By Prudence Minayo
Noureen Njoroge is an award winning cyber security professional. She has worked with some of the biggest organizations and won several awards including:
- CISCO 2019 cyber security champion
- 2020 cyber security woman of the year awards
- 2021 global cyber security ambassador award.
She is also a mentor and an advocate for women to join and grow in the field of cyber security.
Here is her story as told by WoK.
Background and Education
She was born and raised in Nairobi to parents who were engineers. The parents made sure she had the best of education.
Her love for technology was born when she was 14-years-old. At the time, she took down her pc, studied each individual piece and then put them back together. While other people her age asked for usual Christmas gifts, she asked her parents for computer parts. She assembled these parts and made some computers, which she donated to schools and hospitals.
After high school, she traveled to the United States for further education. She was elated yet at the same time nervous as she would be away from her parents. Luckily, she had relatives in the United States who helped her adjust.
She was accepted by three universities and chose one that offers a four-year degree. However, she was not comfortable in her first year and sought advise from one of her professors. Heeding the advise, she transferred to a community college where there were plenty of options and enough support for international students.
She graduated from Massbay Community College and joined University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) to pursue a degree in Computer Science. Noureen then landed an internship at Intel Corporation, a manufacturer of semiconductor computer circuits. She then joined an international recruitment corporation called Monster.
Career and growth
After graduating from UML, she was employed by an audio equipment giant called Bose Corporation as a system analyst. Thereafter, she joined Leidos, a defense, aviation and technology company in the same capacity.
“I tackled each of my earlier technology roles with a near-obsessive level of intent. Bose gave me tremendous opportunities, and I stepped up to the challenge. I rolled up my sleeves and spent countless hours in the data centre. I built critical applications in the cloud, set up demilitarized zones (DMZs) and any other technical work I could lay my hands on,” she told Cyber Leadership Institute.
She then made a career switch and decided to join cyber security. Noureen was part of the first class when MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) launched an intensive cyber security program in technology, Application and Policy.
North Carolina Women in Cyber security network
In 2016, she joined the largest networking and communications company globally, CISCO as a cyber security engineer. She rose through the organization to lead a Cyber Intelligence Team, growing it from only her to a full department. Five years later, she left.
The more she climbed up the career ladder, she realized that very few women were in the technology space. This inspired her to start an organization that will inspire women from across nations to pursue cyber security. Hence, she founded North Carolina Women in Cyber security network. She then established a global cyber security mentorship program in 2019. She then joined Nike as the director of Global Cyber Threat Intelligence.
According to her, she values relationships and still has connections even with her elementary school teachers.