Full-time Student | Part-time Security Analyst | Spare-time CTF player

Emma Heffernan

I am currently a 3rd year student at Technological University Dublin – Blanchardstown, studying a Bachelor of Science (Honours) of Computing in Digital Forensics and Cyber Security, but also working as a Security Analyst and supports the ‘full stack’ Vulnerability Management Security as a Service (SaaS) solution provider, edgescan. This year I have worked hard to develop my skills on web penetration testing, vulnerability management and much more to take with me into my university studies.

As a student I actively compete in Capture the Flag competitions, through this I have gain many valuable opportunities having placed 3rd at ZeroDaysCTF with my team and representing Team Ireland at the European Cyber Security Challenge in Bucharest, Romania 2019. Within these competitions I am able to demonstrate my passion and skills in cyber security, mathematics, social engineering and much more. Having been extremely passionate about cyber security, it has driven me to join many society’s and organisations, some which include the college hacking society, here I got to learn and share with others the skills of penetration testing, programming languages, OSINT and much more that weren’t apart of our first and second year curriculum in university. Throughout my entire university I have spoken at events and schools for the promotion of the cyber security course while getting to demonstrate to young students the value the industry has on many subjects being taught to students at school, with this I have helped with the running of the cyber security camp in the college to help engage and encourage the younger generation, hoping to have inspired them to take this route, as this is how I was influenced.

To add I am a big supporter of the Irish cyber security movement and having assisted and attended many infosec conferences and events, some of which include helping with the running of the ZeroDaysCTF, volunteering for BSidesDublin a community-driven framework for building events by and for information security community members, I am an active participate in the STEM Aspire Mentoring programme with Dell EMC that was designed to inspire females students by the power of the STEM subjects in opening opportunities in the tech sector. Also, I’m a volunteer for the Dublin Chapter of OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project) which consists of monthly meetups and an online community that produces freely available articles, methodologies, documentation, tools and new technologies in the field of web application security.

To further support the industry, I am founding member and Dublin Chapter Lead of the ‘Humans of Cyber Network’ which was designed to connect, collaborate and link industry professionals, students and those seeking a career change in the security sector.

As of this year, 2019, I have taken on many challenges and goals some of which included speaking at the annual Dublin based IRISSCERT Cyber Crime Conference (IRISSCon). I was featured as a keynote speaker alongside the likes of award-winning security blogger, Graham Cluley, ‘The People Hacker’ Jenny Radclifee, McAfee CSO, Raj Samani and Global Advisory CISO of Duosec, Dave Lewis. My well received topic was on social engineering, a theme to that I am extremely passionate about where my presentation offered research on types of social engineering attacks, what could happen to an individual and having been a target for an attempted spear phishing attack, with this I added possible measures on how to prevent humans being a vulnerability to companies. To add in this year, I have received many other valuable opportunities having been awarded two scholarships to attend both the Grace Hopper Local event and the Black Hat EU conference.