Wayfair Tech Blog

Wayfair & WiCyS: A Shared Commitment to Advancing Women in Cybersecurity

Image showing Wayfair as a diamond sponsor at the 2022 Women in Cybersecurity Conference

This week the Women in Cybersecurity (WICyS) Organization kicks off their ninth annual WICYS 2022 conference. For anyone not familiar with WICyS, it’s a global organization dedicated to the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women in cybersecurity. The summit is THE premier event for women in cybersecurity, a place where the energies of attendees come together and push the needle when it comes to the underrepresentation of women in cyber.

Wayfair is on the same mission and we are succeeding through our diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) program and work with organizations like WICyS--we are a Diamond Sponsor of this 2022 event.

Earlier this week, we had a few moments to talk with some Wayfarians attending the event. They touched on various topics, including their careers in cybersecurity, why they’re excited to attend WICYS, and more. Here are some highlights from these discussions. If you plan to attend the WICYS event in person, stop by our booth to meet our Wayfairians and learn more.

Q. Tell us a little about your career in cybersecurity and how you got here

I took an unusual career path to become a security professional. I received my BA in religion, minoring in Judaic studies. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after college, but I had always been interested in design and languages. I considered careers in furniture and interior design and, for a few years, ran a small company specializing in localization. 

At the turn of the millennium, I became familiar enough with basic IAM topics that I landed a contract job at a well-known software company outside of Boston. That contract was a launchpad. From there, I was able to jump to various contracting jobs within the IAM domain, and nine years later, I started my career at Wayfair.

  • Rachel Anderson, IAM Professional

I am a cybersecurity leader with nine years of experience in operationalizing information security risk and regulatory compliance. I started my career to simplify and automate compliance initiatives while reducing security risk. Although I started my career in the creative art space, I have channeled my creativity into building security strategies and increasing efficiencies in security operations. I earned a master's in business administration with a major in Information Technology management. 

  • Oyefunke Fayoyin, Senior PCI Compliance Specialist

I actually went to grad school to become a CPA - my dream was to be a partner in a Big 4 audit firm one day. I took a course on systems auditing and seemed to be really good at it. I didn't really understand much about technology and had to spend a lot of time learning, and still do! I somehow convinced the professor to let me pilot her new course offerings and ultimately I decided to dive head first into the IT audit function. The rest is history! 

  • Kate Liska, Senior Manager of Risk & Compliance

Q. What advice would you give people looking to start a career in cybersecurity?

Curiosity has been the key driver in my career, and that is what I always advise everyone to be, curious. Never stop asking questions. You will always discover a new concept, a new idea, or a new solution that you did not know about a day earlier. Curiosity triggers creativity that fuels innovation which will always be appreciated.

  • Rachana Kamat, Security Engineer II (Enterprise Cybersecurity)

Don't be afraid to ask questions and look for mentors who work in the industry. They will be able to provide guidance and share their knowledge which is always helpful.

  • Priya Puranik, Security Engineer II (Infrastructure and Cloud Security)

Cybersecurity is a balance between the technical implementations and the relationship with the business and ensuring security measures are being woven into the fiber of the company. Make sure to develop communication skills along with developmental skills, as both are necessary to stand up successful security measures that become widely adopted throughout the company as standard practice.

  • Cheryl Downie, Identity & Access Management Analyst

Q: Why are you excited to attend WICYS? What are you most looking forward to at the conference?

There’s something really special that happens when women support women. It's uplifting, inspiring, and magical.

  • Kate Liska, Senior Manager of Risk & Compliance

WICYS has been an integral part of my journey in security. In fact, it was the very first community I was a part of. This year I am excited to meet all the wonderful and talented professionals joining us from around the U.S.  I am also looking forward to attending the workshops and presentations. These have great take-aways that help us to understand how an organization solved a particular problem and how we can learn from their process and implement them at Wayfair.

  • Rachana Kamat, Security Engineer II (Enterprise Cybersecurity)

Q: What industry trends are you keeping a close eye on?

I've been keeping tabs on the data privacy sector - as more places create formal laws regarding the data privacy rights of consumers, the more cautious we need to be when handling data to ensure we're upholding these citizens' rights to privacy.

  • Cheryl Downie, Identity & Access Management Analyst

The areas that I’m tracking that interest me the most right now are supply chain risk, upcoming payment card compliance changes, and compliance automation.

  • Kate Liska, Sr. Manager of Risk & Compliance

Thanks again to everyone for sharing their stories and representing Wayfair at WICYS 2022! We all look forward to hearing about the event, the work of WICyS, and much more.