Cecile Mengue: From Hacked to Hacker

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About the Guest: Cecile Mengue is a dynamic and inspiring penetration tester with a background that diverges from the traditional cybersecurity pathway. Her journey into the realm of cybersecurity was spurred by a personal experience involving cybercrime, which led her to pivot from her degree in criminal justice to pursuing a career in penetration testing. Demonstrating an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for security, Mengue transitioned from being a victim of hacking to a cybersecurity expert. A notable speaker with an interesting origin story, she presently holds a position as a penetration tester at IBM.

Episode Summary: In this compelling episode of the Phillip Wylie Show, host Phillip Wylie welcomes an intriguing guest, Cecile Mengue, whose unconventional path to becoming a penetration tester is not just informative but also deeply motivational. The conversation delves into Mengue's unique "hacker origin story," shedding light on her transition from working in juvenile court to unraveling a hacking attempt that targeted her own business. Cecile Mengue's narrative is one of resilience and tenacity. Having been hacked during her entrepreneurial ventures, Mengue chose to transform her anger into curiosity, leading her down the path of self-taught cybersecurity methods and eventually open-source intelligence (OSINT). She remarkably tracked down her attackers and successfully recovered her losses, a victory that fueled her interest in cybersecurity. Her unconventional entry into pen testing highlights the power of determination and self-directed learning. Throughout the conversation, Mengue candidly shares the strategies she employed to break into the cybersecurity field, including how she targeted her efforts specifically toward pen testing and leveraged networking to secure her first professional role. The episode is a testament to the idea that one's passion, complemented by strategic skill-building and smart networking, can create pathways to success in the technology industry.

Key Takeaways: Cecile Mengue's foray into cybersecurity stemmed from her own experience with a hacking incident, leading to a career change from criminal justice to penetration testing. With determination and self-learning, she tracked down her hacker, which sparked her interest in cybersecurity and ethical hacking. Focusing on a specific area of interest within cybersecurity, Mengue optimized her learning and job search toward penetration testing, emphasizing the importance of specialization. Mengue's proactive approach in gaining experience, such as volunteering to help secure local businesses, played a pivotal role in strengthening her resume. Networking and taking advantage of apprenticeship and entry-level programs can be crucial steps in securing a position in cybersecurity, as demonstrated by Mengue’s journey. Notable Quotes: "Once I became curious about how it happened, I started kind of like poking around the Internet myself, trying to Google." "It was anger, then curiosity, then after curiosity, it was determination." "I kept waiting because I didn't think that I could do it, right, because I felt like every time I start researching hackers or pen testers or anything in cybersecurity, one of the things that I noticed, like, nobody looked like me." "Your attitude and just the way you go about things is already a big step." "My passion was always about going after the bad guy to protect the good guy, right?" Resources: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cecile-m-2375b9133/ https://www.instagram.com/cybercile/ https://cybercile.com/

Cecile Mengue: From Hacked to Hacker
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