? 

Try on a lot of security “hats” before you choose a discipline. Even then, don't lock yourself into just one if you can. You might find a passion for an aspect of security you never considered before. 

Outside of work, what hobbies or activities interest you?

I love to travel and see new places. When I'm not traveling or working, you can find me with my pugs.

What cybersecurity-focused social media accounts do you follow?

I follow some pretty interesting folks on Twitter. The Troopers Conference (@WEareTROOPERS) always has interesting info. Insinuator (@Insinuator), Lesley Carhart (@hacks4pancakes) and Malware Unicorn (@malwareunicorn) are probably my top ones.

Learn more about the Fuel Board of Directors here. Interested in becoming a Fuel User Group member? Get started here

Why join Fuel? Learn more here.

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