Alaina Lawson, a student at the Australian National University, has won a $5,000 cybersecurity scholarship for women sponsored by Eset Australia.
Lawson is taking a bachelor’s degree in computer science with a specialization in cybersecurity.
Lawson’s foray into cybersecurity began when she first worked with cybersecurity firm Ionize as a 12th grade student in a week.
Ionize then asked Lawson to work full-time as an analyst on the company’s offensive security team.
She then joined the red team and works as a penetration tester, and moved on to her dream job as a cloud security engineer at Tracer Cloud while studying at the Australian National University.
Lawson has won several awards, including the recipient of the 2020 Lake Giniderra IT Award (given to the student with the highest grades in IT in the school) and the 2020 WIC (Woman in ICT) Student Incentive Award.
She was nominated for the Australian Woman in Security Best Security Student 2021 and was among the 10 finalists for the Fast (Female Advancing in Security and Technology) Awards 2021.
Lawson said working in an industry that requires continuous learning motivates her.
“It’s amazing to be involved in providing cloud migration and cybersecurity services to customers, conducting incident responses, running penetration tests, analyzing alerts and enforcing this I’m learning in college to the real world. This scholarship helps me make an impact in the industry, not three years from now when I’m done with my studies, but right now in my work. The core value of cybersecurity is about helping and protecting people, which aligns perfectly with my values,” she said.
“Alaina represents exactly the type of young woman the cybersecurity industry needs. She is curious, intelligent and not afraid of change. At 19 she has already achieved a lot and we hope this scholarship will help her will help pursue her dreams and show both the industry and other young women that cybersecurity is a career that needs their input,” said Eset Australia Country Manager Kelly Johnson.
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