Nancy Njeri Muriithi is a cybersecurity expert and consultant and has been working in the cybersecurity space for two years now.
Njeri is passionate about technology, application security and software development. She also mentors students in universities across the country.
Ms Njeri shares her career path with the Sunday Nation.
Tell us about your childhood and educational background.
I am the second born in a family of three. I have an elder brother and a younger one who is in high school. We grew up in Embu where I attended both my primary and secondary education.
I then joined Kenyatta University for my undergraduate studies. I also pursued industry certifications by Cisco, Google and Microsoft in security.
My parents and siblings have been very supportive and instrumental in my education and career journey.
Share with us your career journey
My interest in security developed gradually while I was still in campus. I did freelance software developer projects till I got to third year and was sponsored by Cisco to take CCNA Routing & Switching and Cisco cybersecurity Ops.
The same year, I started working at RCD Africa as head of outreach and trainer KU chapter; in this role I mainly led and trained sessions in my school for women empowerment in STEM. Six months later, I started working as a CTO for women in STEM network and led the technology department.
I used my skills in tech to enable the organization to reach its financial and marketing goals using an innovative approach.
I then joined Shehacks KE as a campus ambassador where I led cybersecurity training and boot camps to share my knowledge in security. After I graduated, I started coordinating campus and high school mentorship and technical programs for Shehacks KE.
I have also worked as a mentor for M-Pesa Foundation Academy. I actively guided and trained students on how to get started in their tech careers and how best to leverage on skills taught in school.
Last year, I started my cybersecurity consultancy job. I am currently working remotely as a cybersecurity consultant for a company in Paris. The organization deals with code security platform for the DevOps generation. With automated secrets detection and remediation, the platform enables Dev, Sec, and Ops to advance together towards the Secure Software Development Lifecycle.
My role revolves around testing the organization’s cybersecurity measures, and then design and implement a better defense.
I would encourage anyone in the cybersecurity and tech industry to keep learning as there are many resources available online. They should also volunteer as much as they can in tech community related work. It really helps in building networks.
I’m actively seeking new opportunities to grow and advance in my career.
What has been the key driver of your growth?
Continuous learning as there are new technologies coming up and also keeping up with current technological developments, research as well as Certifications in this space such as CCNA Security, AWS Security and also through online learning platforms such as LinkedIn, Microsoft Learn and Oreilly.
There are numerous resources available online to expand knowledge in the technology and cyber security field. Being part of tech communities has also played a significant role in not only exposing me but also SheHacksKE globally.
Who do you credit for shaping career growth?
I would say, Eve Kilel and the entire Shehacks KE team. She helped me channel all my ideas and dreams into achievable goals.
My parents and siblings have also significantly supported me in achieving my goals with constant guidance, support and prayers.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in life.
In addition to everything I have been able to accomplish in my career up to this point, I really enjoy bringing out the best in others. I have mentored and trained quite many students, some as young as 6 years old.
As a result of the programmes I lead at Shehacks KE, I mentor university students in 35 universities countrywide. I have also trained individuals from other countries su h as Nigeria, Rwanda and South Africa in security.
Key decisions you might have taken along your career journey.
Innovation, creativity, flexibility and going above and beyond your expectations is very crucial in any career. Continuous learning and pro bono work is also important for anyone starting out in the tech world.
What would you advice the youth today?
Technology and related disruption is the future for Kenya, Africa and the world. The youth should therefore seek to align their skills, businesses and efforts in that direction. Diversify your skills and go above and beyond your call of duty.
Most importantly, don’t give up. No one has everything figured out, be patient with yourself, take up challenges and keep on praying.
Your future plans?
I intend to enroll for a Masters degree programme in the near future and also seek out certification programmes that will broaden and diversify my skill set in DevSecOps. I also plan to inspire and mentor more young people in this field.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy playing video games, cooking and nature walks. I will also spend my free time learning new concepts and taking part in capture the flag (CTF) games.
If there was one thing you could change about your past, what would that be?
I would grant my younger self more grace when I failed or made mistakes. Before, I would waste so much time resonating on a failure instead of picking my lessons and trying again. Learn to grant yourself grace, failure is part of success. Keep trying, praying… you will eventually get it.