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YPWA Member Spotlight October 2023

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

Did you know that October is Cybersecurity Awareness month? That was a happy coincidence that we found out after we asked YPWA member and cybersecurity expert, Lindsey Prudente to be our member spotlight for the month. Lindsey is a cybersecurity pro, with 13 years of experience in the field and she's here to shine a light on some facts you should know to keep yourself safe this month.

Along with her experience in the industry, Lindsey also has some great advice on how to fend off imposter syndrome when it creeps up, so read on to get to know our October Member Spotlight!

Member Details

Name: Lindsey Prudente

Pronouns: She/they

When did you move to the Worcester area: College and never left!

A fun fact about yourself: I just redid my kid's playroom as my new office and now I have a coworker that is a lizard named Pumpkin. #winning #PSL

Local Recommendations/ Hot Takes

Favorite spot to bring your family in the city: Polar Park, my kids are 7 and 5 and love to run around, eat Coney Island hot dogs and beg for candy. It's a win-win most games.

IG/podcast/newsletter to follow to learn what’s going on in the area: I actually follow a lot of local tattoo artists on IG, 1) because I'm a collector and 2) because they always know the best artsy happenings in town. Art breathes art and I'm hear for it. Murals, festivals, vendors, the occasional fundraiser and gala.

Note to Self: You are worth the moment.

What brings you back to YPWA this season (returning members)?: I love how every event also showcases a small business. Whether it is at a new restaurant, or we have at a new restaurant, or we have taking part in a new service it is great to get out in the community.

Do you have any tips for networking during our events? The only end goal is to make a connection with another person. It can be as grief as you want; simply commenting on the venue, the activity, the weather. It's all fine and you are worth the moment.

Remember: Your employer is lucky to have you.

Occupation: Cybersecurity Expert - I advise large enterprises on best in-class solutions and services related to Cybersecurity. My specialists include Governance Risk related to Cybersecurity. My specialties include Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC), Third Party Risk, as well as Vulnerability Management. I've been in this industry for the past 13 years.

What do you enjoy most about your current role? As an advisor I must keep up to date with the latest industry trends and my company affords me that by providing ample time and material to train. Since I’m an integral part of the sales organization I am encouraged to socialize and build relationships at industry events. It’s very rewarding making connections with new clients and understanding their unique environments.

Any project/work planning tips for working through a challenging or complex request? I typically come from the side of the business that makes and carries out rules and policies. So, I have not always made friends easily. When confronted with conflict, I’ve

learned it’s never personal. It usually comes from a place of misunderstanding. That if

you’re dreading a meeting, it’s best to have an open conversation rather than a multitude

of passive emails.

What’s your favorite tip that makes work life easier for you? My employer is lucky to have me and not the other way around. Having that viewpoint has really helped me find joy in my work. It helps with feelings of imposter syndrome. It helps me not over commit myself and only volunteer for those extra projects that bring me joy.

What is a boundary that you’ve set for yourself to help manage a work/life balance? I do not answer emails or calls after hours unless it is a true emergency. I have 2 small children and a husband at home who deserves my time and attention without distractions during my non-working hours.

Lindsey has made room for other women to be at the Cybersecurity table. Are you in?

What sparked your interest in the industry and how do you encourage other women to break into cybersecurity? I have always been a fan of STEM, so I eventually found myself majoring in computer science. In walking that path, I have routinely been one of the few females in groups, classes, and meetings; being the first woman to be hired in my roles, I’ve used that opportunity to make sure I created space for more women. There are so many rolls in Cybersecurity that cater to new people. Audit, training, relationship building, application ownership, administration; these are all roles that fully translate into the field of Cybersecurity. There are roles that require technical skills, and roles that do not. With a talent shortage like we are facing, it is a great time to jump in!

What are 3 steps that someone could take today to decrease their potential risks?

1) Multi Factor Authentication (MFA). It’s really hard to hack your online accounts if they

don’t have your phone to receive the text confirmations. Enable that setting on any

accounts with saved credit cards, or other valuable data.

2) You are not special, and likely you never will be. I don’t say that to discount your

existence in any way. I say that to let you know “Hackers” are now large

organizations that operate like other companies. You are just a number on their stats

reports, and nothing is personally against you. They are looking for quick money and

little to no planning goes into most scams.

3) If it smells like a scam, it is one. Cybersecurity will be a part of all our job descriptions

in the future. It is important to look at all situations logically. You know the IRS would

not arrest you over the phone. You know you weren’t expecting a package so you

shouldn’t click the link to login or pay a fee. Just as much as you know it is unwise to

print out a stack of patient records and leave the stack of papers on a public bus.

Protect yourself and your property by thinking logically.

Thank you, Lindsey! We've got several more spotlights for the 23-24 season. If you'd like to nominate yourself or a friend, you can do so here. We thank all our outstanding members that have shared their experiences, tips, and love of the Worcester area with us this season!

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