Name: Nanditha Rao
Title: Information Systems Security Principal
Employer: CSRA, LLC
Degree: Master of Science in Computer Science
Years in IT: 14
Years in cybersecurity: 11
Cybersecurity certifications: CCSP, CISSP
How did you decide upon a career in cybersecurity?
I found myself in the field due to the encouragement from my supervisors who believed that I had the analytical skills to move from IT risk management to IT security and cybersecurity. It was a natural transition for me, and I really enjoyed working in the domain. Since my start in the security field, I have actively worked to learn new skills in cyber and to contribute to the cyber community.
Why did you get your CCSP®?
I heard about cloud for the first time a few years ago, while reading doctoral research literature related to cloud computing. At that time, it was a very unique, interesting and abstract concept for me to learn about. As I observed the trends in IT and in my own work environment gradually positioning itself to move to the cloud, I prepared to take the CCSP exam. I thoroughly enjoyed the (ISC)² CCSP class and passed the exam on my first attempt.
What is a typical day like for you?
I have always believed that cyber folks are engaged 24x7 to protect and secure operations. My days are filled with risk management, compliance and regulations, operational security and fraud prevention. I am currently working on a cloud security framework for our program, and also contributing to cloud-related content at an organizational level.
Can you tell us about a personal career highlight?
Winning the 2014 (ISC)² Americas ISLA was a career highlight. It was such a joyous moment and it was great to have met such accomplished individuals at the award ceremony.
How has the CCSP certification helped you in your career?
The CCSP has allowed me to understand in-depth the security-related advantages and challenges of moving to the cloud. It has helped me to guide customers in making that transition.
What is the most useful advice you have for other cloud security professionals?
Cloud computing is a rapidly evolving field and it is essential that we, as cloud security professionals, engage actively with DevOps, IT Ops and other areas to understand how we can continue to secure systems in the cloud. It is not a matter of if but a matter of when organizations will move to cloud. It is our responsibility to be ready for this change.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
As a Safe and Secure Online and Girls in Technology volunteer, I have seen how much we can contribute to our communities to inform them about security and privacy, especially in this digital age. I will continue to engage with the security community to understand how we can all help improve security.
Are you interested in earning your CCSP? Read the cloud security professional white paper.