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Izzy – Random and Unplanned: From Annuities to ISO!

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Ismaelle Vixsama (aka Izzy) has a knack for finding strategic flaws and speaking up about them. Doing so helped her get her first full-time job as well as have repercussions for defensive egos. Her whole career is a war story.


Izzy is an ISMS manager with 7 years of experience. She has worked in FinTech, Government, and Security R&D. Her work has allowed her to work on several mainstream products and services with some of the most well recognized brands.


  • ISMS – Information Systems Security Manager
  • Creates a security program around a company’s information systems.
  • Played the CISO role initially, very CISO like role
  • First role in security was in Risk
  • Izzy comes from a very traditional Haitian back
  • Izzy came up benefits at her job for an opportunity to learn something new and be in a non-toxic environment.
  • First heard/learned about hacking at 15 from an AOL chat with a “hacker”.
  • At 23 decided to speak up in a meeting a provide feedback, which led to her being hired Full-Time.


  • “At the time I was 22 years old, the pay wasn’t that great but for me it was amazing because I was doing something I hated, I had benefits at my previous job but this company was giving me an opportunity to learn something new. To me that was so exciting.”
  • “He looked at my resume and he said ‘I realize you have no cybersecurity experience.’ By starting the conversation like that it took some pressure off of my shoulders.” [10:00]
  • “I was so nervous that he was going to drill into me about all these topics I had no clue about.”
  • “I didn’t even [know] I had sisters.”
  • “Everyone just kinda wrote me off.” [16:20]
  • “Who is the audience, what do we want to say here?” [21:13]
  • Worst comment ever… “We have to really train you on your critical thinking skills.” [22:45]
  • “A good idea is a good idea, regardless of who it came from.”
  • “My whole career is a war story.” [32:05]


Getting Into Infosec:

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