Emily Crose is a network security professional with a background in Intelligence and surveillance technologies. She is also an advocate for trans inclusion, including the care and education of transgender children. Her home life consists of being a wife to her wife, and co-mothering her two children.
If you had to choose one event that led you to work in information security, what would it be and why?
Emily Crose: I always had a vision of myself working for the US intelligence community. In many ways it was my dream to work as a spy, but life, as it sometimes does, brought me back down to Earth with my expectations for my own future. I was going to school to teach History, and I remember having the distinct feeling in my second year that I would rather be a part of history then just be one of the people talking about how other people made history. I changed my major and the rest is history!
Why do you like working in the information security environment?
Emily Crose: It’s a fast paced career path. Being technical means that you always have to keep up with the latest trends and the greater market as it ebbs and flows. Information networks are a space where every level of society is represented in one form or another, and it’s in this space that people find different ways to manipulate, use, and abuse the rules in order to move information from one place to another. I want to be right in the middle of all of that.
If a n00b to the infosec world asked you for a piece of advice, what would it be?
Emily Crose: Start with the basics. Don’t ever forget the foundations that the greater systems of information networks are built on top of and don’t let your ego get so large that you think you have all the answers. Don’t ever let yourself think you’re too smart to be outsmarted.
What is the most important issue facing professionals in the information security landscape today? Why?
Emily Crose: Honestly, the most pervasive issue I’ve noticed among infosec practitioners that transcends all identities regardless of age, race, gender, etc. is imposter syndrome. I don’t know what it is about this industry that causes so many of us to feel like we aren’t worthy of a place amongst our peers, but I’be seen people suffer from this no matter how much success they’ve achieved in their lives. On an individual level, we as professionals in this field need to find a collective confidence and use it constructively. Those who aren’t confident in infosec can find ourselves getting lost in a sea of doubt, and every moment’s hesitation when the heat is on invites a worsening situation.
What is the most important issue facing consumers in the information security landscape today? Why?
Emily Crose: Complacency. Consumers have become so desensitized to the loss of personal information including credit card and social security numbers that the effect it has on our collective psyche at this point is sub %0. That may be a side-effect of the frequency of large-scale breaches and the perception that there’s little to nothing that a consumer can do for themselves to protect their information, but the end result means that lapses in security by major corporations will continue to go unpunished.
What are your three “guilty pleasures” that have nothing to do with information security?
– Video games
– Cheap wine
– Young Adult novels
What’s your favorite book-to-movie adaptation and why?
Emily Crose: One of my favorites is the movie Argo. Being familiar with the story of the exfiltration of American diplomats from Iran during the Iranian Revolution before I saw the movie, It was fun to see history come alive the way it did in the movie. Having said that, The historical accuracy of the movie is OK, but has a lot of bits that weren’t quite right even between the way the book and the movie each portrayed the events.