Anouk Jessurun: “To me working is an ongoing learning journey”
She studied as one of the few women in her year in Computer Science in Delft and is now busy working on her dream: her own cyber-security company. Anouk Jessurun is now busy with that.
Anouk Jessurun studied Technical Informatics in Delft. “After my studies I started working at Deloitte as an IT auditor. As an IT auditor you gain a lot of insight into the IT processes of organizations and you learn to work in a very structured way. You are mainly determining what is not right within organizations and you have limited scope to advise organizations on how to better organize their IT processes. ”
The switch to cybersecurity actually went quite naturally. “Security became an increasingly important part of my work and I myself increasingly felt the need to help clients solve their problems. At Deloitte I then made the switch from the IT audit team to the cyber advisory team. ”
From Deloitte to Winitstreet
However, it did not stop at Deloitte: “I once started working with the idea of working for five years for a large consultancy company, gaining a lot of experience and then starting for myself. Those five years turned ten, but at one point the idea came back and I couldn’t get it out of my mind anymore. It was an exciting decision, but it also gave me a lot of energy. I also thought: if I really don’t like it, I can always apply again. ”
“At the moment I am busy setting up my own services for my Winitstreet company. In my cybersecurity work I discovered that I was mainly energized by security awareness-related assignments, in which the human factor plays a role. With my own company I want to help as many organizations as possible in building a strong security culture to increase their cyber resilience. This is the next step for me as an entrepreneur. ” Of course it is quite exciting to start your own business, but if you are sure of what you can do, it will be a lot better.
“In addition to technical skills, it is important that you also have good social and communication skills to practice my profession. These skills are often underestimated in cybersecurity roles. ” Anouk knows very well what she wants and she is proud of her career so far: “In the years of paid employment I have learned a lot and I have been able to develop well on a personal and technical level. As an entrepreneur, I try to do the same. I see working as an ongoing learning journey. Since I have been an entrepreneur, I have been evaluating more often whether I also do what I really like and what gives me energy. I think you can only excel if you do something that you have a passion for. ”
Anouk has a great passion for cybersecurity, especially because the field is constantly evolving. “With my company, I also want to focus much more on the human side of cybersecurity, including giving and developing training courses. For a long time I focused mainly on technology, but I am now convinced that working with people is much more fun. ”
A glimpse into the future, because what does Anouk think that many people are afraid that artificial intelligence will take over the work? “At the moment I am not so afraid that artificial intelligence or machine learning will take over all the work. It can certainly influence how we work. At the same time it also offers us many new opportunities. ”
“Learning is an important part of building a strong security culture. By applying machine learning, for example, you could fully personalize training, so that the training is precisely tailored to how an employee learns. This will greatly increase the effectiveness of security awareness and security culture training. There are countless applications that offer enormous opportunities. ”
For Anouk Jessurun it was often the case that she ended up in teams where she mainly worked with men. Has it ever bothered her? “The relationship between men and women in cybersecurity is improving, but it is still a men’s world. It didn’t bother me much during my work. Maybe also because my education in Delft was a good learning experience for this. We started the training with 180 students, including 10 women. Half of the women were switched after the first quarter. “
Intimidating fellow students
“At that time I had never seen a computer on the inside or programmed anything. Because of this, I found my fellow students, who claimed that they could program in several languages or dismantle computers from their youth, sometimes very intimidating. In retrospect, that prior knowledge might have been useful, but not necessary to successfully complete the study or make your profession of cybersecurity. ”
If you want your cybersecurity in order, Anouk recommends that you update regularly. “Choose good passwords, use password managers and hire someone to give training to your company or team.”